Browsing Category Festivals & Celebrations

Easter is……Agerola

By at April 7, 2015 | 7:17 pm | 0 Comment

horseback

My niece has been working on a book lately. The book features brightly colored illustrations and pithy passages on the meaning of Easter. It begins with the rousing rhetorical declaration, “Easter is………” and continues with a compelling ode to “Chocolate Eggs!” My niece, Caterina is five, and like many of her peers, she is obsessed with the giant chocolate eggs that are ubiquitous throughout Italy in the days leading up  to Easter. In fact she is so obsessed, it is hard for us to think about anything else this Holy Week. In my advisory role as her book editor/ aunt, I suggested perhaps we further explore additional virtues of this sacred holiday. She casually shrugged at me and said, “the procession…”

Madonna

Agerola transforms into Roman era Jerusalem for most of Holy Week. Period costume use thankfully culminates in a Good Friday procession, reenacting Christ’s final day and the crucifixion. When Caterina mentioned that there would be, “horses, music and fire pits,” I turned into the five year old. Surprised by my own mounting excitement I asked her, “Are you absolutely sure there will be horses?”

“Yes, silly, at least 50 of them,” she authoritatively informed me. In addition to chocolate eggs, Easter is also apparently……horses, music and fire pits. Now this was something I needed to see.

My experience with biblical reenactments had heretofore been limited to a lone debut role at First Christian Church’s Drive Through Nativity in Orange County, CA circa 1992. I auditioned for the role of angel– they wore pretty outfits and got to nance around the church roof for several hours, which seemed like fun. Unconvinced I was angel material, the church elders appointment me a ‘non-speaking’ shepherd role, and when I screwed up my one ‘line’ of solemnly pointing heavenward, they demoted me to Roman townsperson. I stayed in it for the food. We were promised a craft-services table replete with an unlimited array of hostess snack treats, strictly forbidden in our household. Unfortunately, hopped up on Ding-Dongs and Twinkies, I got a little nutty and began instructing the younger children to shout, “Hail freezer,” instead of the requisite “Hail Cesar.” Preternaturally sensing mutiny, Mrs. Wong, the Sunday school teacher lectured me about good Christian values and sent me home. I was not invited to audition the following year.

roman soldier

This year in Agerola, I would do it right. I would attend the full procession (in 21st century dress) and I would behave myself. Plus there would be the promise of horses and fire pits, if not hostess Ding-Dongs to keep me in check. As I soon learned, the full procession is 12 kilometers. Caterina failed to mention that part. It does feature a healthy number of Roman warriors on horseback, but Caterina might have also exaggerated a bit when she promised fifty. A local Agerolese plays Jesus and he must grow a rugged beard and walk barefoot for the full 12 kilometers, much of which includes bearing a cross. I was already digging the authenticity.

cross

The procession winds around horseshoe shaped Agerola, beginning in the neighborhood of St. Lazzaro with Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. I will venture a guess that the story of Easter is already widely known and won’t bog you down with details. I will say that a particularly rousing scene of Agerola’s procession occurs in Piazza Paolo Capasso in the neighborhood of Bomerano, where local business and apartments turn into a Roman mob scene. Pontius Pilate, whose Agerolese judicial quarters are above a gelato shop/ bar, dramatically proclaims, “I wash my hands,” and then several Roman warriors on horseback come whooshing through our normally sleepy piazza. Several tourists completing the Pathway to the Gods stumbled upon the scene. They were bewildered to say the least.

horseback

It required about six hours to complete the Good Friday procession. We plaintively recited the Ave Maria and watched the day’s events unfold. As the sun set and Jesus made his way up to a rocky cliff, a minor traffic jam occurred. A SITA bus, full of Easter tourists, needed to pass. Our biblical narrator broke character and instructed us to form lines on the roadside. Fortunately the Roman warriors complete with shields and spears acted as crowd control. We processioners happily greeted our visitors as they arrived in mountain top town of Agerola.

Around 9:00 PM, we reached the cliff top Parco Colonia (overlooking the Amalfi Coast), which would double as Mount Golgotha, the scene of the crucifixion. With a full moon overhead and an ominous array of booming, anachronistic sound effects we headed into a thick grove of chestnut trees. A fire pit illuminated the scene as several hundred solemnly watched Romans mount the final crucifix. Jesus, exhausted, shouted his final words, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

A final thunder boomed, the fire pit extinguished and we processioners for the first time all day, looked at one another. In this small town, we are family, friends and colleagues. Tomorrow we will eat our chocolate eggs and pastiera and lamb roasts, but for one brief moment, we looked at each other with innocent compassion, unified by the day’s procession. Next year, I am asking for a speaking role and possibly a horse and a craft-services table. But this year, I was content to be a prcoessioner because this year, for me, Easter is……Agerola.

Visit:

The Good Friday procession occurs every year in Agerola. It begins at roughly 2:30PM in the Piazza of St. Lazzaro and completes a full circular route of Agerola, and finally concludes in the cliff side neighborhood of St. Lazzaro. The same day and time, there is a second procession, which is more folkloric and musical. This second procession begins and ends at the Chiesa Tutti Santi in the neighborhood of Bomerano. The two processions do not cross so one must choose accordingly.

One need not visit Agerola during Easter to enjoy the sites along the processional route. Agerola is shaped as a horseshoe and the procession route follows the main road through the town. To enjoy Agerola’s vistas of the Amalfi Coast and classical churches, begin in Piazza Paolo Capasso (which also happens to be the entrance to the famous Pathway to the Gods) and follow the main road, Via Villani, in the direction of St. Lazarro. Pick up a sandwich with local Fiori di Latte cheese, at my favorite spot in Piazza Paolo Capasso, Salumeria Manna, and make the day a picnic.

