NAPLES / ITALY

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INTERNATIONAL ITALIAN WORDS

Published November 3, 2014 by Tony

 

Italian Loanwords in English

Loanwords are words adopted by the speakers of one language from a different language. To indicate the use of English words in common Italian language we say “inglesismo”, to mean Englishism or Anglicism.
The heavy penetration of “English words” in the Italian language, especially in the workplace, gives no sign of stopping. A recent study on the use of English words used by Italian companies found that the use of Anglo-Saxon’s terms has increased almost 800% over the past 8 years.
But I have wondered, what about the opposite?
After a brief search, I noticed that there are indeed a lot of Italian words used in English. Given that the Italian language is not as widespread as English, we need to take a step back in time to better understand the intrusion of these terms in English/American vocabulary.

At the end of the sixteenth century among the Queen Elizabeth Tudor’s subjects some compatriots were blamed those not for only study and made a display of their Italian knowledge, but because posing as imitators of the Italian model in behavior and  fashion, literature and painting, business  and in the art of the sword…… mindset that thereafter characterized the Anglo-Saxon way of looking at Italy and towards Italian things: admiration and contempt, acceptance and rejection, prejudice and amazement at the same time. We find a wide track of all this through the history of Anglo-Italian relations, which is made up of businesses, books, and travel.
At that time, we already find some Italian words used in English and that, over the centuries, have become common in their language, enriching their vocabulary and expressive possibilities. BANK, BANKRUPT, CASH, and RISK were terms that ultimately came from the Italian words “banca”, “banco”, “bancarotta”, “cassa” and “rischio”. Nowadays, the weight of this new dictionary may not be able to redress the balance which lately, on the other side, has a large number of Anglicism in Italian. However, I realize that we are not only  “debtors” because in any contact between different languages (as well as between human beings) the “giving” is always accompanied by the “having”, and vice versa.
The first Italian lexical borrowings in the English language belong to the economic and financial entourage, as the term DUCAT, with reference to the first golden “ducato” created by the Doge of Venice in 1284, as well as the term MANAGER derived from “maneggio” which in Italian means to train the horses.
The situation changes radically – for quantity and quality of Italianisms – when in the second half of the sixteenth century the Italian Renaissance reached England. Through the study of the Italian language gentlemen and British courtiers intended to approach a superior civilization and achieve the perfect ideal of the Renaissance man, so that the influence of language was closely related to the literary and cultural heritage, and it is easy to illustrate the presence of English Italianisms in areas where Italy is a Renaissance model of excellence:
• arts and architecture, GESSO, STUCCO, CUPOLA, DUOMO, BELVEDERE and PIAZZA;
• poetry, song and music, CANTO, MADRIGAL, SONETTO, STANZA, DUO and VIOLIN;
• military and fortifications, IMBOSCATA and TO IMBOSK, ARSENAL and RIPARE;
• mathematics and geometry, ALGEBRA, SQUADRANT and SQUADRATURE;
• trade and finance, BAZAAR, TO SALD (from “saldare”), TARIFF and TO INVEST.

Between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries some contingencies bring the English’s world to turn its back to Italy: Charles I (1625-1649) married a French princess, as the interlude Puritan Commonwealth (1649-1660) could not bring Englishmen to look at Italy with favor, abut as an abhorred focus centre of a Catholic cradle and immoral Machiavellianism…. so, during the seventeenth century the Italian loanwords only involve some specific areas – such as botany and natural sciences, mathematics, geometry, and fortifications.
•    PISTOLETTO, STILETTO, CAPITANO;
•    AMOROSO, BECCO, CANAGLIA, CAPRICCIO, ESTRO, FURIOSO, GENIO, INCOGNITO, RUFFIANO, VOLPONE; CATSO!
(from cazzo), CRIMINE;
•    BERGAMOT, GRANITO, GROTTO, LIBECCIO, SCIROCCO,  VOLCANO;
•    GUGLIO, OVOLO, PILASTREL, ANTICAMERA, BALCONY, CAMPANILE, PALAZZO, PORTICO, STANZA, VILLA; BUSTO, CHIAROSCURO, INTAGLIO, MEZZOTINT, MINIATURE, MORBIDEZZA, PIETA’, PROFILE, PUTTO, SCHIZZO;
•    BURRATINE
(from “burattino”), ENTRATA, LITERATI and LETTERATO, PUNCHINELLO, ROMANZA, ROMANZO; ALLEGRO, BARITONE, CANTO, CAPRICCIO, LARGO, PIANO, PRESTO, RECITATIVE, RITORNELLO, SONATA, TRILL, VIOLINIST, VIVACE;
•    CAMBIO, TO DISCOUNT
(da “scontare”), ENTRATE, MONTE DI PIETA’, PREMIO (to mean insurance premium, from “premio di assicurazione”), LIRA, PAOLO, SCUDO;
•    GRECO, LIATICO, BRENDICE (from “brindisi”), BROCCOLI, FRITTADO
(from frittata), MORTADELLA, PASTA, POLENTA, VERMICELLI;
•    BULLETIN, CONSULTO, GIUNTA, INTRIGO, MANIFESTO, PAPESS, QUIETISM
and QUIETIST, RISGO(E) (from “risigo” or “risico”), SBIRRO, SCALDABANCO (to mean a ‘fiery preacher’), SPIRITATO ( to mean ‘driven by excessive religious zeal’).

