The true story of “Torna a Surriento”: a love song… for the land.
The classic Neapolitan song expresses the spirit of a mythical time, which gave birth to the legend of Naples, telling the way to love, to play, to work, and to travel. Vivid pictures of real life moments, in which even today a spark of that lively, mischievous and witty way of being that has always been a feature of an entire community can be seen. A trip to the discovery of the Neapolitan most authentic and vital lifeblood made of sun, sky, passion, and music.
One of the most famous and cherished songs of the vast repertoire of Neapolitan music is definitely “Torna a Surriento”. It is universally considered a beautiful love song that begs a loved one not to leave the city of the heart, of the sea, of the scent of citrus, the land of bewitching and seductive Mermaids because the distance is an unbearable torment. Yet the song, work of the two brothers Giambattista and Ernesto De Curtis, is not dedicated to a woman. In fact, the origin of the text, which was written in just in a few hours, is a captatio benevolentiae, a request for support and protection to the then Prime Minister Giuseppe Zanardelli visiting Sorrento in September 1902. As a result of the operation, the city finally gets the much-needed post office. Without diminishing the romantic halo of the song, it will be fun to listen “Torna a Surriento” from an alternative point of view!
The winter appointment is back once again with the Nativity scene art masters, in the exposition of Villa Fiorentino now in its seventh edition. Until January 8th 2016.
That of the crèche craftsmen is a true art form, who make spectacular sceneries and characters with extraordinary plasticity and expressiveness. If the marvel of the Presepe, in the classical tradition of the eighteenth century, has always amazed audiences, it is also true that the most passionate fans seek in the scenes the most significant and essential elements that make the true greatness of the Neapolitan Presepe: more secular than religious, representations of life, of society, of the tastes and fashions of the southern capital in its period of major development.
So the holy family is placed in front of the ruins of a pagan temple, a symbol of an archaeological passion which was then at its highest level after the discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The taste for oriental fashion is embodied by the Magi with their parade of musicians, with rich clothing styles and perfectly represented musical instruments.
And then the arts and crafts, the lives of everyday people, split between work and tavern, who are not ashamed to drink and have fun, unaware of the great miracle that is about to happen.
Only the purity and innocence of a young shepherd boy can open our hearts with ease the truth of the mystery that is being fulfilled: this is the role of one of the most famous characters of the Presepe, Benino, which on his way to the cave sleeps and dreams of Baby Jesus.
A show that explains the connections, the influences, the contaminations that have tied the two great civilisations of the Mediterranean since the ancient times.
From Turin to Pompeii to Naples, a show divided into three locations investigates the relationship between the Greek-Roman arts highlighting the recurring iconographic patterns tied with Egyptian religion themes recognisable in frescoes, pottery, sculptures from the Vesuvius area. From the Aegyptiaca, the widespread talismans in Campania since the 8th Century B.C. when Pompeii wasn’t a city yet, to the cult of Isis and the Egyptian fashion which spread after the conquests of Alexander the Great and then the Roman fashion, present in the furniture and decorative patterns in the most important homes, artefacts; cults and rituals have travelled through the sea for centuries to join the two coasts of the Mediterranean.
The setting inside the Palestra Grande in Pompeii is particularly suggestive with its granite monoliths with their lion head from the goddess Sekhmet and the statue of the pharaoh Thutmosis III, that belong in the permanent collection of the Turin Egyptian Museum, accompanied by an interesting video installation, a narrative table for synchronised pictures with the title Isis in Pompeii, tales from the sand.
Inside the archaeological site an Egyptian itinerary starts from the temple of Isis and goes through the series of Roman Domus that have Egyptian decorative elements.
The conclusion of the project will be celebrated on the reopening, on October 8th, of the Egyptian Collection of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, with the exposition of over 1,200 artworks that make the Neapolitan collection one of the most important Egyptian collections in Italy.
Pompeii’s Archaeological Site
Open every day
From April 20th to October 31st from 9 am to 7.30 pm (last entry at 7 pm)
November 1st and 2nd from 8.30 am to 5 pm (last entry at 3.30 pm)
Ticket cost: 13 euros, reduced: 7,50 euros
National Archaeological Museum of Naples
Egypt Naples. Oriental cults in Campania from June 28th
Egypt Naples, Egyptian collection from October 8th
Open every day from 9 am to 7.30 pm (last entry at 7 pm)
Closed on Tuesdays and on May 1st
Ticket cost: 13 euros, reduced 9 euros