Easter in Naples , Festivals & Celebrations , News & Events , Notes from Agerola , NU Blogs , Posts

Have a Holly Jolly Naples Weekend

By at April 2, 2015 | 4:08 pm | 0 Comment

Sartu di Riso Finished

Hello! Looks like my post last week worked! It’s finally sunny! Even if it doesn’t last, it’s nice for a while! :)

Due to it being Easter weekend, there’s not so much happening, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still great things for you to do, including #domenicaalmuseo, on Sunday 5th April, the monthly day of free entry to all state-run museums and archaeological sites etc.

You can also catch up with the month’s events, and what’s coming up, with Bonnie‘s ‘From the Editor’s Desk: Naples Monthly Roundup‘.  Bonnie also gives suggestions for a typical Easter meal, with the recipes, so even if you can’t make it to Naples, you can still feel like you have this great city near you!

HollyNEW

GENERAL EVENTS

Tonight, Thursday 2nd April, ‘Selma‘ is being shown in English, with Italian subtitles, at the Cinema Modernissimo, as part of their weekly series of movies in original language.

Every Sunday, enjoy ‘Sundays at the Solfatara‘, a walk around a natural oasis, at the Solfatara.

MUSIC, DANCE & THEATRE

Tonight, Thursday 2nd April, at the Casa della Musica, Fedez will be in concert.

On Friday 3rd April, Francesco De Gregori will be in concert at the Teatro Palapartenope.

Also on Friday, the San Carlo Theatre presents ‘Roberto De Simone – Stabat Mater‘.  A concert for Choir, Children’s choir, gospel vocal group, three accordions and the Orchestra of San Carlo Theatre.

Every Friday night, at the Casa d’Arte, there is a date with Teatro nel Piatto, an exciting blend of cabaret, singing and theatre of the absurd, seasoned with touches of Mediterranean cuisine, orchestrated by Pasquale Della Monaco, to raise money to help restore and re-open the Villa Ebe and its gardens to the public.

FAIRS/MARKETS

On Saturday 4th April, the Campagna Amica Coldiretti market will be in Naples.  You’ll find local products and healthy and affordable food with low environmental impact.

From 7th March – 12th April, in the Decumani area of the Centro Storico, there will be the IV Easter Fair.  The workshops along Via San Gregorio Armeno will be open, there will be food tasting and folk music.

Every Sunday at the Hippodrome Park of Agnano, there is an antique, craft and flea market.

Every Sunday at the Fiera di Nocera Inferiore, there is the Salone Dell’Usato, a large, covered market, selling crafts, antiques, collectibles and modern antiques/art.

FINISHING THIS WEEKEND

Today, 2nd April, is the last chance to see the ‘Io vivo come te‘ exhibition, dedicated to Pino Daniele, at San Biagio Maggiore.

Sunday 5th April is the last day to visit the ‘Willendorf’s overbooking‘ exhibition at Castel dell’Ovo.

Monday 6th April is the last day to submit applications to be part of the Appoline Project – a multi-disciplinary research project which seeks to bring to light the hitherto neglected past of the area to the north of the spectacular Mt. Vesuvius.  It is open to applications for the 2015 lab and field activities, which can be divided into: dig at the Roman villa with baths, boot camp of human forensic at the Medieval church in Pernosano, and study the pottery assemblage from the Suburban Baths in Pompeii.

The ‘L’elogio del mare‘ exhibition at Castel dell’Ovo ends on Tuesday 7th April.

Don’t forget, every Sunday at 10.30 there is a mass in English at the Christ Church in Naples.

Of course there are more events currently on around Naples, details of which you can find on our events pages.

Have a very happy Easter – relax, eat, drink and be merry!

I’ll be back next week with more fun things to do! :)

Blog , Festivals & Celebrations , Posts , Weekender , Willmott

From the Editor’s Desk: Naples Monthly Roundup

By at April 1, 2015 | 4:09 pm | 1 Comments

PopeandTimTenClay

Bonnie

As the old saying goes, March came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. In between there was lots of rain and wind and many cold, damp days, but March also gave us a few beautiful, sunny days to wander the city and breath in its splendour. Marzo è Pazzo – March is Crazy or so they say, let’s just hope April brings back the sanity and more importantly, the sun.

The big news for March was the Pope’s visit to Napoli. In (non) Neapolitan fashion, the crowds were super organised, everyone was on their best behaviour and the entire day went off without a hitch. Georgie Knaggs captured the essence of the day in her post My day in Naples with Pope Francis and Tim TenClay captured some great images during an “ecumenical and interfaith meet and greet”. Apparently, a photo of Tim with the Pope was snapped too!

PopeandTimTenClay

During the last weekend in March, FAI days drew in the crowds and we celebrated Earthour and set our clocks back one hour… hmm, maybe that defeated the purpose of Earthhour??? Holly cut off her hair for her birthday, but really for charity and we celebrated the long awaited return of Giuseppe who joined us this month to whip up a bountiful batch of Sartù di Riso Napoletano. Oh, and there was a solar eclipse too!!!

Sartu di Riso Finished

Meanwhile, Ann and I attended John Hooper’s presentation of his latest book, The Italians and we had the great pleasure of speaking about the NU Guide to Naples and Ann’s Tweeting DaVinci to two local groups, the American International Women’s Club(AIWC) Naples and the Naples Commonwealth Ladies Club. We were also thrilled to receive a very nice quote from Professor Mary Beard, eminent historian and renowned expert on Pompeii who said:

This looks like all you need to know to get the most out of a visit to Naples… one of my favourite cities.

It was a very busy month indeed.

We’ve been at this website/blog thing for a little while now. As I said back in January, I didn’t even realise it had been five years until Holly brought it to my attention. Time flies when you’re doing the work you love. From the start, our goal with NU has been to promote the city of Naples – its cultural treasures and natural resources. We have never wavered from that pursuit. Our Facebook, TwitterFlickr and Instagram pages paint a stunning portrait of Napoli and our NU Guide to Naples is an homage to the city we so love.