Many of these Italianisms are now archaic or obsolete, but on that period they had their influence; if it is true that during the seventeenth century the British looked at France and not Italy as a cultural model,  it is equally true that in this century the French language acted as a mediator to spread in English other Italian loanwords, like TO ATTACK, BAGATELLE, BARRACK, CARTOON, CHARLATAN, GAZETTE, MUSKETOON, RISK, SPINET, VALISE  and VEDETTE.
This tendency vanishes in the eighteenth century, when British were by now aware to have acquired a certain cultural independence from foreign models. In regard of Italian world, this independence gradually develops thru various attitudes: an initial total denial, as if the British were ashamed of having taken Italy as model. Then the attention increases because they tried – as English travelers on the Grand Tour made –  to find
the vestiges of a glorious past thru the actual ruins.  Finally, a renewed interest for the work in Italian music and picturesque landscapes of Italian artists comes.
•     ADAGIO, ALLEGRETTO, ANDANTE, ARIA, BALLATA, CASTRATO, CONCERTO GROSSO, CONTRAPUNTIST, CRESCENDO, DUET, FAGOTTO, FALSETTO, FANTASIA, FORTE, FORTE-PIANO, FORTISSIMO, LIBRETTO, MEZZO-SOPRANO, OPERETTA, PIANISSIMO, PRIMA DONNA, SERENATA, SINFONIA, SOLFEGGIO, SOPRANO, STACCATO, TENORE, TERZETTO, TOCCATA, TUTTI, VIOLA, VIOLONCELLO, ZAMPOGNA and ZUFOLO;
•     TERRENO, TONDINO, STACCATURE (from “stuccatura”), ALFRESCO, BAMBINO, CINQUECENTO, CONTORNO, GUAZZO, TO IMPASTE, IMPASTO, PASTICCIO, PORTFOLIO, RITRATTO, SMALTO and TORSO;
•     BRIO, CICISBEO, CONVERSAZIONE, CON AMORE, IMBROGLIO, LAZZARONE, SOTTO VOCE
and VILLEGGIATURA;
•      BRECCIA, LAVA, SOLFATARA, TERRA SIENNA (from “terra di Siena”), TUFA
(from “tufo”), and VULCANIC;
•      FINOCHIO
(from “finocchio”), MARASCHINO, MINESTRA, SEMOLINA, and STAFATA (from “stufato”).

