Walking in the narrow lanes of Naples, you will meet the wonderful and colourful Neapolitan people. As I have mentioned in previous postings, Naples is a city of stunning contrasts and contradictions. Its history is rich, stretching back to 4000BC, to its settlement as the city of Neapolis by the Greeks, Roman occupation and influence, invasion by the Normans, trade and at times conflict with the Arabs, rule by the Spanish Aragonese and then by the French Bourbons. As a result, the Neapolitan language, architecture, food, music, religion and culture are an amazing mixture of these influences. The Neapolitan dialect has been protected by law since 2008 and is now recognised as a protected language by UNESCO. It is a language quite different to high Italian, where for example, a Northern Italian might have difficulty understanding it at all.
Neapolitan is the language of many beautiful and famous songs you have probably heard before, such as Ó Solo Mio, Santa Lucia, Funiculi Funiculá, and Torna Sorrento. Elvis Presley listened to Ó Solo Mio and thought it was so good, he had it re-written as It's Now Or Never.
It is a language that makes us smile, the films of the legendary Totó being synonymous with Italian and Neapolitan comedy. The only parallel that I can think of to explain the Neapolitan is by likening them to the character of the Eastender of London.
And then there are the hand gesticulations. A language all on its own. Of course, these gesticulations are not just confined to Neapolitans, they are used by Italians all over and quite famously so around the world. It's often the case that words do not even need to accompany the gestures for one to make themselves understood.
So as I was passing this everyday scene in my beloved Naples, I chuckled to myself that the Neapolitan "gesti" were still alive and well.
I've attached a You Tube skit here to demonstrate what I'm talking about. Here, a man talks with his hands, despite being in a set of handcuffs. It's hilarious and I invite you to watch it, even if you don't understand what's being said. And if you need it, let me know and I can translate for you :)
Cosi Parló Bellavista Avvocato Cascione
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Critiques | Translate
carlo62 (34490) 2013-05-27 4:54
vedo che sei nella fase nostalgica, ma un po di ricordi possono fare solo del bene.
Bellissima scena, ripresa magistralmente con l'apporto di un ottimo b&w.
siudzi (34047) 2013-05-27 5:09
This is a fantastic scene full of charming and interesting details. You had a luck to see it and captured from the street
POV. Looks like these people didn't notice to be photographed. Brilliant! Great work. TFS.
Sergiom (62028) 2013-05-27 5:13
I can see all the movement of the hands when they talk. Everything is more expressive in Italian specially when they talk about soccer. A nice black and white that tell a story.
Have a nice day
dkmurphys (50218) 2013-05-27 5:48
A superb capture of this everyday scene. Genuine Napoli moment, very well taken.
Have a fine day.
Silvio1953 (124653) 2013-05-27 6:09
Ciao Lisa Guagliona, gran bella scenetta con il tipico gestire napoletano, ottima nitidezza, splendido bianco e nero, brava, ciao Silvio
Noel_Byrne (25296) 2013-05-27 8:24
I can see from this that talking with the hands is greatly important, so much more can be said in a sweeping gesture than in a million words. IT looks as if these men are having a fairly heated exchange, while the third man stands back, perhaps a referee??
A beautiful choice to post this in B&W, it really enhances the wonderful light (especially on the right of the scene), but the light throughout is perfect. This looks like the type of shop that might give me nightmares too, are those all dolls and such like? The ones with the starey eyes that follow you around the room?? :)
Love how we look through the scene to the doorway at the back too, creating a brilliant sense of depth.
Thanks for sharing, have a great week!
lousat (78445) 2013-05-27 8:45
Ciao Lisa,una idea cosi' poteva venire solo a te..ehee..peccato che non si possa sentire l'audio..ehehe..grande occasione sfruttata alla grande in una composizione molto ricca di dettagli ed atmosfera,ottimo anche il timing per cogliere cosi' bene i gesti!! Buona giornata e complimenti,Luciano
SnapRJW (31613) 2013-05-27 9:56
Is it inherent passion that drives the Italian man to use flamboyant gesticulations Lisa? Somehow I always associate southern Europeans as being much more 'red-blooded' than their northern counterparts and imagine that they live life with gusto. But, as you suggest, I can see some similarities with the Cockneys of London. Perhaps I have a stereotypical view though. Another thing I notice here is the gentleman who is sitting has an elegance about him (despite his sitting position). He carries off a studied casualness; crisply and very together - very much 'the man'. Interesting.
A fine DL moment and good in B&W which gives it a classical look with no colour distractions.
