From Naples’ Sanità District to Trento, a journey filled with 12 stories| filed under: Books, Naples
The long and glorious history of one of the most important districts in Naples has often collided with a harsh reality and its distorted representation on Italian media.
The Sanità District has ancient Greek-Roma roots, but it is also a Camorra stronghold; it hosts the renowned catacombs of San Gennaro and San Gaudioso but it is also a symbol of unlawful and gang activities. Despite its aristocratic buildings, until recently it was considered a dangerous and off-limits area. Nevertheless, the Sanità District has changed and is continuously changing.
These are the topics addressed by Cinzia Massa and Vincenzo Moretti in their book Rione Sanità. Storie di ordinario coraggio e dio straordinaria umanità (ediesse publishing), recently presented at Trento’s Municipal Library. These two places are separated by more than 800 km, but also linked together by the stories described in this book. As pointed out by <ahref President’s Luca De Biase at the Trento event, this connection is based on rediscovering community values and shared solidarity to create true opportunities for both cities.
Andrea Brunello, actor and artistic director of Trento’s Portland Theatre, read some excerpts from the book – highlighting the lives of ordinary people who, armed with an extraordinary courage and humanity, took steps to transform their own district. Among those, Ernesto Albanese, founder of “L’altra Napoli” Association, and Father Antonio Loffredo, who gave back the Church of Santa Maria la Sanità to the local youth, «the actual protagonists of these stories,» as he likes to say. There are also the “La Casa Dei Cristallini” Association, which offers school tutoring to local kids studies; the art, theatre and cinema classes promoted by Vincenzo Pirozzi; the Sanitansamble orchestra, whose young musicians are actually educating their own parents – as pointed out by Cinzia Massa: «Kids unable to stay still for 10 minutes, today have good school grades and come to rehearsal three times a week for several hours at a time.»
Those people are not heroes or saints, just normal human beings. As emphasized by Vincenzo Moretti in the book’s postface, these stories focus on common individuals who committed themselves to becoming the change they want to see in their neighbourhood. And the storytelling of their lives is another step forward, another attempt to enhance the on-going district transformation.
(by Alessio Strazzullo)