The sixteenth edition of May of the Monuments, a celebration of Naples’ Cultural Heritage: its art, architecture, archaeology, literature, theater, music, and cultural traditions will take place over the 5 weekends starting May 1st and running until June 5th 2010. It is a uique opportunity to discover the many treasures of Naples, some which are inaccessible during the year, and to visit the museums (often at a special price or for free), and explore the city through guided tours led by experts in Neapolitan history.

Continuing on the theme presented by the Return to the Baroque Exhibits that ran from December through April, this year May of the Monuments celebrates the Baroque era of Naples. That time from approximately 1600 – 1700, when under Spanish rule, a vast amount of cultural heritage found its way to Naples. Important monuments such as the Royal Palace, the Palace of Capodimonte, and the Royal Hotel of the Poor (Real Albergo dei Poveri), along with a wealth of churches, palaces, cloisters, fountains, and streets and neighborhoods such as Via Toledo and the Spanish Quarter.

Through a variety of art, music and entertainment programs, citizens and tourists alike will have the opportunity to explore Baroque Naples and the many monuments it left behind.

Each week will be devoted to a different theme:

The 1st weekend celebrates music, the Baroque music that made Naples the capital of European Music

The 2nd weekend is devoted to the theater, which rooted in the Spanish language, will explore the common ground between Naples and Spain

The 3rd weekend is dedicated to dance as many places in Naples’ Historic Center will come to life with dance of all types, from the tango to the tammurriata – a traditional dance of Campania

The 4th weekend takes us to the cinema and a celebration of the affinity between Naples and Almodovar, Luis Buñuel and many other great masters

The final weekend will celebrate the written word and represents the meeting of two cultures through parallel stories that a Neapolitan and Spanish writer would tell

May of the Monuments will kick off with a musical event on May 1st at Naples San Carlo Theater, an acoustic concert by Irish musician Sinead O’Conner, world famous female rock icon. An internationally renowned artist, with strong roots in the culture of her native Ireland, Sinéad O’Connor has always combined an extraordinary vocal talent with a love of the musical traditions of her homeland, and by extension, defense and affirmation of the autonomy of all traditions.

On stage to introduce the music will be the theater of Enzo Moscato, a cult author whose work is strongly linked to the Neapolitan tradition and whose visions and poetry bear witness to the misunderstandings arising from communication difficulties.

Tickets for the Sinead O’Conner concert are on sale from Wednesday April 21st and can only be purchased at the San CarloTheater ticket office which is open Monday – Saturday from 10:00 – 19:00 and Sundays 10:00 – 15:30.

Also kicking off the celebration is the exhibit entiltled Mostra España Contemporanea – Spanish Contemporary Art Exhibit, which was curated by Demetrio Paparoni, art critic and Director of the Tramontano Arts Foundation, who will also serve as set designer for the concert. It will remain on display for the entire month of May with works by Spanish artists most representative of the Spanish scene today including Bernardi Roig, Daniel Canogar, Dionisio González, Javier Perez, Manu Arregui, Sergio Prego. The exhibition explores the points of contact between the Spanish Baroque expressions of visual art and those present in the Neapolitan culture.

Mostra España Contemporanea will be open to the public for the entire month of May at Castel dell’Ovo.

Guided Visits

Ten different itineraries have been developed for this year’s theme and each weekend, experts will lead free guided tours of two of the ten itineraries. Lasting approximately two hours, tours will be available in Italian, English and Spanish. For each itinerary, at least one Spanish era structure will be open along with museums and monuments usually closed to the public.

There will be many events, guided tours, exhibits, etc. so don’t forget to check out our May of the Monuments Schedule.