MAY OF THE MON­U­MENTS

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NAPLES EX­PE­RI­ENCE Naples’ most ea­gerly- awaited event, “‘ O cor ‘ e Na­pule. Cori, cuori e colori di Napoli”, run­ning from 1 May to 2 June, is ded­i­cated to love mu­sic and Neapolitan colours

Make way for the 21st an­nual May of the Mon­u­ments ex­trav­a­ganza, the most ea­gerly- awaited event on the Neapolitan spring cal­en­dar. An en­thu­si­as­tic Nino Daniele, Coun­cil­lor for Tourism and Cul­ture of the City of Naples, talks to us about it: “This year’s edi­tion will be the rich­est and most di­verse event ever pre­sented. More than 300 events will be on of­fer in the city, fea­tur­ing an ex­trav­a­ganza based on a by now well- es­tab­lished for­mat in per­fect keep­ing with our mission, namely to re­store mon­u­ments to the city by mak­ing them vi­brant places where vis­i­tors can en­joy unique ex­pe­ri­ences”. The ti­tle of this year’s May event in Naples is “‘ O core ‘ e Na­pule. Cori, cuori e colori di Napoli”, i. e. the choirs and colours de­scribed in the song “Na­pul è” by the late lamented Pino Daniele, a Neapolitan mu­si­cian and singer- song­writer of in­ter­na­tional fame who died at the be­gin­ning of this year and to whom the city will pay trib­ute, el­e­vat­ing him to the sta­tus of a sym­bol of the city’s cul­ture. In short, a month ded­i­cated to mu­sic and, in par­tic­u­lar, to the choirs and his­tor­i­cal places of Neapolitan mu­sic, in­clud­ing an­cient con­ser­va­to­ries, the­atres, streets hous­ing the work­shops of ar­ti­sans who fur­nish the set­tings and cos­tumes for Neapolitan pro­duc­tions and the colours that dis­tin­guish the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and artis­tic her­itage of the city. The event acts as a huge tourist draw for those who of­ten at­tend the event an­nu­ally: “Although Easter marked a boom in tourism in Naples, even more vis­i­tors are ex­pected to flock to the city in May”, com­mented the coun­cil­lor. The Mag­gio dei Mon­u­menti event, com­bined with the rich cal­en­dar of cul­tural event sched­uled to run un­til De­cem­ber, would prob­a­bly have suf­ficed, but with the open­ing of Expo in May, the city is al­ready fully booked, thus serv­ing as con­fir­ma­tion that Naples is a key tourist des­ti­na­tion for those choos­ing to hol­i­day in Italy”. This year, Mag­gio dei Mon­u­menti started ear­lier than usual, dur­ing the last week­end of April, with a pro­logue ded­i­cated to Leop­ardi Nino Daniele, Coun­cil­lor who spent the last years of his life for Tourism and Cul­ture in Naples where he died on 14 June 1837: re­cently re­stored, the tomb of the poet is lo­cated in Parco Vergiliano, in Piedi­grotta. To mark the event, the city has or­ga­nized con­fer­ences, guided tours to the places fre­quented by Leop­ardi in Naples and public read­ings of his works, to both com­mem­o­rate and arouse aware­ness about Leop­ardi’s ties with the city. Run­ning from 1 May to the week­end of 2 June, ev­ery week­end will be packed with events and as­so­ci­ated with a colour. The first week­end will be ded­i­cated to red, the colour of blood and pas­sion. The sec­ond week­end, fea­tur­ing an itin­er­ary in dis­cov­ery of the leg­ends, places and streets of tra­di­tional Neapolitan mu­sic, will see the city decked out in black and white like the keys of a pi­ano. The third week­end will be bathed in blue like the colour of the sky and the sea on beau­ti­ful spring days, with vis­its to places as­so­ci­ated with the sea, the sym­bol of the city. Yel­low, rem­i­nis­cent of the tufa rock and stones from which the houses and palaces in Naples are built and the gold of its trea­sures, is the dom­i­nant theme of the fourth week­end whose high­lights will in­clude vis­its to un­der­ground cities and the re­mains of the Greek

>> walls and the golden trea­sures of Naples pre­served in its mu­se­ums and churches. Lastly, green, the colour of na­ture, has been cho­sen to sym­bol­ize the fifth week­end, with itin­er­ar­ies in dis­cov­ery of the lu­mi­nous beauty of the city’s parks and clois­ters - of­ten shrouded in an aura of mys­tery - as well as the an­cient gar­dens of the city, hid­den be­tween houses. But that’s not all. af­ter Mag­gio dei Mon­u­menti, the sum­mer events cal­en­dar will con­tinue un­til Septem­ber with Pizza Vil­lage. Mark­ing the end of the sum­mer sea­son in Naples, within the con­text of the hap­pen­ings as­so­ci­ated with food, it is a sort of Ital­ian ver­sion of the Ger­many's Ok­to­ber Fest. Ad­di­tion­ally, Naples will of­fer a slew of Expo- re­lated events boasting a num­ber of dates as­so­ci­ated with tra­di­tion, in­clud­ing the re­li­gious feasts of Piedi­grotta and San Gen­naro, known through­out the world. “Although tourism re­wards Naples, I feel con­fi­dent in say­ing the Naples never stops re­ward­ing tourists “, say Daniele, “A city rich in ap­peal, his­tory and life with a strong in­ter­na­tional call­ing. Naples still sur­prises and at­tracts those who de­spite be­ing dif­fi­dent and hav­ing reser­va­tions about it be­cause of its is­sues with waste and crime, nev­er­the­less con­tinue to visit it. The up­per part of the metro sta­tion of pi­azza Mu­nici­pio was re­cently ren­o­vated to be­come a one- of- a- kind at­trac­tion: based on state- of- the art tech­nol­ogy, one of the largest ar­chae­o­log­i­cal parks in the world , lo­cated in Europe’s big­gest square, has now been com­pletely re­vamped and re­turned to the city. A blend of moder­nity and his­tory in a place that has no equal. Next year, the ac­tual sta­tion will also be in­au­gu­rated”.

From 1 May to 2 June www. co­mune. napoli. it

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