And what about the nineteenth century? Ugo Foscolo, who took refuge in London,  about Italian in England he wrote, “A lot of them study it, a few learn it, everybody presume to know it”. The interest in Italian literature is an elitist thing, for Romantic poets and Victorians….. more effective is the interests of some British who are passionate about Italian opera, or to orient themselves at least a little while traveling and living in Italy, a lifestyle that represent itself again after the collapse of the Napoleonic empire. The fact is that in the nineteenth century the Italianisms welcomed by the English language  are really a lot and more than in the past:
•    ACCELERANDO, AGITATO, A CAPPELLA, ANDANTINO, BASSET-HORN, BATTUTA, BEL CANTO, CADENZA, CANTATRICE, CAVATINA, CEMBALO, CONCERTINO, CORNETTO, CORNO, DIVA, DUETTINO, FLAUTIST, FLAUTATO, FUGATO, FURIOSO, LAMENTOSO, LEGATO, MARCATO, MARTELLATO, MOSSO, MUSICO, OBOE D’AMORE, OBOE DA CACCIA, OCARINA, ORGANETTO, PIANIST, PIZZICATO, RALLENTANDO, ROMANZA, SCHERZO, SESTET, SFORZANDO, SFORZATO, SMORZANDO, SMORZATO, VIBRATO, VIOLA DA BRACCIO, VILLOTTA;
•    ABBOZZO, AMORINO, BAROCCO, CORTILE, GRADINO, GRAFFITO, INTARSIA, INTONACO, LUNETTA, MANDORLA, REPLICA, SCENARIO, SCUOLA, SEICENTISMO, SEICENTIST, SFUMATO, STUDIO, TEMPERA, TEMPIETTO, TENEBROSO, TERRIBILITA’, TONDO, TRECENTO;
•    AGRODOLCE, CANNELLONI, GNOCCHI, GRISSINO, LASAGNE, MARASCA, RAVIOLI, RICOTTA, RISOTTO, SALAMI, SEMOLA, SEMOLETTA, SPAGHETTI, STRACCHINO, TAGLIATELLE, ZABAGLIONE, ZUCCA; ALEATICO, CHIANTI, GRAPPA, GRIGNOLINO, MALVASIA, ROSOLIO, VERNACCIA;
•    BECCACCIA, BOCCA
(referring to  volcano), BORA, FATA MORGANA, FIUMARA, LAPILLO, MACIGNO, MAREMMA, OVER-MOUNTS, RIVA, TERRA ROSSA, VOLCANELLO;
•    JETTATURA, MAESTRIA, MATTOID, REFASHIONMENT
(from “rifacimento”), SIMPATICO, VENDETTA;
•    BERSAGLIERE, CARABINIERE, CARBONARI, IMBROGLIO, IRRENDENTIST, MAFIA
and MAFIOSO, MUNICIPIO, QUIRINAL, RISORGIMENTO, SANFEDIST, SINDACO, TRIPLICE; ABBATE, CAPPA, MANTELLETTA, TRIDUO, ZUCCHETTO;
•    STORNELLO, TERZINA, FESTA, CONFETTI, DOLCE FAR NIENTE, CREDENZA, FIASCO, PADELLA, COMMENDATORE, CONTESSA, DONZELLA, RAGAZZO.