Warm regards and take care Rosemary
ourania (32825) 2013-05-27 10:31
Ciao cara Lisa,
una scena che fa' sorridere perche' presenta un aspetto della vita quotidiana divertente e perche' sembra tanto familiare. Mi pare di poter sentire le due voci simultaneamente insistere che sanno meglio (meno male che le voci sono solo due e non tre:) Mi piace tanto la profondita' e la definizione dello scatto, la naturalezza della scena e l' espressione di caratteri. Mi piace ancora come i tantissimi oggetti che circondano i signori non hanno a che fare con la conversazione. L' italiano e' musica per me e le gesticolazioni li trovo incantevoli. Complimenti e grazie!
Tanti saluti e buona giornata,
fabbs99 (16739) 2013-05-27 10:43
The man sitting on the chair and talking to the gentlemen standing looks more like a character from the movie Godfather.Great presentation in B&W. Superb pov and exposure. Well done.
sabermonajati (9589) 2013-05-27 10:57
interesting frame with many detail you captured.
williewhistler (14697) 2013-05-27 11:51
Hello Lisa,there are some scenes that just scream out to be in BW and this is one of them,the three main subjects are beautifully portayed in an animated conversation,their body language speaking volumes.
There is a fine range of tones, though I might have toned down the item on the RHS a touch.
It`s a very fine street scene with lots of interesting features that do not intrude upon the main subjects.Nicely done.
Kindest wishes Les.
rogerl (1544) 2013-05-27 17:37
Lisa, what a great capture. The guy in back is just watching the other two go at it with their hands. The shop itself looks pretty interesting as well. Nicely exposed, with good blacks in the back of the store. Thanks.
jjcordier (76976) 2013-05-27 22:52
Même sans le son, on comprend ce qu'ils disent -) Une scène caractéristique bien mise en image..
krzychu30 (15498) 2013-05-27 23:40
just love your B&W compositions from Italy.They have so much charm and unique feeling.The picture together with enclosed video help us understand the importance of gesticulations in everyday life of Neapolitans.It became a part of their regional culture.
You noticed and executed the scene excellently.And I like that you converted it into B&W.
Romano46 (18466) 2013-05-30 9:05
mi sono distratto un attimo e mi era sfuggito questo tuo bianco e nero di gran classe.
Mi piace non solo l'ambientazione in questa particolare bottega che fabbrica presepi e statuine, ma la presenza dei tre personaggi colti in atteggiamento inequivocabilmente "napoletano".
Questa foto e questi personaggi non potevi che ritrarli a Napoli. Sembra quasi di sentirli parlare in dialetto e di vederli gesticolare per rafforzare le loro affermazioni.
Complimenti! Uno scatto da bravo fotografo di strada.
Inutile dire che benchè scattata con una fotocamera più modesta della tua solita, la classe ha superato anpiamente il gap tecnologico.
Ciao e buona giornata
abmdsudi (44308) 2013-05-30 21:56
An image documenting the occasion on a bright front shop and the typical Neapolitans capture the eyes and the tighter crop helps on the main characters straightaway. There lies the impact and power taken in B&W as there are no color distractions to take the eyes away from main focal. Your quick grab is timely in split second as they add the story. A very fine street candid well detailed, so much to look around as well at, and something for my eye to be drawn too, so skilfully captured, each and every one and full of concentration. A very interesting insight and excellently executed, the feeling of 'life' that they convey. A marvellous shot, my congrats
macjake (57432) 2013-06-03 14:01
cute and funny video, even though I have no idea what they're talking about - but the hand gestures are certainly amusing :)
I know how much you love Naples, and because of your love for it its touched me aswell. For example, when Tosca and I talk about going on a cruise, we always make sure a stop over in Naples is included (maybe a cruise is in the future at some point)
As for this photo, i'm also interested in the store itself, what an earth are they selling here???
and I can see the tiny cash register behind the man sitting, very cool.
the transfer to black and white worked well too. good shot of this daily scene.
rigoletto (34269) 2013-06-04 6:54
Hi Dear Lisa,
This is a kind of daily life image that i missed seeing on TE. Three figures in a possibly colorful environment. Your choice of B&W prevents us being distracted by the crowd of colors, focusing on the men. The one shaking his hand is probably speaking that extremely fast southern Italian dialect :)
Different and interesting.
ps: recently clashes are not that serious, everybody wants reconciliation except the PM. the resistance will continue till he steps back and accepts his non-democratic ways.
ikeharel (58921) 2013-07-05 6:06
Nice spotted on the alleis on Napoli, where people known to speak with their hands... as they do here.
Faces expression nicely collected, can't imagine what they were talking about - but as written made one lough...
The store must have amazing stuff for tourists, the display must had been colorful.
Nice weekend, dear.
- Copyright: Lisa DP (delpeoples) (53417)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 2009-07-00
- Categories: Humorous
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): My People, Campania Mia II [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2013-05-27 4:41
- Favorites: 1 [view]