multimedia  › Arts and Leisure

Concerts and fireworks lighted up Naples and its tourists’ turnout on New Year’s Eve

by Morena Pivetti

New Year’s Eve and the Christmas’ Season brought good news to Naples and to Campania region. In 2014 in general, and in the last few days of the year in particular, tourism flourished: the Vesuvio’s city was swarmed by thousands of visitors, Italians and foreigners alike. According to the data issued by the regional administration, last year Naples scored a 20% increase in tourists’ arrivals, together with a +12% for the island of Capri and the Sorrento’s peninsula.

For New Year’s Eve it was hard to find available hotel’s rooms without having booked them in advance. Or even a night in a Bed&Breakfast. Many places were sold out days ahead, and not only because of the beauty of the city and the magnificence of the Naples gulf, nor because of the world famous fireworks that light up the sky along the coastal line between Monte di Procida and Punta Campanella, on that special night. Or the firecrackers that are frightening like bombs’ explosions.

This year the City government and the mayor, Luigi De Magistris, organized a rich calendar of music and visual art events, comprising concerts in different squares, with all kinds of music - contemporary, hip hop, latin american, dance -, and a very big one in Piazza Plebiscito, broadcasted by Berlusconi’s TV Channel 5 for the countdown. This year’s program included also an open air discotheque, on the sea front facing the island of Capri, blasting out until 6:30 in the morning, and video installations at Castel dell’Ovo.

Of course the climax of the night were the colorful fireworks fired from the sea, right in the back of Castel dell’Ovo, between 1:30 and 2:30 a.m. by the municipality: huge blue, red, white and yellow globes blooming one from the other. And white, and blue dashing flashes of light springing, seemingly, from the castle itself.

But before the public show, just after the clock’s midnight stroke, Neapolitans themselves, as they always do, went wild with their own “private” fireworks: wherever one looked, up the hills and out at sea to Capri, there were fountains of lights, green, white and red, violet and golden, pink and silver. Repeating, as they do every year, the childhood magic of a thousand bulbs in the dark, black sky.

“Up until dawn, Neapolitans, Italian and foreign tourists flooded our streets. Once again Naples has won the challenge, showing everybody we can organize great events here,” commented mayor De Magistris. “The TV images of Piazza Plebiscito’s concert have been shown around the world, and we are proud of what people saw,” he added.

During the Christmas’ Season Naples is also a favored tourists’ destination for its nativity scenes: visitors come from all over Italy and also from foreign countries to admire the works of arts treasured in the National Museum of San Martino, which hosts the biggest nativities’ collection, along with the extraordinary “presepe Cuciniello”, and also to buy the traditional statues sold in San Gregorio Armeno Street.