Pozzuoli it has been famous since ancient times for being the most important port of the Roman Empire, until the construction of that of Ostia. Even today the town remains tied to the past, preserving its own commercial function, mostly based on seafood products.
The dock and the church of the Madonna Assunta
There Dock it is a very suggestive place to visit, as looking in perspective we are at the foot of the Rione Terra and its position on the sea gives gods spectacular sunsets. Port quota is a place that has always belonged to fishermen, who moored and moored there small boats.
It is no coincidence that in this very place, a overhanging the sea, a church was built in 1621, at the behest of the brotherhood of Purification of Mary, in honor of the Puteolan fishermen, who had the function of hosting theirs prayers before addressing the continuous sea voyages.
The church of the Purification of Mary or Purification at Sea or even of the Our Lady of the Assumption, so known in honor of the Saint to whom the fishermen were extremely devoted, did not have simple life as for its proximity to the sea it was subject to frequent storm surges which reported serious damage to the structure. It was for this reason that the confreres decided to move the venue for winter functions in a space donated by municipality of Pozzuoli.
THE Puteolan fishermen were so highly regarded by the citizens of seaside village, to have well two churches to devote to their skills, that of the Assumption opened in summer and the one in via G. Marconi for the winter celebrations.
Gods were born disagreements between the brothers and the fishermen who brought to one definitive rupture between the two groups: only the fishermen took care of it and attended the church on the dock. In the 1872 a violent storm completely destroyed the church, which was then entirely rebuilt in expenses of fishermen further back than before.
The flagpole or valione or soap pole: the secular festival of Pozzuoli
The flagpole or valione or soap pole, these are the names associated with perhaps the only secular holiday survived in the years a Pozzuoli, we celebrate the August 15th, the day in which theassumption of Marito.
The popular festival is a real event for the citizens of Puteola who, gathering near the dock and off the port with the boats, support the fishermen devoted to Our Lady of the Assumption, who participate in the race.
This holiday gets its name from the mast of the ships, which in dialect is called a flagpole, in wood it is usually long 15 meters and is placed at an angle of 45 ° with respect to the quay. It is covered with animal fat, making it slippery: at the end they are placed three flags.
The challenge is to stay in equilibrium on the pole and try to catch one of the flags positioned at its end. It is exhilarating to see the competing fishermen fall into the sea, clumsily slipping off the wooden pole.
Santo Mamozio, a totally Puteolan saint
In Pozzuoli there is a patron saint of fruit and vegetable traders, but that really not it is holy. Santo Mamozio was born a little from the ignorance of the merchants and a little from oddities that made this statue so famous. The story starts from a misunderstanding, the statue by all associated with the saint Mamozio, instead depicts that of the bishop Martín de León Cárdenas, a man who made great works for the architecture of the town, so much so that the Puteolans dedicated a statue to him.
The statue of the bishop was placed in front of another statue that of consul Marvozio, of which the Puteolans distorted the name in Mamozio, found headless during the excavations of the foundations of the church of St. Joseph. The statue of the Roman consul was placed with a rough restoration, a head too disproportionate to the size of the body, so small to do laugh the entire population.
These two statues were in the present Republic square, where the fruit market and it is on one of the market days that a merchant devoted to the "saint" gave him a whole box of figs and, throwing them at the statue he noticed that the more mature ones remained on it, while the less mature ones fell to the ground. The merchant then said: "Holy Mamozio, the good ones you eat them and the hard ones you send them back to me!“.
From that day on they came to the statue addressed prayers and obeisances, being revered as a true saint from Puteolan greengrocers. The statue of the consul Marvozio is kept at Archaeological Museum of the Phlegraean Fields and leaves the house honors to that of the bishop.
Naples and Surroundings, Touring Club Italiano 1948
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