Why is the Neapolitan culture so fascinating?
Of course there’s always something interesting about the culture of every country in the world. But located on the west coast of Italy, Napoli is the city that reflects the soul of Italian culture and has something infinitely unique in its air that we at Napulitanamente, believe Neapolitan culture has a charm that’s hard to ignore. First of all we have to consider that, born Greek, Naples has had, over the centuries, various cultural influences (Greeks, Saracens, Africans, Spaniards, French, Austrians) and it has undergone domination by various foreign dynasties. The Neapolitan culture is rich and varied because it is full of contamination. Naples has made contamination its strength, its heart.
Famiglia, Amore and Religione are strong pillars of the Italian culture. So for Neapolitan people. However,Neapolitan people is characterized by something that belongs particularly to the whole of Southern Italy and that we use to call “core Napulitano” which superficially could be translated as “Neapolitan soul”.
Neapolitan Culture: Geo-economic Aspect
Naples, the capital of Mediterranean culture, is called an open-air museum due to its geographical aspects (once Campania was called Campania Felix for its natural beauty and richness) and many historic attractions. Known for its food, music, and art, and a thriving economy it is a place of captivating sceneries. The most booming industries in Naples are textile, tourism, winemaking, food processing, and some new niches like petrol refinery, technology, manufacturing, and shipbuilding. Easily accessible by air, it has one of the busiest airports in the world. Who wouldn’t want to explore Neapolitan culture? Historically this is a land of many firsts. From the world of education, science, the arts, technology and industry, we have so many accomplishments. The Neapolitans were also first raising standards of equality for its people, and providing them benefits as a nation should.
Neapolitans are a loving people who wear their hearts on their sleeves, and being so openly emotional you will often find many mini, real-life dramas occur as you meander through the streets and squares of Naples. Of course most know that they are perceived as: loud, food-loving, passionate theatrical, and proud, and many even celebrate that image. You only live once right? So if you ask any flame-blooded Napoletano man or Napoletana woman, if being “so lively” is a bad thing, you will probably get a confused look, a shrug of the shoulders and a barrage of words to accompany it, telling you about the beauty of life and asking you why you would even consider that.
Life has always been difficult for Neapolitans, often powerless at the hands of foreign rulers, the church and the aristocracy, or even organized crime, it is no wonder that the Neapoilitan soul, is so filled with humanity, vitality and that generosity of spirit and empathy that comes from suffering.
Family comes first, for Italians in general. People often choose to live close to one’s parents and family, and spend time with them regularly. Sunday pranzo (lunch) with the entire clan is often usually a voluntarily unalterable event. This is the time to catch up on each other’s lives, converse about celebrities, politicians, and footballers and feast. Indeed, loyalty to family and friends is deep rooted in the Neapolitan culture.
74.4% of Italians are Catholic, 22.6% are irreligious and 3.0% adhere to other denominations in Italy, as per a 2017 poll by IPSOS (a French research center) and the latest Eurostat’s Eurobarometer 2018 poll listed 85.6% of Italy’s population is Christian (78.9% Catholic, 4.6% orthodox Christians, 0.6% Protestants, 1.5% other Christians), 2.6% belonging to other religions and 11.7% are non-religious (7.5% atheists, 4.2% agnostics). However, Italy supports a growing open approach to all religious practices, beliefs and denominations. Since most Italians are Roman Catholic, the pope (il Papa) is often on TV, and Italians passionately follow news about the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church. Even though many people do not actively go to church, most are still influenced by the clergy and the Vatican. A few old superstitions, especially about the Evil Eye (il Malocchio) and some beliefs from ancient traditions endure in Naples.
And we did not forget Amore (love) e Amicizia (friendship), Italians love being romantic, spending time in pursuits of the heart and savor the passion, romance, and drama that ensues. Plus the love of family, food, and nation: what is life but a surplus of love spread around. We only live once right. So, live splendidly!