by Andrea Coccia
Tommaso Aniello d’Amalfi, also known as Masaniello, was the leader of the Neapolitan Revolution against the Spanish government, burst forth, in July 1647, from the strong fiscal pressure exerted on the city of Naples by the viceregal regime.
The news of a fisherman’s revolt quickly spread beyond the Alps, turning him into an inspiration model for famous historical figures, such as the French Cardinal Mazarin who, supporting this anti-Spanish rebellion, tried to take advantage of the turbulent climate so as to bring the Kingdom of Naples under the French influence, and the English military and political leader Cromwell whose image was often compared to that of Masaniello, as they shared the same revolutionary ideas.
To celebrate this extraordinary interpreter of the Neapolitan history, every year, since 2006, the “Masaniello Award: Neapolitans Protagonists” is assigned.
Conceived by Luigi Rispoli, former Prime Minister of the Province of Naples, and launched by Umberto Franzese, A.I.G.E. Scientific Committee Coordinator (an association that provides information to young people), the event pays homage to those that protect and strengthen the historical, artistic and cultural heritage of our region, acting as a true and emotional representation of the “Captain of the faithful people” city.
For its tenth candle, the festival waved flags from around the world, applauding the world-renowned Neapolitans, the many Neapolitans who make and bring the countless Neapolitan treasures known everywhere.
As in the previous edition, this one saw a new location. From Piazza Mercato, where the riots started, the ceremony was organized, last night, at Teatro Sannazaro, on whose stage, for the renewed attention to enogastronomy and the acknowledgement of the pizzaiolo and the Neapolitan pizza roles, got on the master Enzo Coccia, among the winners, with some other eminent personalities of culture, science, journalism, publishing and fashion industries, come Roberto Napoletano, Director of Il Sole 24 Ore, Gerardo Marotta, Director of the Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies and Maria Giovanna Paone, haute couture manager, just to name a few.
All the Neapolitans can together make a revolution similar to that of Masaniello. However, a peaceful, silent, long-lasting and stable revolt aimed to affirm our vast patrimony on the international markets and fought with the most powerful weapons we have: the city of Naples ancient culture and tradition.