Passing from the nineteenth century to the century just ended, it is first evident that the dynamics of Anglo-Italian relations are conditioned by the increasing opportunities and ways of contacts: trade and international relations, leisure travel and migration, means transport, and mass media make easier any linguistic, literary and cultural exchange. Although the Italian spoken by immigrants and the one taught in schools in English-speaking countries have set up, in the course of the twentieth century, an opportunity for contact interlingua for hundreds of thousands of speakers, it is reasonable to conclude that a genuine Italian influence on British and American English has exerted primarily by other means and other ways, as the following list of Italianisms shows:
•    music, songs and dance: CODA, LAMENTO, SINFONIA CONCERTANTE, SINFONIETTA, SOPRANINO, SPINTO, STAGIONE (often as STAGIONE LIRICA), STILE ANTICO, STILE CONCITATO;
•   
art and architecture: BOTTEGA, BOZZETTO, FUTURISM, GIOCONDA, MODELLO, PALIOTTO, PENTIMENTO, RICORDO, SEICENTO, SETTECENTO, STUDIOLO, VEDUTA, VEDUTISTA, VERISMO; PIANO NOBILE, SALONE, SALOTTO, SOTTOPORTICO, TRAVATED (from “travata”), TRULLO;
•    natural sciences and geophysics: MAESTRALE, PONENTE (or PONENTE WIND), SALITA, SPINONE;
•    scientific and technical terms: CHROMOCENTRE, EQUICONTINUOUS, FANGO and FANGOTHERAPY, FAVISM, GIORGI (or GIORGI SYSTEM), HOLOGENESIS, ISOTACTIC, OLIGOPOD, ORTICANT, RICCI (or RICCI TENSOR), ROSASITE, SECCHI (or SECCHI’S DISC), UREOTELIC, YOTTA (from prefix y- before the number “otto”,  to mean ‘10/24’);
•     technical-industrial
terminology: FERRO-CEMENT, IMPASTO, PUNTA, TERITAL, TERRAZZO;
•    religion: AGGIORNAMENTO, PAPABILE, QUARESIMAL, ROMANITA’;
•    economics and Politics: BABY PENSIONS (from “pensioni baby”), BLACK JOB, BLACKSHIRT, BOSSISMO, DESISTENZA, DUCE, EUROTAX or TAX FOR EUROPE (from “Eurotassa”), FASCI, FASCISM, GIOVANI IMPRENDITORI, GOVERNISSIMO, GOVERNTMENT OF NATIONAL UNIT, GREENSHIRTS, HISTORIC COMPROMISE (from “compromesso storico”), LOTTIZZAZIONE, MANI PULITE/SPORCHE,   or meanings like CLEAN/DIRTY HANDS, NORD-NAZIONE, PADANIA and PADANIANS, PADRONI, PARTITOCRAZIA, POTERI FORTI, RED BRIGADES (from “Brigate Rosse”), SACRO EGOISMO, SALOTTO BUONO, SCALA MOBILE, SQUADRA, SQUADRIST, TANGENTI, TANGENTOPOLI, BRIBE CITY, BRIBESVILLE e KICKBACK CITY, TRASFORMISMO, WHITE SEMESTER, UOMO DELLA PROVVIDENZA;
•    society: AGRITURISMO, ANIMALISTA, ANTI-MAFIA, BIENNALE, CAPO (or MAFIOSO), CAPO DEI CAPI, BOSS OF BOSSES, CADAVERI ECCELLENTI, CLOSED HOUSES (from “case chiuse”), COSA NOSTRA or OUR THING, CRAVATTARI, DOLCE VITA, DON, FERRAGOSTO, GOOMBAH (to mean a ‘mafioso’), MAFIAIST e MAFIAISM, MAFIA-BUSTING, MAFIA-FIGHTERS, MAFIA-LINKED, MAFIA-RIDDEN and MAFIA-STYLE, MAXI TRIAL (from “maxi processo”), MEN OF HONOUR), OMERTA’, PAPARAZZO, PASSEGGIATA, PASTICCERIA, PENSIONE, PIZZERIA, PRINCIPE, REPENTED (to mean informer), RISTORANTE, SACRA CORONA UNITA, SCUGNIZZO, SETTIMANALI ROSA, SOVRINTENDENZA, TIFOSI, TOMBAROLO, VENTETTIST;
•    roles, behaviors, individual and social attitudes: BIMBO, FURORE, JETTATORE, MAMMISMO, NOIA, NUMERO UNO, VITA NUOVA, VITELLONI;
•    food and beverage: ABBACCHIO, AGNOLOTTI, AL DENTE, ANTIPASTO, ARAGULA (from “RUCOLA”), BEL PAESE, BRUSCHETTA, CACIUCCO, CALABRESE, CALAMARI, CALZONE, CANNOLI, CAPRETTO, CARBONE DOLCE, CARPACCIO, CASSATA, CIABATTA, CORNETTO, COSTATA ALLA FIORENTINA, CROSTINI, FETTUCCINE, FRITTATA, FRITTO DI MARE o FRITTO MISTO, FRITTURA, FUSILLI, GUANCIALE, LINGUINE, MACEDONIA DI FRUTTA, MANICOTTI, MARINARA, MASCARPONE o MASCHERPONE, MOZZARELLA, MOZZARELLA IN CARROZZA, OSSO BUCO, PANCETTA, PANETTONE, PANFORTE, PARMIGIANO, PECORINO, PENNE, PESTO, PEPPERONI (or PEPERONI), PINZIMONIO, PIZZA, PORCHETTA, PROSCIUTTO (or PROSCIUTTO HAM), PROVOLONE, RADICCHIO, RIGATONI, ROMANO (or ROMANO CHEESE), SALTIMBOCCA, SANGUINACCIO, SCALLOPINI (or SCALOPPINE), SCAMPI, SCUNGILLE (from Neapolitan “scunciglio”), SPAGHETTI ALL’AMATRICIANA and ALLA CARBONARA, SPAGHETTINI, SPUMONI (from “spumone”), STELLINE, STRACCIATELLA, TALEGGIO, TIRAMISU, TORTELLINI, VITELLO TONNATO, ZABAGLIONE, ZEPPOLE, ZITONI, ZUCCHINI, ZUPPA, ZUPPA INGLESE, and the saying MMEDITERRANEAN DIET; AMARETTO, BERBERA, BAROLO, CAPPUCCINO, DOLCETTO D’ALBA, ESPRESSO, FRASCATI, LAMBRUSCO, LUNGO e MACCHIATO (referring to the coffee), MOSCATO, NEGRONI, MARTINI, PROSECCO, PUNT E MES, RICCADONNA, SAMBUCA, SASSELLA, SOAVE, SPUMANTE, STREGA, VERDICCHIO, VIN SANTO, VINO DA TAVOLA, and the saying DENOMINATION OF PROTECTED ORIGIN;
•    various words ARRIVEDERCI, AUTOSTRADA, AZZURRI, BALLERINA (or BALLERINA SHOE), CANTINA, CIAO, FATTORIA, FRECCE TRICOLORI, GALLERIA (to mean a place with many shops, “galleria di negozi”), GROSSO MODO, LIBERO  (from soccer technique), MANCIA, MEZZOGIORNO, MILLE MIGLIA, PICCOLO, PINOCCHIO, RIONE, SALUMERIA, SCOPA, SCUDETTO, SCUOLA MEDIA, SCUSI, (LA) SERENISSIMA, SPAGHETTI WESTERN, SPREZZATURA, STRAMBOTTO, SUFFIXOID,  TELEFONINO, VESPA, CINEMA.

