Monday, December 4, 2017


The central role of Naples in the history of vocal music has so far overshadowed a rich tradition of instrumental music; only in recent years has musicological research begun bringing it to light once more, demonstrating that Naples also played a crucial role in the field of instrumental music, no less relevant than other centres more often associated with this repertory, such as Rome and Venice.
Precious gems are unearthed here (including the only solo violin sonata by Giovanni Carlo Cailò, in its first modern recording), and this programme makes many different exponents of Neapolitan instrumental composition accessible to a wider public, from the generation of Pietro Marchitelli (slightly older than Corelli) and Giovanni Carlo Cailò to Francesco Paolo Supriani, Angelo Ragazzi, Nicola Fiorenza and Leonardo Leo – contemporaries of Bach, Tartini and Locatelli, yet who are revealed as possessing a completely different style, at a time when Naples was one of the great European capitals.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Virgil famously described a cave with a hundred openings as home to one of the most famous prophetesses of ancient legend - the Cumaean Sibyl. Written in 19 BC, the Aeneid chronicles the adventures of Trojan warrior Aeneas, including his encounter with a mysterious ancient fortune teller. It was said this oracle, or sibyl, dwelt in the mouth of a cave in Cumae, the ancient Greek settlement near what is now Naples. According to tradition she would have sung her prophecies, or written them on oak leaves which she would leave at the mouth of the cave. Searches for the famous cave described by Virgil were undertaken in the Middle Ages, and there are other nearby niches that have also been named “the Sibylline grotto,” including one closer to Lake Averno. The “official” Cave of the Sibyl was uncovered more recently, in 1932, by archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Louis Sclavis has for decades dazzled and provoked listeners with his literate, ambitious musical projects that examine not only the many dimensions and directions of the sonic spectrum, but also his Renaissance-like embrace of literature, foreign cultures, and now, visual art.
With a new quartet collaborating with him Sclavis turns his eyes, ears, and spirit toward an investigation of the paintings of the French artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest on Napoli's Walls.
Pignon-Ernest, born in 1942, is a curious and wonderfully captivating artist, since he works not on canvas but on public surfaces. From 1987-1995 he worked in Naples, digging through a knotty, tragic history that involved both Oriental and Occidental cultures and the aftermath of volcanoes, disease, defeat at the hands of many armies, and the poetry of its people through it all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


In 1989 “Sal” De Riso, already an accomplished chef, opened the Pasticceria De Riso on the sea front of Minori, a town on the Amalfi Coast, and his laboratory in Tramonti, seven kilometers inland. Within a few years his pastry shop was one of the most popular in the province of Salerno. Prizes and international recognition arrived soon.
My goal was to introduce new sweets to southern Italy. From the early nineties to this day, I’m considered an innovator in the world of pastries. Even if here in the south we have some delicious traditional sweets, I was the first to introduce mousses, cakes topped with fresh “exotic” fruits, but I always had deep respect for Campania’s local ingredients.
This area of Italy has a rich variety of top-quality ingredients: hazelnuts from Giffoni, ricotta from here in Tramonti, white figs from Cilento, apricots from Mount Vesuvius, amazing wines from Benevento and Avellino to name just a few. I’ve always made use of these marvelous products. Let’s put it this way: my innovations bring out the best in the traditions of my home territory.

Friday, September 29, 2017


The castle is perched atop Monte Bonadies, dominating the city of Salerno below. Although findings of coins confirm human frequentation of the hill as early as the third to second centuries B.C., the first permanent construction dates to the sixth century A.D., during the Greek-Gothic war, when the Greek general Narsetes ordered the construciton of a castrum, or fort. 
Remains of the Byzantine fortification are visible in some sections of the wall in “opera quadrata,” or “squared-off work,” achieved with large blocks of tufa, and in the original layout of the turris maior, or larger tower. 
The Normans modified this tower, but they raised the height of the adjoining wall network, and realized an enlargement to the south with the construction of a portico, of which there remain a few pylons, embedded in the bulwarks built to hold the cannons during the sixteenth century. 
The Angevins brought more significant modifications, adding cisterns and manufacturing zones; they built several turrets, furnished with arrow-slits (narrow vertical apertures through which defenders could shoot arrows), under which rifle-slits were later installed: these are also still visible. 
With the Aragonese, the castle reached its point of maximum development. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


On the 24th of August, about one in the afternoon, my mother desired him to observe a cloud which appeared of a very unusual size and shape. He had just taken a turn in the sun and, after bathing himself in cold water, and making a light luncheon, gone back to his books: he immediately arose and went out upon a rising ground from whence he might get a better sight of this very uncommon appearance. 
A cloud, from which mountain was uncertain, at this distance (but it was found afterwards to come from Mount Vesuvius), was ascending, the appearance of which I cannot give you a more exact description of than by likening it to that of a pine tree, for it shot up to a great height in the form of a very tall trunk, which spread itself out at the top into a sort of branches; occasioned, I imagine, either by a sudden gust of air that impelled it, the force of which decreased as it advanced upwards, or the cloud itself being pressed back again by its own weight, expanded in the manner I have mentioned; it appeared sometimes bright and sometimes dark and spotted, according as it was either more or less impregnated with earth and cinders. 
This phenomenon seemed to a man of such learning and research as my uncle extraordinary and worth further looking into.

Saturday, September 2, 2017


This Cinderella is set in the mysterious docks of Naples, in a not too distant future, where the Chief of Police and the King and his henchmen contend for the territory and a very special girl: Cinderella.
Cinderella, oppressed by her family, servant for her stepsisters, lives in a dramatic setting of injustice, illegal trades, ambiguity, greed and rivalry. An intense need of revenge against the king- the one who murdered her father when she was a child- is growing inside her. Until the night of the great ball.
Only through discovering love, she will set her soul free from the dark shadows of revenge and start a new life.

Monday, August 28, 2017


Near Contursi Terme, the waters of the river Sele assume sulphureus characteristics, giving the possibility of enjoying regenerating and healing thermal baths present in the town.
 Anyway Sele is a river already known since ancient times as “magical”, whose waters are able to transform all is floating inside in stone (as reported among others, by the famous philosopher Aristotele).
In the Sele Valley also, in 71 Before Christ, there was the last battle of Spartacus, the famous slave reminded in the history because he “dared to challenge the Roman Empire“, which precisely in these mountains met his death with his followers.
Suggestive are the towns that arise in this area, including Oliveto for sure worth of a visit, with its imposing castle (now a museum of history of Lucania and high-average Sele).