In Naples stop the clothes hanging. Indeed, no

NAPLES. – Stop to the ‘panni spasi’, a part of the history of Naples celebrated by Eduardo De Filippo and Vittorio Marsiglia, but also an icon of Neapolitan contemporaneity. All in one paragraph of the new regulation of the Municipality of urban police, which in close turn – and after a barrage of criticism – is in fact aborted. “It will not be done”, assured the mayor Manfredi.

This was the case for the part of the Regulation that prohibited hanging clothes on the balcony to dry, to prevent a few drops from falling on the street. A decision that immediately became a topic of discussion and controversy on a June day, one like many others, with thousands of tourists in the alleys of the historic center taken to photograph the clothes hanging from one building to another, cover of Naples, more than the sea, because only his.

The mayor himself admits it: “The clothes hanging in the alleys – he says today – are an element of representation a bit of our city, not of lack of decorum. It is obvious that we must always maintain a boundary between what is our popular tradition and the order, but I don’t think this ordinance will ever exist ”.

The few women who asked themselves the problem are calm, but the intellectuals are not, like Amedeo Colella, scholar and author of “Manual of Napoletanità”. “The lines of the clothes to hang – he says – are shared between two buildings, with the ladies of different condominiums who organize themselves: ‘today I do a washing machine’, says one from the balcony facing the opposite who replies, ‘okay then I’ll do it tomorrow’ . This is the sharing with which we grow up in Naples “.

Simple description of a story that has always been going on, which Eduardo De Filippo told in his own way in “These ghosts”, speaking to the unseen neighbor of the opposite balcony, who sang Marseille in “Cosimo Pellecchia”. A direct contact that still exists today in Naples and that makes children grow up with a different sociality, which – they say – gives them a different shot.

Colella defines it as a “Neapolitan training”, a rare form of sociality “in a world where the network is increasingly isolating us. Let’s think of the ‘panaro’, the basket with the thread that falls from the balcony: every kid learns to use it by dribbling the clothes hanging on the floors below and this too becomes another point of community and sociality, which becomes part of the formation of the Boys”.

And so – on the day of the regulation that also bans balloons at parties, slamming the tablecloths from the balcony and letting the flower pots drip – social networks explode photos of the ‘loose cloths’ on a thread that crosses the sky of every alley. Even Julia Roberts in 2009 was overwhelmed by the charm of the clothes hanging with scenes from the film ‘Eat, pray, love’ shot in the narrow alleys of the Forcella district.

In short, this piece of history cannot be touched: this was also confirmed by the ‘Mezzocannone occupied’ social center, which hangs up the clothes in Piazza Municipio, right in front of the mayor’s office.

(by Francesco Tedesco / ANSA)

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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