Festival of Piedigrotta

Piedigrotta, Festival of

September 7-9
Held in Naples, Italy, for three days in September, the Festival of Piedigrotta is known primarily for its noise and gaiety. According to one legend, it commemorates the destruction in 44 c.e. of a site that had formerly been the scene of pagan orgies, and the building of a chapel in its place. A second explanation is that the chapel was built in 1356 after the Blessed Virgin Mary had appeared to a priest, a nun, and a man named Peter and ordered its construction. In any case, the festival is a particularly joyful one, with processions, fireworks, and some very unusual puppet shows. Visitors to Naples during festival time discover that it is almost impossible to get any sleep.
CONTACTS:
Italian Government Tourist Board
630 Fifth Ave., Ste. 1565
New York, NY 10111
212-245-5618; fax: 212-586-9249
www.italiantourism.com
SOURCES:
FestEur-1961, p. 121
References in periodicals archive ?
The festival of Piedigrotta immerses people into a plane of human existence that exceeds the order of the quotidian by displaying recurring and non-quantifiable abundance: "Un urlio continuo, ritmato incessantemente dallo scuotere secco di mille tamburelli a sonagliera, dal soffiare di mille fischietti, dal frenetico strofinio di mille pentole" engages and overwhelms the senses, one by one, into a paroxysm of enchantment and wonder.
In this sense, though the ideological authority changes radically, if fleetingly, as the result of the revolutionary actions culminating in the short-lived Repubblica Partenopea, for the lazzari the annual festival of Piedigrotta celebrated under the aegis of the throne and the altar is no different than the celebrations of the French Revolution under the freedom tree or in the salons, to the tunes of the Carmagnole:
The gulf between the intellectual and the people (the same gulf that prompted Antonio Gramsci to call the Risorgimento yet another rivoluzione mancata in his Saggio storico sulla Rivoluzione di Napoli, after meditating on Vincenzo Cuoco's own definition of rivoluzione passiva in reference to the events of the Parthenopean Republic) (14) is as large as it was when Lenor first arrived in Naples during the festival of Piedigrotta when meraviglia described the uncomprehending outsider's gaze into the choreographed anarchy of spectacular recurrences.

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