Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas with "la famiglia" in Napoli

So, I am officially back from holiday and therefore back in action. Just to give you a taste of Southern Italy and what being married to a Neapolitan means, I am sharing some impressions of a romantic Christmas evening stroll along the bay of Naples in Via Caracciolo.

Castel dell'Ovo (in Italian, Egg Castle) is a castle located on the former island of Megaride, now a peninsula, on the gulf of Naples. The castle's name comes from a legend about the Roman poet Virgil, who had a reputation in medieval times as a great sorcerer, that he put a magical egg into the foundations to support the fortifications.

One of the finest of traditional Italian songs is “Santa Lucia”. At the time that this song came into being, there was no Italy as we know it today. There was, however, a kingdom called "Naples and Sicily", where Santa Lucia, a Catholic saint, was revered, therefore the waterfront district in Naples is called “Santa Lucia”, where of course small craft as well as ships were moored, and that explains the name of the song.

The song was collected and transcribed from the Neapolitan dialect into standard Italian in 1849 by Teodoro Cottrau. I’ve never heard anyone singing any version except the Neapolitan version, which was sung by Caruso, Lanza, Pavarroti and others.

Here is Caruso, singing part of the song:

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