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“The Art of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli” in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

This petition had 49,345 supporters

The UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity includes the most representative intangible cultural heritage of each State. The “The Art of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli” therefore represents one of the clearest examples of Italian cultural heritage.

This Art, which was born centuries ago in Naples and was handed down from generation to generation, consists in the manipulation of two basic substances – water and flour – in order to create a circular-shaped dough through a specific technique from the Neapolitan tradition, accompanied by popular expressions from the local dialect ("alluccare", "schiaffo", etc.). The manipulation of the dough, the “artistic performances” that characterize this tradition such as that of the “discus throw” (procedures that are not just a mere visual exhibition as they allow the dough to acquire the right consistency and oxygenation), and cooking the pizza in special wood-fired ovens are just a few of the elements that characterize an art that adults and children alike have enjoyed for generations.

For years, this Art has played an important role in the cultural and social functions of the city of Naples, including the strong sense of identity for Neapolitan citizens who attribute conviviality and community values to this practice. The vocation to this art thus offers an important chance for social redemption to many young people with difficult backgrounds, giving them the possibility to experience a culturally stimulating profession. You can experience this Art in every corner of the city. The typical Neapolitan language linked to this Art is unique: in the streets of Naples you can hear the Pizzaiuolo “alluccare” (yelling) dialect expressions that may seem incomprehensible to most, but that are part of the Neapolitan tradition and culture. The Art of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli conveys a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, also thanks to the Pizzaiuolo’s work bench, where he gives a visual demonstration of his art and entertains children and guests, in a continuous intergenerational exchange. The recognition of this Art ensures the safeguarding of a tradition and expertise that are threatened by globalization all over the world.

Inscribing this “Art” in the UNESCO Representative List means recognizing the value of a sustainable tradition that is respectful toward nature and pays careful attention to the quality of its raw materials, a tradition that shows profound love and respect for the Earth and which is linked to the ingenuity of women and men who have been able to find delicious ways to feed their families and communities.

This nomination fully responds to UNESCO requests, especially in recent years has, urged States to propose elements that represents examples of sustainable development, integrations and social dialogue.

For these reasons, we ask that this cultural element be inscribed in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This would mean recognizeing the value of an artisanal tradition based on the cultural diversity that food must rediscover to reconcile human beings with the Earth.

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