To UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova
To the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage
The UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity includes the more representative intangible cultural heritage of each State: in this sense “The Art of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli” represents one of the clearer example of Italian cultural heritage.
This Art, born and transmitted for centuries in Naples, from generation to generation, consists of in the manipulation of two basic substances as water and flour, in order to create dough plate through a specific techniques and due rules transmitted in Neapolitan slang (“alluccare”, “schiaffo”, etc.). Manipulation of the dough, performing art with the dough raising to the air (not for folklore but for the dough assuming its correct consistency and oxygenation), baking in characteristic oven and selected woods: these are only a few of the elements characterizing this art, making dream both adults and children for generations.
For years, as far as currently, this element has played some important cultural and social functionsfor the community of Naples, whose main is the strong sense of identity for Neapolitan citizens who recognize in this practice their conviviality and common community values. The vocation to this art thus offers an important chance for social redemption to many young people who, coming from complicated ambient conditions, had the possibility to experience a culturally stimulating work. You can breathe this Art in every corner of the city. The typical Neapolitan vocabulary linked to this art is unique: in the streets of Naples you can hear the Pizzaiuolo “alluccare” (yelling) slang sentences that may seem incomprehensible to most, but that are part of the Neapolitan tradition and culture. The Art of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli transmit a relaxed and friendly atmosphere also thanks to the work bench of the Pizzaiuolo where he shows his performing art and entertains children and guests, in a continuous intergenerational exchange. The recognition of this art allows the safeguarding of traditional knowledge that is threatened by globalization all over the world.
Inscribing this art in the UNESCO Representative List means recognizing the value of a sustainable tradition, respectful toward the nature, speaking about first matters linked to a real love and respect for the Earth and to women and men genius who have been able to find a delicious methodology to feed their families and communities.
This nomination fully responds to UNESCO requests that, namely in the last years, urged the States to propose elements that can represents examples of sustainable development, integrations and social dialogue.
These are the reasons why we ask to inscribe this cultural element in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This would mean, for us all, a recognition of the value of an artisanal tradition based on that cultural diversity that nutrition needs to revalue along the necessary road to bring human beings and Earth together.