The feedback we’ve received, especially in the last two years has been overwhelming and overwhelmingly positive, and it has led me to believe that NU and the many other initiatives around the city like ours have helped to change the conversation. Film crews have sojourned here, several major news organisations have written positive articles about the city, I see more and more positive blog posts, and I get more and more requests for information from travelers who say had it not been for NU, they would have been scared off coming to Naples. Meanwhile, I’ve continued to do what I’ve always done…

…fill my pages with stories about the history and archaeology I get to wander around in, the breathtaking seascapes and landscapes I soak in everyday, or about the warm, generous and kind people I call my friends.

…and somewhere along this journey, I began to forget that the negative stereotypes still exist. A recent encounter with a woman at a business function reminded me otherwise. An anglo expat living “somewhere north of Naples”,  shall we say, her crass remarks and blatant bigotry reminded me we must remain diligent. In all fairness however, she was only one in a number of people I met that day, and all others I met genuinely had nothing but the kindest words to say about Napoli. Maybe, just maybe, things are changing after all!!!

In the News

Naples on the Blogs

Naples in Video

Napoli, Festival del Bacio 2015 #cuoredinapoli

The Month Ahead

The Special Superintendent for Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabia announced summer hours for the Vesuvian Excavations: Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabia, Oplontis and Boscoreale. The sites will be open daily 08.30 – 19.30 (last entrance at 18.00) April 1st through October 31st. Additionally, all of these sites will be open on Easter, and as Easter coincides with the first Sunday of the month, entry will be free thanks to the initiative Domenica al Museo. These sites will also be open regular hours Easter Monday – regular entry fees apply.

Speaking of Easter, Good Friday is celebrated by solemn processions, both on Procida and in Sorrento and for Easter day, here’s Giuseppe’s Menù di Pasqua a Napoli.

Antipasti
‘A Fellata and Casatiello

Primo Piatto
Minestra Maritata

Secondo Piatto
Capretto al Forno con Patate

Dolce
Pastiera

London Book Fair – we will be taking the NU Guide to the London Book Fair April 14 – 16th. If you are in London during those days, drop me a line, I would love to say hello.

Save the date: We’ve been so busy we neither have the venue nor the trimmings organised, but we are planning a big celebration of the NU Guide for the evening of May 14th.

There is still time to register for the CILS exam – Certification di Italiano come Lingua Straineri. The exam will be on June 11th at Centro Italiano Napoli and you can register until the 17th of April. Contact Centro Italiano for more info.

A Few Special Events for April in Napoli Town – Fiera del baratto e dell’usato – Second hand and exchange fair returns to Mostra d’Oltremare April 18th and Quattro zampe in fiera – Four paws at the fair is back for its second edition the same weekend. The last day of the month is the first day of Napoli Comicon, the annual International Exhibition of Comics, one of the most important comic festivals in Europe.

For the Napoli Expat – Catch up with old friends and meet new ones at the monthly Naples International Happy Hour, tonight, April 1st. Christ Church Naples offers weekly services every Sunday in English and this month they will host a Fish and Chip Supper. Don’t miss the AIWC’s monthly meeting on April 11th and Cinema in Original Language at the Cinema Academy Astra (presented by  CLA – Centro Linguistico di Ateneo) and at Multicinema Modernissimo. Find all of Naples English Speaking events.

Buona Pasqua a Tutti and have an amazing April!!!

Blog , Bonnie's Napoli , Easter in Naples , Festivals & Celebrations , News & Events , Op/Ed , Posts

Have a Holly Jolly Naples Weekend

By at March 26, 2015 | 2:17 pm | 0 Comment

FAI2015

Hello hello!  How are we all doing this fine Thursday?  Enjoying the sunshine and slightly warmer temperature?  Let’s keep our fingers crossed it stays this way!
HollyNEW

As always, there are loads of great things to do this weekend, and in particular: on Saturday 28th, in connection with ‘Notte degli innamorati’, there is the ‘Festival del bacio 2015‘.  Like last year, there will be a 6km route where shops will decorate their windows in the theme of hearts and will be open until 22:00, but this year it will be in the “heart” of Naples, the Centro Storico (Historical Centre); on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th, it’s ‘FAI days of Spring 2015‘ – a whole weekend of open days and guided tours.  Houses, monuments and more will be open extraordinarily, for one weekend only!

GENERAL EVENTS

Tonight, Thursday 26th March, ‘Inherent Vice‘ is being shown in English, with Italian subtitles, at the Cinema Modernissimo, as part of their weekly series of movies in original language.

If you don’t fancy the film tonight, then on Tuesday 31st, at the Cinema Academy Astra, there is one of CLA’s series of movies in original language.  This week the film is ‘Hannah Arendt‘.

On Saturday 28th March, there is a Night time visit to the crater – a special opportunity to visit the crater of the Solfatara.  Visitors will also be able to try some Agnanum Falanghina wine and try some fish cooked geothermally, over the steam holes.

Also on Saturday, and Sunday, there are guided tours of the Terme di Agnano (Roman thermal baths), organised by GAN (Gruppo Archeologico Napoletano).

Friday, Saturday and Sunday are ‘Social Change Weekend‘, the innovation and social change competition, organised by the Project Ahead cooperative.  A chance for people of all ages to present their ideas for a new business relating to social change.  If you want to take part, you must enrol TODAY, Thursday 26th March.  The weekend’s events will take place at the Fondazione Quartieri Spagnoli.

There is an incredibly exciting guided tour on Sunday 29th, of the hidden treasures of the Reggia di Caserta.  Cose mai viste takes visitors on a tour of the vaulted ceilings and hidden parts of the palace.

There are also two sporting events on Sunday 29th – Givova Napoli vs Aurora Jesi basketball match, at the PalaBarbuto and Briganti Napoli vs Aquile Ferrara American football match, at the Stadio Comunale Di Grumo Nevano.

