“Maggio dei Monumenti” (or “May of Monuments”), the event that started in early ’90 as a way to open the doors of the city to visitors and locals as well, is approaching for 2016. Each year there is a defined theme, around which guided tours and events are arranged around the city monuments. This event is really a good reason to visit Napoli in May.
This year the XXII edition of “Maggio dei Monumenti” will be dedicated to King Charles III of Bourbon, in the 300th anniversary of his birth. Carl III was very influential in the history of the city and of the “Kingdom of Two Sicilies” of the time. The program details are not disclosed yet; they are usually published on the web site of Napoli municipality (www.comune.napoli.it). As a reference you can find last year’s program here.
Dedicating this initiative to a King of the old Southern Kingdom may be interpreted in different ways. It may be read as a separatist message, in a time when Italy is struggling as a country and as a society; there are other areas of Italy where separatism is felt strongly. The process of making Italy one single country from every aspect is definitely not completed yet, as our history as such is too young. It can also be read as a way to find reason to be proud of ourself looking back at our history, discounting the current problems; this would be an easy as well as coward way to find temporary relief to the present problems that does not build anything for the future.
The way I like to read it is that this focus on Carlo III is the way to keep awareness of our history. This awareness is key to better understand where we are today, and also to make better decisions for our future. At least this is the meaning of the event for Neapolitans and Southern citizens in general. For visitors and for everyone, it is a great chance to see and understand special places of one of the historical capitals of Europe. Have fun with it!