I was born on a May morning in a hospital in Sondrio: among flowers, nature, the climate that was finally starting to get mild. Everything seemed to fit perfectly, starting from the name of the hospital: San Camillo. A sign, right?
I lived in Northern Italy for 25 years, a lifetime. My life. I tried to find my own place in primary school, middle school, high school, university. I have never felt completely at home. I have never felt as mine the traditions, the customs, the cuisine of that places. I have always been "the Neapolitan" for my friends, the "tanned child all year round" for my dance mates, "the curly girl" for the boys I dated.
And I really felt that way: different.
I felt a strange sense of non-belonging, which dissolved as if by magic when sometimes I came back to Naples, the city of my parents and of my whole family. “Puff”, suddenly I understood the dialect phrases of the elderly people among the streets, I saw the same dark eyes, the olive skin surrounded by thick curls on the girls faces.
I breathed art, culture, liveliness.
Air of home.
I walked and it felt like I was able to recognize in every face that I met my people, my streets, the places of my childhood, the moving notes of an accordion played in the streets, the children’s laughs in the Villa Comunale, my grandfather’s stories from past times.
The joy. That one of a mandolin, a sudden joke, an unnecessary advice.
The heat. That one of the sun and the people, able to soften even the hardest soul.
The force. That one of the sea that looks after this city and this population that has risen many times.
The love. That one that is ever present there and makes me feel at home anywhere in the world.
'Ncantesimo is a collage project made in 2023.
It is an open window onto past eras, a mirror of today's reality.
It is a tribute to my beloved Naples and its people.