Every weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), until 29th March, there are evening guided tours of the Catacombs of San Gennaro.  ‘The Lights Inside‘ is a hugely successful guided tour, a journey of lights, sounds and images that rewrites the Catacombs of San Gennaro, seen not only as a burial place, but as a real womb where life takes shape.  There will also be the virtual figure of Andrea De Jorio, archaeologist and ethnographer from Procida (born 1769), author of an important guide to the catacombs, who will host the visitors as an ironic and elegant “presence”.

Every Sunday, enjoy ‘Sundays at the Solfatara‘, a walk around a natural oasis, at the Solfatara.

Fare arte a Scampia‘, an art exhibition of a project aimed at uniting the district through art, will take place on Monday 30th March at CasArcobaleno.

On Wednesday 1st April, at Barril, there is the monthly ‘Naples International Happy Hour‘.  Your chance to meet new people from all over the world, make new friends and business connections.

MUSIC, DANCE & THEATRE

Tonight, Thursday 26th, as part of the Pietà de’ Turchini Foundation series of concerts, there is a concert by Elisa Citterio and Stefano Demicheli, at Palazzo Zevallos.

Tomorrow night, there is a concert as part of the Seven Centuries of Sacred Organ Music in Naples series of concerts – Antonio Varriano – at the Chiesa dell’Immacolata.

On Friday 27th March, Monday 30th March and Wednesday 1st April there is something special for English speaking children (and adults!) – ‘Romeo and Juliet…. Maybe!‘ – part of the series of shows as part of ‘Teatro dei Piccoli‘ at the Mostra d’Oltremare.  This show is special because it is the only one in English, and is being put on by English actors.

Another show as part of ‘Teatro dei Piccoli‘ is ‘Pulcinella Che Passione‘, in Italian, on Sunday 29th March.

Every Friday night, at the Casa d’Arte, there is a date with Teatro nel Piatto, an exciting blend of cabaret, singing and theatre of the absurd, seasoned with touches of Mediterranean cuisine, orchestrated by Pasquale Della Monaco, to raise money to help restore and re-open the Villa Ebe and its gardens to the public.

Turandot‘ started at the San Carlo Theatre on Saturday 21st March, and runs until 1st April.  Alongside the main performances, on the morning of Saturday 28th March there is a special performance – ‘Turandot for families‘.

On Sunday 29th, there is ‘Caravaggio at the Museo Diocesano – 21 Tableaux Vivants‘.  7 actors enact the masterpieces of the great Master, at the Museum of the Naples Diocese.

FAIRS/MARKETS

This Sunday, there is the 14th edition of ‘DiscoDays‘, the record and cd fair designed to promote music and the culture of listening, and which hosts musicians, critics, teachers and experts, who will take courses and seminars on music and listening – at the Palapartenope.  This edition will be dedicated to Pino Daniele.

On Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March, the Campagna Amica Coldiretti market will be in Naples and Bagnoli.  You’ll find local products and healthy and affordable food with low environmental impact.

From 7th March – 12th April, in the Decumani area of the Centro Storico, there will be the IV Easter Fair.  The workshops along Via San Gregorio Armeno will be open, there will be food tasting and folk music.

Every Sunday at the Hippodrome Park of Agnano, there is an antique, craft and flea market.

Every Sunday at the Fiera di Nocera Inferiore, there is the Salone Dell’Usato, a large, covered market, selling crafts, antiques, collectibles and modern antiques/art.

FINISHING THIS WEEKEND

The exhibition ‘Posillipo, mare… Napule‘ by Gennaro Guzzi, at the Monumental Complex of San Severo al Pendino, finishes today, 26th.

Another art exhibition finishing this weekend (Saturday 28th) is ‘Teatime Cabbage‘, by Bruno Agolini, at Fiorillo Arte.

This weekend sees the last few days of ‘Marzo donna 2015 – Campaign for prevention at the Terme di Agnano‘.  A series of events which are trying to raise awareness of women’s health, and the importance of prevention rather than cure.

Don’t forget, every Sunday at 10.30 there is a mass in English at the Christ Church in Naples.

Of course there are more events currently on around Naples, details of which you can find on our events pages.

I will be back next weekend…. a year older and with less hair! 😀

Have a good one. :)

Blog , Festivals & Celebrations , Posts , Weekender , Willmott

Have a Holly Jolly Naples Weekend

By at March 19, 2015 | 1:30 pm | 0 Comment

PopeFrancisNaples

Hi! I hope you are all well this fine Thursday. :)
HollyNEW

As always, there are loads of great things to do this weekend, but the big event is Pope Francis’s visit to Naples.  Whether you’re religious or not, this will affect you, as a number of streets will be shut, transport diverted etc.  To see how transport will be affected, click here.  For those wanting to learn more about the Pope (and his visit), read Tim TenClay‘s post here.

GENERAL EVENTS

Tonight, Thursday 19th March, the 4 Oscar winning ‘Birdman‘ is being shown in English, with Italian subtitles, at the Cinema Modernissimo, as part of their weekly series of movies in original language.

If you don’t fancy the film tonight, then on Tuesday 24th, at the Cinema Academy Astra, there is one of CLA’s series of movies in original language.  This week the film is ‘Only Lovers Left Alive‘.

Friday 20th and Saturday 21st see the last two, free, origami workshops at the Cartoleria F.lli Amodio, in via Port’Alba.  This weekend’s theme is Spring.

On Saturday 21st March, there is a Night time visit to the crater – a special opportunity to visit the crater of the Solfatara.  Visitors will also be able to try some Agnanum Falanghina wine and try some fish cooked geothermally, over the steam holes.

Also on Saturday, and Sunday, there are guided tours of the Terme di Agnano (Roman thermal baths), organised by GAN (Gruppo Archeologico Napoletano).

There is an incredibly exciting guided tour on Sunday 22nd, of the hidden treasures of the Reggia di Caserta.  Cose mai viste takes visitors on a tour of the vaulted ceilings and hidden parts of the palace.

There are also two sporting events on Sunday 22ndGivova Napoli vs Pallacanestro Trapani basketball match, at the PalaBarbuto and SSC Napoli vs Atalanta football match, at the San Paolo Stadium.

