The procession of San Gennaro: the gesture of love of the Neapolitan people

by Francesco Li Volti

For those who have lost it, on the occasion of the dissolution of the blood of the patron saint of the city, the procession of San Gennaro, organized by Be a Tourist of the City, and which also saw the participation of Stories of Naples, the band of "Murga Los Espositos - Sons of Parthenope" e the mine association. A joyful march, which saw about a thousand people walking, dancing and singing through the main arteries of Naples, carrying the bust of San Gennaro, the work of the artist Felice Meo, through the streets of the historic center.

La processione di San Gennaro: il gesto d'amore del popolo napoletano
La processione di San Gennaro – Foto di Francesca Prato

The journey of the procession of San Gennaro

Anche per l’edizione 2022, il tragitto della processione di San Gennaro è stato esuberante, andando a toccare le zone nevralgiche della città. La partenza non poteva che non essere da piazza del Gesù, dalla guglia dell’Immacolata Concezione, con la Madonna posta in alto che “benediceva” la folla. Ardenti di passione verso Yellow Face, the procession has begun to set out, but not before having inaugurated the procession with the speech of the president of Be Turista della Tua Città, Luca De Martino, who for eight years, together with his family, has been doing everything to ensure that San Gennaro runs into the alleys of Naples, even among the people who have not managed to find the right hole to witness the miracle in the Duomo.

And so began what was one of the most attended and felt events by the citizens. Los Espositos animated the evening from the beginning, impressing with their tirelessness, perhaps due to their devotion to San Gennaro. Lots of dances, accompanied by engaging music that led even more people to join the procession. From 20 to 30, up to 40, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 people gathered to celebrate the Saint.

From piazza del Gesù, it has been traveled via San Sebastiano, then Piazza Bellini, via dei Tribunali, where anecdotes and curiosities about San Gennaro were told by the team of Stories of Naples, via Duomo, and then stopped in front of the Cathedral. Here, gathered the people, the invocations towards the Saint were staged, produced by the boys of Be Turista della Tua Città.

People were then directed to the spire of San Gennaro, the first obelisk of the city. In piazza Sisto Riario Sforza, the cards that had been delivered to the people, who had been asked to ask Faccia Gialla for a miracle, were set on fire. Two sibyls, meanwhile, staged a very particular dance, which went back to ancient pagan traditions.

A guaranteed success

That of the procession of San Gennaro of the artistic-cultural association "Be a Tourist of Your City!" it was a success already announced. In 2016, volunteers lit 3,000 candles in Piazza del Plebiscito, as a sign in homage to the patron saint. A gigantic number, given the involvement of many other people. Around 11 pm the first patrons began to approach, to help the young people, intent on setting fire to the candles scattered around the square.

In 2020, from the beach of "Giuseppone a Mare" to Castel dell'Ovo, the bust of Yellow Face was carried in procession. It was a truly sensational event, even captured by RAI cameras during the television program "Life Live". Naples responded with great enthusiasm, but not only: together with the Neapolitan citizens, there were many tourists who stormed the boats. Eight kilometers by boat, taking the bust of San Gennaro with them.

In short, the Be a Tourist of Your City association does not stop carrying out truly incredible cultural and heritage awareness initiatives, thanks to the love that each of them feels towards our Naples.

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