From the personal desk of Paolo Pontonieri, L’espresso – Repubblica.it
Renowned internationally for its beauty but also for its stark economic and social contrasts, Naples, which in recent years had to cope with criminal and sanitation emergencies, is living a cultural and social resurgence which is bringing the city back to its position as one of Europe’s major centers for creative innovation, and one of the continent’s pivotal intersections for cultural integration.
A young energetic and independent politician Luigi de Magistris, is a former mafia and camorra prosecutor, a staunch supporter of civil rights of all minorities, and of zero waste practices. He was swept into office on the wave of a civil revolution which has cast old parties aside to make way for a new coalition of civil-minded community organizations.
De Magistris comes to San Francisco also to promote Unite The Two Bays, www.unitethetwobays.com–an economic and cultural exchange projects that mires to revive the historical ties running between the Bay Area of San Francisco and the Bay of Naples. Unknown to many is for example the fact the the San Francisco Opera was founded by a Neapolitan born musician; that the Mediterranean Diet is the brain-child of the collaboration in the 1950s between researcher at the University of Naples and the University of Berkeley; and that the Slow Food Initiatives (such as Slow Food Nation) for which San Francisco has become renowned worldwide were inspired by the 4th International Slow Food World Congress of Naples.
An interesting, and unique, connotation of the project is that the cultural aspects are realized in support of creating innovation, startups, cutting edge scientific research and newentrepreneurship in the city. Unite the Two Bays aims also to launch an annual meeting on the Mediterranean Diet, and Cuisine in collaboration with the departments of neurology and cardiology of UCSF. The Teatro di San Carlo, Naples’ opera house and Europe’s oldest functioning lyrical institution, has in some ways become the ambassador of this effort, which enjoys also a wide support in the business community of the Bay Area and among Italians and Italian Americans of this region. The Teatro di San Carlo will in fact hold a concert on October 25, The Concert of the Two Bays, in San Francisco at the World Memorial Opera House in collaboration with the orchestra and chorus of the San Fancisco Opera (about 400 musicians on the same stage, a Guinness I believe) to celebrate the Bicentennial of Verdi’s birth. I would appreciate it if you or some of your colleagues could attend to the press conference.
Would you come please to know more about the new Naples and interact with de Magistris? Let me know as soon as possible.