Every weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), until 29th March, there are evening guided tours of the Catacombs of San Gennaro.  ‘The Lights Inside‘ is a hugely successful guided tour, a journey of lights, sounds and images that rewrites the Catacombs of San Gennaro, seen not only as a burial place, but as a real womb where life takes shape.  There will also be the virtual figure of Andrea De Jorio, archaeologist and ethnographer from Procida (born 1769), author of an important guide to the catacombs, who will host the visitors as an ironic and elegant “presence”.

MUSIC, DANCE & THEATRE

Every Friday night, at the Casa d’Arte, there is a date with Teatro nel Piatto, an exciting blend of cabaret, singing and theatre of the absurd, seasoned with touches of Mediterranean cuisine, orchestrated by Pasquale Della Monaco, to raise money to help restore and re-open the Villa Ebe and its gardens to the public.

On Friday 20th, there will be a concert at the Gaetano Filangieri Civic Museum, by Elena Cappelletti and Kaori Matsui, as part of ‘Music at the Museum’.

Also on Friday, Caparezza is in concert at the Palapartenope.

Turandot‘ starts at the San Carlo Theatre on Saturday 21st March, and runs until 1st April.

As part of the series of Concerts at Villa Floridiana, on Sunday 22nd there is a concert by Alberto Urroz and Andion Fernandez.

On Sunday 22nd and Monday 23rd, there is another appointment with ‘Teatro dei Piccoli‘.  This week they are putting on ‘Musica dell’Infinito’, so if you have Italian speaking little ones, head to the Mostra d’Oltremare.

Another one for the little (and big) ones in your life, is ‘Sognando Violetta‘ – the musical (Italian tribute) – based on the incredibly successful TV series.  The show will be at the Palapartenope on Sunday 22nd March.

FAIRS/MARKETS

On Sunday 22nd March the Campagna Amica Coldiretti market will be in Naples and San Giorgio a Cremano.  It will also be in Naples on Wednesday 25th.  You’ll find local products and healthy and affordable food with low environmental impact.

From 7th March – 12th April, in the Decumani area of the Centro Storico, there will be the IV Easter Fair.  The workshops along Via San Gregorio Armeno will be open, there will be food tasting and folk music.

Every Sunday at the Hippodrome Park of Agnano, there is an antique, craft and flea market.

Every Sunday at the Fiera di Nocera Inferiore, there is the Salone Dell’Usato, a large, covered market, selling crafts, antiques, collectibles and modern antiques/art.

STARTING THIS WEEKEND

Starting today, Thursday 19th, there is an exhibition dedicated to Pino Daniele, ‘Io vivo come te‘, as today would have been his 60th birthday.  The exhibition is at San Biagio Maggiore and runs until 2nd April.

Don’t forget, every Sunday at 10.30 there is a mass in English at the Christ Church in Naples.

Of course there are more events currently on around Naples, details of which you can find on our events pages.

Have a great weekend. :)

Blog , Festa della Donna , Festivals & Celebrations , Posts , Weekender , Willmott

Have a Holly Jolly Naples Weekend

By at March 12, 2015 | 10:18 am | 1 Comments

ReggiadiCasertavault

Hello! How are you?  Tickety boo, I hope!
HollyNEW

As always, there are some fab things to do this weekend.

GENERAL EVENTS

Tonight, Thursday 12th March, ‘Still Alice‘ is being shown in English, with Italian subtitles, at the Cinema Modernissimo, as part of their weekly series of movies in original language.

Saturday morning sees the monthly meet-up of the AIWC (American International Women’s Club).  This month they have some special speakers – our very own Bonnie Alberts, discussing our NEW BOOK, the ‘Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples‘, and Anne Pizzorusso, discussing her book ‘Tweeting Da Vinci‘!

On Saturday 14th March, there is a Night time visit to the crater – a special opportunity to visit the crater of the Solfatara.  Visitors will also be able to try some Agnanum Falanghina wine and try some fish cooked geothermally, over the steam holes.

There is an incredibly exciting guided tour on Sunday 15th, of the hidden treasures of the Reggia di Caserta.  “Cose mai viste” takes visitors on a tour of the vaulted ceilings and hidden parts of the palace.

On Sunday 15th March, there is a special visit to the historical centre of Salerno – from the Verdi Theatre to the Duomo, organised by GAN (Gruppo Archeologico Napoletano).

Every weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), until 29th March, there are evening guided tours of the Catacombs of San Gennaro.  ‘The Lights Inside‘ is a hugely successful guided tour, a journey of lights, sounds and images that rewrites the Catacombs of San Gennaro, seen not only as a burial place, but as a real womb where life takes shape.  There will also be the virtual figure of Andrea De Jorio, archaeologist and ethnographer from Procida (born 1769), author of an important guide to the catacombs, who will host the visitors as an ironic and elegant “presence”.

MUSIC, DANCE & THEATRE

Every Friday night, at the Casa d’Arte, there is a date with Teatro nel Piatto, an exciting blend of cabaret, singing and theatre of the absurd, seasoned with touches of Mediterranean cuisine, orchestrated by Pasquale Della Monaco, to raise money to help restore and re-open the Villa Ebe and its gardens to the public.

On Sunday 15th and Monday 16th, there is another appointment with ‘Teatro dei Piccoli‘.  This week they are putting on ‘Le Avventure di Pinocchio’, so if you have Italian speaking little ones, head to the Mostra d’Oltremare.

FAIRS/MARKETS

From 7th March – 12th April, in the Decumani area of the Centro Storico, there will be the IV Easter Fair.  The workshops along Via San Gregorio Armeno will be open, there will be food tasting and folk music.

Every Sunday at the Hippodrome Park of Agnano, there is an antique, craft and flea market.

Every Sunday at the Fiera di Nocera Inferiore, there is the Salone Dell’Usato, a large, covered market, selling crafts, antiques, collectibles and modern antiques/art.