  This is a partial list of known or supposed Italian loanwords in English, but if you wanna know more take a look here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_Italian_origin
But, if we take as reference the ancestor of the Italian language, the LATIN, and old widespread language, then the loanwords increase dramatically, especially in medicine, religion and art (as the sayings: posteriori, a priori, ad infinitum, carpe diem, casus belli, de facto, de jure, et cetera, ex parte, habitat, in camera, in medias res, ipse dixit, lingua franca, memento, non plus ultra, pax, persona (non) grata, per capita,  post partum, pro forma, sine die, sine qua non, sui generis, summa cum laude, tabula rasa.) Read this page to know more: http://www.liceovittorioemanuele.it/download/accardo/accardo.htm

 

 

Reference:www.treccani.it/magazine/lingua_italiana/speciali/nazioni/iamartino.html.

SAN GENNARO’s MIRACLE

Published September 19, 2014 by Tony

San Gennaro’s blood is liquefied

 

As always, this morning thousands of people have flocked to the Cathedral of Naples, in the hope that the miracle of the blood of San Gennaro could repeat.

The patron saint of Naples, which today, September 19, is  celebrated. After the religious ceremony began, Cardinal Sepe has made its entry into the basilica together with the relics of the saint, waiting for the miracle. Took the ampule and showed it to the faithful and…..  the blood dissolved itself!

Also this year, the miracle took place again!

LAKE ALBANO

Published June 29, 2014 by Tony

– ROMAN ARCHITECTURES –

Lake Albano

The lake Albano is located in the Castelli Romani, on the Alban Hills in Rome, and with its depth of 170 meters is one of the deepest crater lakes.
A lovely stretch of water, dominated by the papal residence, located about three hundred meters above the sea level and that reaches a maximum width of 3500 meters and with a perimeter of  9800 meters.
During the terminal phase of the volcanic activity of the Latium’s volcanoes, the encounter between the masses of magma and the groundwater favored the formation of numerous lakes, such as Lake Albano and Lake Nemi that are the only ones left to date.
From thousands of years, the eruptive activity is still in a quiescent state, but it is still possible to record volcanic phenomena albeit modest, and emanations of carbon dioxide from the bottom of the lake, that cross the water in the form of bubbles.
Apart from its beauty in the setting of buildings and woods, this lake is remembered for the colossal work of hydraulic engineering of the so called  “emissary”, which Romans built in 397 BC using techniques still unknown. The reason for this emissary is mainly due to avoid the flooding of the lake that could destroy the Emperors’ villas.
Instead, according to the historian Livy, this work of hydraulic engineering, particularly interesting for those times, would have been originated by a prophecy of the Delphic oracle:

At the time when the Romans besieged the inhabitants of Veii [in the days when the star Sirius was rising] in the season when the waters of the lakes are lowered, as is the case for all rivers except the Nile, and in a period when there is no rain or other causes perceptible to humans, the lake located on the Alban Hills, where the mother city of Rome rises up, had such a growth of waters to flood a large portion of the surrounding region, destroying many farms, cutting through the mountain and pouring a large river in the plains below.  At first, Romans believed that a god was angry, and voted to propitiate gods and minor deities of the region, and then they asked to the soothsayers what they thought about this, but since they did not have anything to say, Romans decided to consult the oracle Delphi.
In the meantime, thanks to the Veii’s Etruscan soothsayers, the Romans who had besieged Veii, gained knowledge that, according to ancient prophecies, the victory of the Romans against Veii became feasible only when the lake’s water had channeled and used to irrigate the fields. After a short time, a messenger returned from Delphi with a similar response, a thing that pushed the Senate to dig canals to drive the overflowing warm waters of the lake.
Dion.Hal, Romanae Antiquities, XII, 10-12

