Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Forever in fashion: a tour of Naples’ finest arts and crafts makers

At Christmas, Naples’ famous nativity figurines dominate its shops, but the city buzzes with artisans creating beautiful ceramics, fashion and accessories year-round

In Naples the build-up to Christmas is chaotic. Pilgrims descend on the city, pushing their way through narrow streets to Via San Gregorio Armeno, where workshops sell handcrafted miniature nativity figurines. The religious scenes, which are made year-round to keep up with demand, are beautifully crafted in wood, terracotta and silk. They are prized by Neapolitans as the epitome of local craftsmanship: honed over centuries and underpinned by a Neapolitan blend of pagan and Catholic beliefs.

There are, however, many other skilled craftspeople working in the city that are worth visiting. A lot of them have regal roots and have survived the peaks and troughs of Neapolitan history. In fact, the modern perception of Naples as a penurious city neglects its rich and flamboyant past. While Florence and Rome’s artisan guilds flourished during the medieval and Renaissance periods, Naples prospered much later, with the arrival of the “Enlightened” occupying Spanish Bourbon monarchy in 1734.

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via Italy holidays | The Guardian

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