Giro del mondo, 1719
A famous Italian jurist from Naples, Gianfrancesco Gemelli-Careri was always interested in undertaking adventurous journeys, among those being the round-the-world voyage he embarked upon in 1693, during the course of which he visited Egypt and the Holy Places.
In his narration he recounts having seen the silver star placed by the Latins at the site of Jesus’ Nativity, at a time when the area was still under the control of the Franciscans.
“The largest church in this town, restored not long ago by the Catholics and Greeks, is among the best in all of the East […] The precise spot of the Nativity, at the end of the cave, has been covered by marble to venerate it, and it is marked with a star; on this, as on an altar, Mass is celebrated.”
Giro del mondo, Venice 1719, pp. 106-107