And so it was; in no time the water reached the sea, at first thru a gallery of about 2500 meters, that appeared near the Via Appia in the locality “Quarto Mole” (below Castel Gandolfo), and then with another funnel that reached “Tor di Valle”, and from there into Tiber river. It has been a complicated manual labor of about 180 cm in height and 120 cm in width, with tunnels and vents that still could be useful in the event of a flooding.

emissary entranceLake Albano’s emissary, which ran until 1980, when ill water level began to drop 1 meter every 3 years.

Emissary

ARE YOU COMING IN ITALY?

Published June 11, 2014 by Tony

Do you need any information?

Summer:  time for vacation and journey.
And I hope that this year many of you have chosen Italy as destination.
Anyway, the fact is that before venturing  in a long trip in another country many people often consult some Internet sites from the country they have to visit.  A very useful thing to find information, know prices, to book, or follow the routes of the places to visit. The big issue is for those who do not know the foreign language, with the risk to even get wrong information whether incorrectly translated. I am a traveler too and realize what such an occurrence can mean for a foreign tourist. No problem for the lucky few who have a relative or a friend who lives in the country to visit, of course.
I do not want appear presumptuous, but for all those who are preparing to come to Italy, and especially here in Naples, and who wish to receive any information or obtain a translation of some Italian news found on an Italian website, I am available to help them. Therefore, feel free to contact me. That said, I wish a good stay to all of you who are coming here in Italy. Enjoy!

A TREASURE NOT VALUED

Published May 11, 2014 by Tony

 

CASERTA ROYAL PALACE

Really true that things we’re accustomed to every day have or see, over time they become usual and uninteresting. Yet, Italy is the only country in the world with the greatest concentration of art, churches, monuments and natural beauty. Some cities, then, like Rome or Naples, become really unique pearls that anyone would envy us. In spite of this, some people do not think twice in staining a monument or a public good, and, worst, to damage it, while administrators (who knows why?) have little interest.
For years, it is has been said that Italy could live off of private income with what the past history and culture have left us as a legacy.
We are tired of hear it again and get angry even more if those who can and should take steps to ensure that such a big and particular artistic/cultural heritage can finally bring well-being and job roles, turn a deaf ear, or even make things worse. I am referring to our government, local administrators, politicians and institutions, of course.
Crisis, lack of employment, but it sounds strange that no one put tourism at the first place or thinking what we could get by it.
Another thing that personally bothers me, is the “continuous” and ” endless ” work in progress that spoil the view and often do not allow tourists and visitors to fully enjoy a site. Then, prohibited areas and premises permanently closed to the public for some kind of incurable reasons, which does not allow us to see works and places that should, however, be in the public domain, and a source of pride for having been put on display. I can’t explain myself this, even if only by chance I made a trip of a few kilometers and took advantage of a weekend, but how can we explain this to a Japanese tourist who came to Italy to visit that place after a long journey and having endured many expenses, and that probably never can come back in Italy!

We were still talking about neglect of Pompeii and now is the turn of the “Realm of Caserta”, as we call it.
Just to show arrogance and abuse of our administrators, it is the case of the Italian Garden in Caserta’s Royal Palace and the politician Nicola Cosentino. Despite this wonderful garden with waterfall shows significant signs of neglect and has long been closed (indefinitely!) to visitors, this has not prevented Cosentino to use it for his morning exercises. In fact, the former undersecretary of “Forza Italia” party had the garden’s key to enter and make jogging, thanks to the Prefect of Caserta.

This sumptuous and historic residence of the Bourbons of Naples, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1997, is a monumental complex which occupies 45,000 square meters, and with its five floors it reaches a height of 36 meters, with 1,200 rooms and 34 staircases.
In the Palace various places are closed indefinitely, as the hall of the Nativity of Neapolitan ‘600 and ‘700, as many portions of the park are inaccessible. Many rooms are not open to the public while others are not ever been open to all.
A recent news that in the west of the Palace a portion of the roof collapsed.
The Ministry of assets and cultural activities and tourism (Mibact) has provided approximately € 22 million of funding for the restoration of the facades of which the first batch from 9 million has already been allocated. Since last year, the four facades of the Palace are cordoned off and pending for the restoration work. The whole Royal Palace and its magnificent garden are in a state of neglect, despite the museum complex can count on 340 committed employees who must or should control 130 acres of parkland and 70 rooms. From 2001 to 2013, the center has recorded almost 50 % fewer visits, which go from 812 811 to 439 813, according to data published by the Mibact. After reading this, I hope that most Italians will be pissed off as I am !