STARTING THIS WEEKEND

There are three exhibitions starting on Saturday 14th: Posillipo, mare… Napule’ by Gennaro Guzzi at the Monumental Complex of San Severo al Pendino – until 26th March; ‘Teatime Cabbage‘ by Bruno Agolini at Fiorillo Arte – until 28th March; ‘La vita è un collage… 50 anni di arte e non solo‘ by Dario Cusani at Castel dell’Ovo – until 12th April.

FINISHING THIS WEEKEND

Today, Thursday 12th, is the last day to visit three exhibitions: ‘I Miserabili‘ and ‘Seanes’ at PAN and ‘Eros e Pathosat San Severo al Pendino.

Tomorrow, Friday 13th, is the last day of the ‘Sette Opere per la Misercordia‘ exhibition at Pio Monte della Misericordia.

Saturday 14th sees the last meeting of ‘Napoli and contemporary art: The Museums, the Foundations, the Galleries‘, with a visit to the ‘Arte in’ exhibition at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Napoli.

Don’t forget, every Sunday at 10.30 there is a mass in English at the Christ Church in Naples.

Of course there are more events currently on around Naples, details of which you can find on our events pages.

Have a fantastic weekend! :)

Blog , Festa della Donna , Festivals & Celebrations , Posts , Weekender , Willmott

Mamma Mia!

By at March 6, 2015 | 10:15 am | 0 Comment

Giovanna 1

Giovanna 1Nessuno è nato imparato… Nobody is born taught.” This was the constant refrain of my mother-in-law when I met her last year. I have no idea why this became her chosen maxim when in my company. I surmise it was largely because I was a dumb American who bought Illy coffee instead of Kimbo (no self respecting Agerolese ever drinks Illy), failed to prepare a proper plate of pasta and generally lacked a certain Neapolitan saper fare – knowhow on all counts

My ignorance and American provenance aside, our ‘mother-daughter’ relationship was quite harmoniously uncomplicated in those early days. She lectured me on everything from the virtues of growing long womanly hair to the importance of boiling water before washing dishes. These lectures were conducted exclusively in loud, rapid-fire Neapolitan dialect and always concluded with her resounding declaration, “è così ou no… am I right or am I right?” Out of both incomprehension and fear, I agreed with absolutely everything she said, an arrangement that suited us both just fine.

As a special treat to me, my suocera paraded me to countless church festivals last summer and introduced me to all and sundry as her ‘American friend,’ generally neglecting to mention my relationship with her son or ignoring his presence entirely. This was a source of both amusement and consternation to local townspeople who likely wondered why a young American woman with little grasp of the local dialect was squiring an 88 year-old Neapolitan lady around town.

Now I will say that even if it were not for my relationship with her son, I derive endless amounts of enjoyment from my mother-in-law’s company. Before meeting Giuseppe, and thusly his mother, I always thought that if I could choose my own mother-in-law, I might choose the saucy Dianna Vreeland or perhaps Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who seems to enjoy a good glass of wine. Both are fine ladies to be sure, but they ain’t got nothing on my suocera.

Signora Giovanna Iovieno is 88 years old. She does what she wants, when she wants.  There is no negotiating with her because she is smarter than you and she will win, and possibly make you cry in the process. Her incredible mental faculty is only matched by her unparalleled resourcefulness. In the last year I have been the fortunate, if unwitting recipient of her daily teachings, and in honor of Italy’s Festa della Donna, I share my top five lessons with you:

  1. Think twice before ever throwing anything away. Countless seemingly useless objects can be brought back to life with a little chutzpah and creativity. When you see a pile of broken umbrellas, Signora Giovanna sees a potential line of fashionable skirts and bespoke canes. Put your thinking caps on.
  2. Drink at least one liter of water a day. This water should be room temperature and is best served from a recycled plastic Coca Cola bottle that lives under the sink. Swig from that bottle all day long, and at the end of the day it should be empty. If not, get drinking, and don’t forget to go to the bathroom before you go to bed.
  3. Mold is not a surefire signal that food has gone bad. Sniff potentially offending food.  If unconvinced, ignore what grade school teachers said about not employing the ‘taste test’ to scientific discoveries of unknown provenance, and eat a bit of said food. If you are still unconvinced food is good, feed to your pig or your dog or your compost heap.
  4. Sing loudly and daily. Singing is also a particularly useful strategy if you would like to ignore certain family members, such as your son who has the temerity to suggest you throw out a treasured collection of plastic bags and pizza boxes. This singing strategy produces most desirable results when employed in three tiers to signal your general level of frustration. For Tier 3, sing something like Renato Carsone’s Tu Vuò Fa’ l’americano to indicate mild frustration. For more egregious affronts, escalate to singing Tier 2 and choose a song with a good raucous crescendo such as ‘O Surdato Nnamurato. When you get to the “oje vita, oje vita mia” part sing with real verve. This will help get your anger out and alert your audience to your mounting anger. Tier 1 is best used sparingly and in moments of blind, white rage. And there can only be one song for that……..O Sole Mio! Sing that song loudly and on repeat for as long as it takes while aimlessly wandering around the house. Your audience will be putty in your hands in no time.
  5. Nessuno è nato imparato. Learn as much as you can every day.  Be curious and always ask questions.

Everyday I learn something new from Giovanna Iovienno.  And what better teacher than a proud Neapolitan woman, è così ou no?

Blog , Festa della Donna , Festivals & Celebrations , Melia , Notes from Agerola , Posts

Have a Holly Jolly Naples Weekend

By at March 5, 2015 | 5:11 pm | 0 Comment

Mimosa

Hi all! How are you doing?  Staying dry with all this rain?!
HollyNEW

As always, there are some fab things to do this weekend, but in particular this Sunday, 8th March, it’s International Women’s Day (click here for more posts about it).

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

The Comune have released a huge program of events for ‘Marzo Donna 2015‘ (Women’s March 2015).  Below are some of the events happening this year.

From 1st – 12th March, there will be an exhibition, ‘I Miserabili‘, at PAN.

