Di Meo CALENDAR 2013 – The Soul of Time
Ten years on from the unforgettable party in the rooms of the Capodimonte Museum, the Di Meo Calendar returns to Naples,
to its churches, those that are less well known or closed to worship, photographed by Massimo Listri.
A return born not only of my desire to have people see a splendid artistic reality but also, thanks to the suggestions of Superintendent Fabrizio Vona,
who has sponsored and supervised this project with intellectual skill and spirit of friendship.
Thanks also go to Marcel Proust who gave the Calendar its title, which I think is just perfect, with a phrase from his
article “The Death of Cathedrals” published in Le Figaro in 1904 in defence of the history and conservation of France’s churches.
So welcome back to Naples!
Now, with the help of some dear friends, I am here to give you some help to make your stay in Naples both pleasant and interesting.
Emma Naldi and the Hotel Santa Lucia, and Teresa Naldi and the Hotel Royal Continental, with a gesture of great friendship, for which
I am very grateful to them, were kind enough to give us the chance to stay, at very special prices, in their hotels, the product of the farsightedness
of Roberto Fernandes and Nino Naldi, great friends of architects and interior designers, such as Gio Ponti, who added inimitable taste to the structures.
The hotels are both located on Via Partenope, which has been freed from traffic at last and is now an enchanting pedestrian area overlooking one of
the world’s most fascinating views.
And now that you’re rested and unpacked, let’s take a trip around Naples.
Waiting for you elegance lovers are Mariano Rubinacci, the all time witness of the Neapolitan style and fashion,
in his new space at Palazzo Cellammare; Maurizio Marinella, in his "English" shop at the Riviera di Chiaia, where
you will find, other than the famous ties, many objects that immediately call on an irrestiteble desire to buy;
Amina Rubinacci, with her cashmere and her world famous knits, in the new atelier in Via Carlo Poerio. After passing
Piazza Municipio, having adimired the triumph arch of the Maschio Angioino, we arrive at the splendid d'Aquino di Caramanico
palace, home of one of the maison Cilento, since 1780 a must of the most exclusive Naples. Here on the first floor,
Ugo Cilento, representing the eight generation of the historical family of entrepreneurs, has created a private parlour
for meetings and conversations on art and bien vivre and between a cultured conversation and a fired up discussion, the eye gets
cought by the famous seven pleats ties, the sophisticated and elegant fabrics for perfectly traditionally tailored dresses and the perfect-cut shirts.
Furthermore, in one of the most beautiful and prestigious places in Naples,
the Galleria Umberto I in front of the San Carlo theater, is the siege of fratelli Ascione, that is also a museum hosting
hundreds of jewels witnessing the art of coral work and cameos making from 1805 to 1950.
After seeing the slightly more frivolous aspects of the city and dropping off your purchases back at the hotel, I suggest you take a look at
the antique shops (my great passion) all located in the heart of the shopping area: in Piazza Vittoria, Vincenzo Porcini’s paintings, in his shop
Napoli Nobilissima, and in Via Vannella Gaetani, the equally extraordinary paintings of Alfredo Calandra and Renato Visco’s La Pinacoteca;
right opposite, the silverware and porcelain of Lucio Schisano’s La Casa Borbonica. A few metres away, in Via Morelli, Andrea Gargiulo,
a passionate collector of gouaches, and Tullierie, the new space opened by Tullia Gargiulo and Naples’ first boutique selling Liberty and Déco
furniture and fabrics. This brings us to Via Carlo Poerio and Roberto Campobasso and, a little further ahead, Stefano Cavedagna,
with a selection of precious and very elegant furnishings.
For modern and contemporary art lovers, Naples has become a reference point in recent years thanks to the wonderful temporary installations in
Piazza Plebiscito and those still open to visitors in the Underground stations (Toledo, Università, Dante, Salvator Rosa and Vanvitelli stops),
and to Museo Madre, in Via Settembrini and Museo Nitsch in Vico Lungo Pontecorvo. Great collectors and merchants have succeeded in
intelligently and passionately identifying artists and trends in Naples; a few names to keep in mind: Lia Rumma in Via Vannella Gaetani;
Alfonso Artiaco in piazza dei Martiri; Maurizio Siniscalco in via Carlo Poerio and Giangi Fonti in Via Chiaia;
Fondazione Morra Greco in largo Avellino, behind the monumental complex of the Girolamini.
These tours have definitely aroused the desire to get to know and visit the splendid antique works of Neapolitan art. Your tour will be enhanced
by the presence of Francesca Amirante: an educated and passionate art historian who will suggest the best and most interesting itineraries
to discover the historical and artistic monuments and locations of this very noble city. Naples is full of unforgettable places, but I’m sure that
Francesca will be able to identify logistically well-structured itineraries. Some very important visits are included among the churches featured
in the Calendar: the Ambassador Michelangelo Pisani Massamormile awaits you on Saturday and Sunday morning in the Church of the Disciplina
della Croce; and San Giuseppe delle Scalze a Pontecorvo will be opened especially for the occasion.
Another announcement and then I’ll end the “artistic” tours: Neapolitan friends who own historical houses that are particular rich in precious objects
will be delighted to receive the friends of the Calendar, as happened in Palermo.
After all this walking around, I’ve no doubt you’ll be tired and in need of an excellent Neapolitan lunch. I’ve also though of food, and have asked
by friend Fabrizio Mangoni di Santo Stefano, architect and refined gourmet and well-known face on TV, to indicate, at his risk and peril,
the best places to enjoy a real Neapolitan pizza or other traditional dishes.
So, dear friends, I look forward to seeing you in Naples. Save the date – as they say – the 24th of November at 8:00 p.m. at the Girolamini,
placed at our disposal by the curator Umberto Bile. Along with my brother Roberto, I’ll be delighted to see you and hope that, thanks
to your stay in Naples and all the friends who will unveil the charm of this city to you, you’ll discover that, Goethe and Croce permitting,
Naples is a paradise and nothing else, the devils have all left.
Generoso di Meo