Library Girolamini

Published May 10, 2014 by Tony

 

Thieves of books: a scandal in Naples

Library Girolamini

 

The “Library Girolamini” was one of the most valuable Italian libraries of seventeenth-century.
Among relic of saints, tombs and masterpieces of the seventeenth century, it was a state cultural institution in Naples, with very important collection of books, as well as an important operatic music archive. Having been opened to the public in 1586 it is the oldest library in Naples and the second in Italy after “Malatesta” library in Cesena.
From an architectural point of view, the library is part of the church complex Girolamini that with its 68 x 28 meters is one of the biggest religious buildings in Naples. Because of its decoration in gold, marble and mother of pearl, it earned the title of “Domus aurea“;  its interior has a concentration of high quality works by Neapolitan artists but also from Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and Rome. Attached there is the homonym convent, home of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Filippo Neri, whose members, known as “oratoriani” o “filippini”, dedicated to the sanctification of souls through education, spiritual direction, preaching and liturgical apostolate, especially among young people, as it was in the tradition of Filippo Neri.

The library of the Girolamini treasured more than 160 000 titles, mostly antique, including incunabula and sixteenth, (ie printed documents with the technology of movable type in vogue in the mid-fifteenth century till the year 1500), numerous manuscripts, with many compositions and musical works from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Holdings also included the private collection of Giuseppe Valletta, with rare editions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with the classics of Greek and Latin literature, history and philosophy.
Due to the earthquake of 1980, the monastery and library’s premises were used as temporary shelter for the displaced, and has since started an era of abandonment that has lasted until last year. The institution has been closed to the public for decades, and was in a state of decay. The precariousness of the housing, according to an estimate of its conservative father Sandro Marsano, would have led over the years to the disappearance of hundreds of books and works of art.

In 2011, Marino Massimo De Caro became director of the Library,  whose appointment by the Minister for Cultural Heritage Lorenzo Ornaghi, has raised some concerns. After a series of articles of complaint signed by the art historian Tommaso Montanari of Federico II University, the professor Francesco Caglioti became the organizer of a petition together other exponents of the culture, in order to solicit the De Caro impeachment.
As a result of these events, on April 19, 2012 the entire library complex was impounded by the police and the director of De Caro investigated. The investigation leads to the discovery, in the province of Verona, of a deposit containing 240 volumes stolen from the library. Investigations acquire evidence that many other books had already gone abroad for being sold, including the names of some buyers, located in England, Japan and USA. For the latter, procedures for recovery already have been initiated. The investigation leads to the arrest of De Caro and the curator Sandro Marsano, and the start of the investigations against the Senator Marcello Dell’Utri. On 15 March 2013, Massimo De Caro has been convicted after an abbreviated trial, with the prison sentence of seven years and perpetual interdiction from public office.

171 thousand volumes of which one hundred thousand uncatalogued, while four thousand had disappeared. Some sold at an auction in Monaco of Bavaria, other priceless sold between 5000 and 50,000 Euros: a real looting . The senator Dell’Utri, an expert bibliophile, with the help of director De Caro, and with the excuse of wanting to make the library a museum admired throughout the world, they empties and upset it. With their authority they forced the library staff to step aside, and at night plunder the library. The stolen books end up with various tricks in the hands of various collectors, and to the director De Caro is attributed the most serious theft, the precious book: the “Sidereus Nuncius”  of 1619 by Galileo Galilei.

