The UNESCO intangible heritages in Campania: Pizza and more

by Roberto Iossa

THE UNESCO intangible heritages in Campania they are five, each of which bears witness to customs, rites and centuries-old traditions that distinguish us all over the world. It's a matter of practices, representations, expressions, knowledge and skills that communities recognize as part of theirs cultural heritage. Let's discover together the five UNESCO intangible heritages in Campania!

patrimoni immateriali UNESCO in Campania
The logo of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

The transnational elements

Three of the five UNESCO intangible heritages of Campania are defined "transnational elements“, As they unite different nations and involve apparently distant places, including our region.

The first is the "Mediterranean diet“, Included in the prestigious list in the 2010. Much more than a simple list of foods, this "cultural element" is a real one lifestyle which brings together rituals, symbols, knowledge and skills shared by many nations of the Mediterranean basin: Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco, Cyprus, Portugal and Croatia. This is certainly one of the main characteristics that distinguish the first of the UNESCO intangible heritages in Campania.

patrimoni immateriali UNESCO in Campania dieta mediterranea

The second transnational "element" is the practice of "transhumance”Which in the field of pastoralism consists in seasonal migration of livestock, especially sheep. Italy, Austria and Greece are the territories that can boast this heritage, certainly among the most fascinating on the list. In Campania this practice is present above all in the territories ofUpper Irpinia.

patrimoni immateriali UNESCO in Campania transumanza

L'dry stone wall art, on the other hand, concerns the construction of low walls by stacking the stones one on top of the other without using other materials except, sometimes, the dry earth. They are used both in agriculture and in breeding, but also for residential use. The stability of these constructions is ensured through a wise balance of forces and a careful choice of stones. It is a transactional element that unites, in addition to Italy, 7 European nations: Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.

patrimoni immateriali UNESCO in Campania muretti a secco

The art of the Neapolitan pizza maker: the most famous of the UNESCO intangible heritages

The art of Pizza certainly deserves a place of honor on this list. On the other hand it is an Italian heritage (and in particular from Campania!) recognized worldwide unanimously. The main feature of this tradition is its own transmission from generation to generation, with the involvement of young and important moments of promotion and of renovation. These are all prerogatives considered fundamental for the definition of "intangible cultural heritage of humanity".

patrimoni immateriali UNESCO in Campania pizza

The most famous of the UNESCO intangible heritages in Campania is considered as "an expression of a culture that manifests itself in a unique way, because the manual skill of the pizza chef is unparalleled and ensures that this food production can be perceived as a brand of Italianness in the world". Therefore, not only the flavor of the finished product is highlighted, but also the creative process of the same, with particular attention totechnical skill of the pizza chef.

I gigli: Nola's shoulder machines

The last one (but not least!) among the UNESCO intangible heritages in Campania is the practice of "shoulder machines by Nola". This cultural element is part of a national circuit that involves various Italian places including the Faradda dei Candelieri of Sassari wood, la Santa Rosa car in Viterbo and the rites of Our Lady of the Sacred Letter to Palmi.

Artisans for the construction of machines and clothes, musicians, singers, transporters well trained. There are many workers involved in this spectacular sacred procession in which a strong sense of identity and belonging is recognized. Every year the whole community gathers around this rite which has been continuously renewed for generations.

patrimoni immateriali UNESCO in Campania macchine a spalla nola

This too, like the other UNESCO intangible heritages in Campania seen, testifies to the very rich culture of which our territory is permeated. An unrivaled priceless treasure that each of us is held to protect and enhance!

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