Vatican City, Dec 5, 2018 / 10:36 am
Growing up next door to Daytona Beach in Florida, Rich Varano spent a lot of time making things out of sand with his dad. He never imagined it could turn into his full-time gig – but 30 years later, he cannot imagine doing anything else.
After discovering in his late 20s that one could, indeed, make a living being a sand sculptor, it is "all I've been doing ever since…" Varano said.
He sculpts year-round, and has traveled extensively for the work. For the past 17 years he has participated annually in a special sand-sculpting event in the northern Italian beach-town of Jesolo, where professional sand sculptors from around the world create original sculptures of the nativity and other Christian stories for locals and visitors to enjoy during the Christmas season.
This year, for the first time, the tradition was also brought to the center of the Catholic Church, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.