From the initial investigation turns out that De Caro did not even have the qualifications to be appointed director of a library, and that he had dealings with Pastor Daniel Guido, involved in the investigation of thefts to the libraries of Madrid and Zaragoza. Yet, even though it was a state institution, he became the director with the support of Sandro Marsano and validation of the Ministry of Culture, where meantime the senator Dell’Utri was performing his task under Berlusconi government. Dell’Ultri, collaborator of Berlusconi, has been a Deputy of “Forza Italia” party from 1996 to 2001, when he was elected Senator of the Republic and held, among other tasks, the Chairman of the Commission for the Senate Library. In 2008 he was re-nominated to the Senate, and elected in the PDL party, despite in the meantime he had been convicted for collusion with Mafia. On 25 March 2013, the Third Chamber of the Court of Appeal in Palermo sentenced Dell’Ultri in the second degree of judgment and with a penalty of 7 years imprisonment for collusion with the Mafia. The judgment considered Marcello Dell’Utri an intermediary between mafia and Silvio Berlusconi. As a fugitive shortly before the measure of arrest, he has been tracked down and arrested April 12, 2014 in Beirut by Lebanese police, where he is currently being held pending extradition to Italy.
For a long time, thanks to new manager Umberto Bile, the library is again open to the public and after rummaging around in rooms closed for decades, he has found relics of saints, forgotten tombs, hand-embroidered copes of the eighteenth century, some paintings and even the column used by Caravaggio to paint the ” Flagellation of Christ “.  A funny thing in having found the remains of a man who was 2 meters and thirty centimeters tall in a crypt which is just a few steps from a nearby street called “Giant’s alley.”  Everything will be photographed , cataloged and restored if possible.

Girolamini Church

Girolamini cloister

Naples is a song

Published April 27, 2014 by Tony

 

 

NAPULE E’ NA CANZONE
(De Cristofaro, E. A. Mario – 1922)

Se vonno purtà Napule

nun saccio a qua’ paese

miliardarie ca fanno spese

se ne trovano ‘nquantità

Nu bellu juorno, tèccote

s’appura, ditto ‘nfatto

ca Pusilleco ha fatto ‘o sfratto

e ‘o Vesuvio va’ trova addó’ sta

Ma, pe’ s’ ‘a purtà

nun sanno ancora comm’hann’ ‘a fà

No, niente ce pò

pe’ spustà Napule ‘a dó’ sta mo

Sì, só’ migliare ‘e prugette

ma chi ce se mette

maje niente pò fà

E tutte ‘a vònno Napule

ma nisciuno s’ ‘a pò purtà

Chi ‘a vò’ purtá in America

chi ‘a vò’ purtá in Giappone

ma ll’Europa se fa ragione

dice: “E’ meglio ca resta a me”

E allora va in Germania?

Va ‘n Francia o in Inghilterra?

Pò succedere n’ata guerra

pe’ decidere chi ll’ha da avé

Ma, pe’ s’ ‘a purtà

…………………………

Quanta ‘ngigniere vènono

Ma che prugette fanno?

Comme vènono, se ne vanno

Se ne vanno, ma pe’ turnà

Chi ‘a vò’ tirà cu ‘o mángano

scastrata intera intera

Chi ‘a vò’ spartere cu maniera

piezzo piezzo e po’ ‘a torna a ‘ncullà

Ma, pe’ s’ ‘a purtà,

mo ce ‘o ccunziglio comm’hann’ ‘a fá

No, niente ce vò

ma ‘o mezzo è facile pe’ chi ‘o vò’

Quanno na bella canzone

cu tutt’ ‘a passione

s’arriva a cantà,

pe’ tutt’ ‘o munno, Napule

dint’ ‘o core, se pò purtà

They want to take Naples away

I do not know in which country

billionaires who can spend

they are found in quantity

One day, here’s

it turns out, that in fact

that Posillipo did the eviction and

who knows the Vesuvius where’s

But, to take it away

they still do not know how to do it

No, nothing can be done

to move Naples where it is now

Yes, there’re thousands of projects

but whoever puts in

nothing can do

And everyone wants Naples

but no one can carry it away

Who wants to bring it to America,

who wants to bring it in Japan,

but Europe resign itself to

says: “better if it remain with me”

and then does it go to Germany?

does go to France or England?

Another war could break out

to decide who should have it

But, to take it away

…………………………..

Any engineer who arrives

but what plans do they do?

as they arrive so they left

they go away, but to come back

wo wants to pull it with the catapult

unlock it entirely

who wants to split it with criteria,

piece by piece, and then to paste it

But to take it away

now I advise ’em how to do

no, it doesn’t take anything

but the way is easy for who wants to

when a good song

with all the passion

you are able to sing

throughout the world, Naples,

in the heart it can be delivered

A very old Neapolitan song, that to show how Naples was beautiful, wryly talks about people who would like to take it away. As usually I tried to translate it for you.