Photographer's Note

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

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ6
1/30 second
ISO 125

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Additional Photos by Lisa DP (delpeoples) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5631 W: 351 N: 12427] (60240)
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