From 2nd – 31st March at the Terme di Agnano, there will be a campaign for prevention, raising awareness among women of the importance of prevention and spa treatments when it comes to health.  There will be free specialist advice throughout the month.

On Sunday 8th itself, there will be many events in and around the city, a few of which are:

GENERAL EVENTS

Tonight, Thursday 5th March, ‘Dancing with Maria‘ is being shown in Spanish, with Italian subtitles, at the Cinema Modernissimo, as part of their weekly series of movies in original language.

If you don’t fancy that film then on Tuesday 10th March the CLA (Centro Linguistico di Ateneo) is showing ‘August: Osage County‘, in English, as part of their series of movies in original language, at the Cinema Academy Astra.

On Sunday 8th March, there is a special visit to the newly opened “Leopoldo De Feis” Etruscan Archeological Museum, organised by GAN (Gruppo Archeologico Napoletano).

There are two sporting events on Sunday 8th March: football match – SSC Napoli vs Inter at the Stadio San Paolo, and American football match – Briganti Napoli vs Marines Lazio at the Stadio Comunale di Grumo Nevano.

Every weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), until 29th March, there are evening guided tours of the Catacombs of San Gennaro.  ‘The Lights Inside‘ is a hugely successful guided tour, a journey of lights, sounds and images that rewrites the Catacombs of San Gennaro, seen not only as a burial place, but as a real womb where life takes shape.  There will also be the virtual figure of Andrea De Jorio, archaeologist and ethnographer from Procida (born 1769), author of an important guide to the catacombs, who will host the visitors as an ironic and elegant “presence”.

MUSIC, DANCE & THEATRE

Tristan and Isolde‘ at the San Carlo Theatre finishes tonight, Thursday 5th March.

The AIWC (American International Women’s Club) will be holding a fundraising concert, ‘Sinatra and Beyond‘, on Friday 6th March at Palazzo Carafa di Maddaloni.

On Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th, at the San Carlo Theatre, John Axelrod and David Garrett will be in concert.

As part of the series of concerts at the Villa Floridiana, on Sunday 8th March there will be a concert/recital, ‘Texts of Dante‘.

Also on Sunday 8th March, Verdena are in concert at the Casa della Musica.

Monday 9th March sees Ornella Vanoni perform her show ‘Un filo di trucco, un filo di tacco’ (A little make-up, a little heel), at the Teatro Augusteo.

FAIRS/MARKETS

From 7th March – 12th April, in the Decumani area of the Centro Storico, there will be the IV Easter Fair.  The workshops along Via San Gregorio Armeno will be open, there will be food tasting and folk music.

Every Sunday at the Hippodrome Park of Agnano, there is an antique, craft and flea market.

Every Sunday at the Fiera di Nocera Inferiore, there is the Salone Dell’Usato, a large, covered market, selling crafts, antiques, collectibles and modern antiques/art.

STARTING THIS WEEKEND

Starting tomorrow, Friday 6th March, is the ‘Winters/Smith‘ exhibition at Casamadre.  The exhibition runs until 15th May 2015.

FINISHING THIS WEEKEND

Finishing on Sunday 8th March is ‘The Coloured Souls of Pasquale Di Maria‘ exhibition at Castel dell’Ovo.

On Monday 9th March, the Luca Amelio exhibition at MADRE finishes.

Don’t forget, every Sunday at 10.30 there is a mass in English at the Christ Church in Naples.

Of course there are more events currently on around Naples, details of which you can find on our events pages.

Have a really great weekend. :)

Blog , Festa della Donna , Festivals & Celebrations , Posts , Weekender , Willmott

From the Editor’s Desk: Naples Monthly Roundup

By at March 1, 2015 | 11:03 am | 1 Comments

SnowCapped Vesuvius

Bonnie

February came and went with a flash and I can hardly believe we are already inching our way towards spring. The weather was mostly cold and wet, but when the sun did shine, oh what vistas it did reveal, especially of Vesuvius, who was col cappello bianco, with its snow cap on for much of the month.

Not only was there snow on the mountain, but we even saw snow in Piazza del Plebiscito and here in Chiaia, a rarity in our part of Italy. How crazy is that? Of course as they say, Marzo è Pazzo – March is Crazy – so who knows what’s in store this month.

SnowCapped Vesuvius

March may be a wet, wild and windy month, but the appearance of a certain iconic yellow flower will brighten up even the greyest of days. The flower in question is the Mimosa, and yes, I like it almost as much as I like the drink. It’s symbolism – both here in Italy and in Russia – is International Women’s Day.

MimosaThis more than 100 year old tradition with its roots in the US has become a worldwide event that is celebrated every year on March 8th. It’s an opportunity to honour women and their accomplishments and celebrate the strides we have made towards equality on all fronts. Having come of age at the tail end of the “women’s movement” in America, or more precisely, Second-wave feminism, I was the benefactor of all those who trod the path before me and I have witnessed first hand (and hopefully have been a part) of the strides we have made in the last 30 years. My past is replete with relationships with strong, independent females  who guided and inspired me – bosses, colleagues, teachers, friends and especially my Mother. In recent years, my work life has led to truly rewarding collaborations with a long list of talented females – writers, artists and musicians; scholars, professors and teachers; accountants and lawyers; computer nerds and graphic designers; daughters, sisters, mothers, wives and friends.

I introduced you to some of these women last month – my collaborators on the NU Guide and of course our events manager extraordinaire, Holly. Apparently I missed another anniversary – February marked Holly’s one year anniversary with NU. This month we welcome a new female collaborator to the NU pages, US born and bred Kristin Melia. A Georgetown grad, she’s found a new home with her fiancé Giuseppe at the tippy top of the Amalfi coast. She is keeping herself busy as “an unwitting pizza lady, ingredient forager, mozzarella puller, tomato taster and occasional grape stomper” and writing here website and blog Sauced & Found. Kristen will be joining NU this month with her series, Notes from Agerola.

