tirsdag 24. september 2013

In and Around Napoli II

Garland in memory of
Giancarlo Siani (1959-1985)
Our first destination this morning was the Piazza del Gesù Nuovo and the churches of Gesù Nuovo and Santa Chiara.

But we must forget not the wreath we saw on the wall in Piazza Leonardo. The wreath was given by the Mayor of Napoli the previous day (23 September) to commemorate the death of Giancarlo Siani (1959-1985) who was an Italian crime reporter from Napoli. He wrote articles about the links between organized crime, politicians and construction contracts.

Sani was killed in 1985 by the Camorra, while approaching his apartment in Vomero (the part of Naples where I was staying). At the time he was conducting an investigation of one of their leaders. His memory is honoured with garlands and flowers each year on the day of his death 23 September. A sad story that needs to be remembered.

The Church of Gesù Nuovo
The Church of Gesù Nuovo (originally a palace from the 15th c) has a piece of music hidden in the outside wall. The facade of the church is not flat, but built of hewn stone blocks that protrude like small pyramids. Each of these little pyramids has signs engraved on them.

Until 2010, experts thought that the symbols were the initials of the stonemasons who built the church (or palace) in the 15th century. But it turns out that the symbols are Aramaic letters, and each of them corresponds to a musical note. Read from right to left and bottom to top, the engraved notes form a concert for stringed instruments. It's a Renaissance music score which follows a Gregorian canon, according to the experts. Find out more

Click to hear the music and see the symbols on the facade of  Gesù Nuovo (short YouTube clip)

See images from Napoli