And now… I’d like to take a moment to talk about another important female in my life, my friend Ann Pizzorusso who writes the NU EarthScape Naples series and who recently published her own book, Tweeting Da Vinci. Our mutual love for Naples, history, art and most importantly wine brought us together and our shared experience of writing and publishing a book has cemented that bond. Ann and I took many “research” trips together for our respective projects and her unwavering support and enduring friendship has kept me afloat through this entire process. Ann is fearless and determined and I am in awe of what she has accomplished in her life: she became a geologist back in the day when women just didn’t become geologists (she was the only woman in her graduating class) and went on to drill for oil and clean up toxic waste; she earned a midlife masters degree in Italian Renaissance Studies; and then, in only the way Ann could have, she brought these two seemingly disparate fields of study together into one stunning piece of work. But don’t take my word for it, meet Ann yourself and learn about her incredible book here:

Ann is my role model, my friend and I can’t thank her enough for taking me along on her journey. I’ve been to places with her I would have never ventured alone and she’s introduced me to a laundry list of amazing and interesting characters only Ann could meet, the least of which is the brilliant conductor, Maestro Zubin Mehta who we met just a few nights ago and another conductor, Stefania Rinaldi, the first woman to ever conduct at the San Carlo.

I wrote about Stefania a few years back and that article became the basis for the final entry in one of the most interesting sections in our upcoming guide. Thanks to Barbara Zaragoza, who by the way is taking the South Bay area by storm as a freelance writer and who is racking up a long list of accomplishments including her recently published photographic history of San Ysidro and The Tijuana River Valley, we have an entire section devoted to the remarkable women, mythical and real, who left a profound mark on Naples history.

Defying the stereotype that Neapolitan women […] remain dedicated to domesticity and motherhood, sublimating their desires to those of a husband or family, the reality is that the public lives of Neapolitan women jump out at every corner. […] So many women played a role in the myth and the making of Naples; this section is a celebration of (just) some of the She-apolitans who shaped the history of this region, from ancient times to the modern era.

To all the women in my life – you ROCK!!!

In the News

Naples on the Blogs

Naples in Video

A look at Naples obsession with football, This is Napoli features some great images of the city, provides isights into the Neapolitan mindset and touches on the issues of the North/South divide in Italy and the tragic death of Ciro Esposito, the 27 year old Neapolitan who was shot on his way to the Coppa Italia Final in Rome.

The Month Ahead

The big news for March in Napoli town – besides International Women’s Day of course, is Pope Francis’ visit to Naples on March 21st. The Pope has a packed schedule, including an 1100 Mass in Piazza del Plebiscito. In other news, Gourmeet, the first Conad Sapori e Dintorni store in southern Italy opened on Via Albardieri in Chiaia. In art news, the Cultural Association Art 1307 is bringing Californian artist, Laddie John Dill to Naples for their annual “Artist in Residence” program. He arrives March 3rd and will be working out of a beautiful studio in Posillipo and he has several events planned during his time here.

Gourmeet

With the opening of NOI’s third salon on the horizon, Giuseppe is still MIA, but here are two recipes sure to please on those crazy March days: Fettuccine alla Re Ferdinando II – creamy ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, sweet tomatoes and basil, and just a hint of savoury prosciutto paired with a long and luxurious pasta; and Carne alla Pizzaiola – like peanut butter and chocolate, it’s a match made in heaven.

For the cold and rainy March days in Napoli town – why not visit any one of Naples many museums. Here are two new museums to try, MAMT – Museo Mediterraneo dell’Arte, della Musica e delle Tradizioni or book yourself a visit at the newly opened Etruscan Archaeological Museum. On the off chance we have a few sunny days this month, why not give Naples Bike Sharing Pilot Program a try. And speaking of spring, its definitely not too early to plan your trip to see the Good Friday Procession on Procida.

For the Napoli Expat – If you are you new to Naples, check out Tim TenClay’s Your Love is my Drug. Catch up with old friends and meet new ones at the monthly Naples International Happy Hour on March 4th or the weekly services every Sunday at Christ Church. Don’t miss the AIWC Benefit Concert on March 6th, their monthly meeting on March 14th and Cinema in Original Language at the Cinema Academy Astra (presented by  CLA – Centro Linguistico di Ateneo) and at Multicinema Modernissimo. Find all of Naples English Speaking events.

Buona Festa della Donna a Tutte Voi and have a great March!!!

Blog , Bonnie's Napoli , Festa della Donna , Festivals & Celebrations , News & Events , Op/Ed , Posts

Naples Museums Open For Easter Weekend 2014

By at April 17, 2014 | 8:15 am | 0 Comment

San-Martino-Charterhouse-Large-Cloister

If you’re in Naples this Easter weekend and want to know what’s open, here are the opening hours of Naples Museums:capodimonte-royalpalace

Capodimonte Museum
Sunday – 8:30 – 19:30
Monday – 8:30 – 19:30
THE PARK IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC.  Access to the museum is only possible via the Porta Piccola entrance.

San Martino Charterhouse and Museum
Sunday – 8:30 – 19:30
Monday – 8:30 – 19:30

Castel Sant’Elmo
Sunday – 8:30 – 19:30
Monday – 8:30 – 19:30

Pignatelli Museum
Sunday – 8:30 – 14:00
Monday – 8:30 – 14:00

Duca di Martina National Ceramics Museum and Villa Floridiana
Sunday – Museum and park – 8:30 – 14:00
Monday – Museum and park – Closed
Tuesday – Open

Capri – Charterhouse of San Giacomo
Sunday – 8:30 – 14:00
Monday – 8:30 – 14:00
Tuesday – Closed

Caserta – Royal Palace (Reggia di Caserta)
Sunday – 8:30 – 19:30
Monday – 8:30 – 19:30 – ONLY THE APARTMENTS ARE OPEN – THE PARK IS CLOSED.

For more information, please click here.

Easter in Naples , News & Events , Posts

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