Year 1 - n.3 - June 2000


                                                                Pages of "a midsummer night" !

The summer solstice is one of the cosmic events on which the traditional lifestyle was based; the sunlight was at it's maximum intensity, strength and length (the time of daylight is much superior to that of darkness), even though whoever lives in direct contact with nature feels that it is a particular time of crisis: because from this moment onwards, slowly but surely, the time the light lasts begins to lessen ; it seems that the sun starts to race towards it's death, refusing in this way to supply it's vital and beneficial contribution of light and heat.It was, for the men of the ancient past, a reality to be afraid of, for us though it has no importance whatsoever and has no reason to exist, but all the same it has left traces in the images of our collective unconciousness that will never be erased. The festa of St.John the Baptist is celebrated near the time of the summer solstice (the "midsummer night's dream" by William Shakespeare), it has a corresponding symbolic date at the end of the winter solstice with the festa of St.John the Evangelist.

This is now the third issue, a prophetic number, that, without us specifically organizing the coincidence, has been presented at the same time as this extraordinary moment of cosmic crisis. Pay close attention to the word "crisis", that in the present day is often semantically used, giving a negative meaning, while it's original significance iscompletely the opposite i.e. strongly positive : in fact the Greek word "krisis" means"opinion", "choice", "decision", therefore we can say that etymologicallyspeaking, the "crisis" is the moment to verify and to make a choice: the decisive moment that marks the maturity gained through the necessity of making a choice.

With the satisfaction of the positive reaction to our publication, received through our our telematic pages, for us, this third issue represents a moment of maturity: already  we have prospects of collaboration with foreign scholars and experts whose works we will be more than happy to present during the next three months. In the meantime we are also enlargening our outlook: keeping the promise given in the first issue, "not  only Christmas Cribs", we intend publishing articles that give information regarding  the topography of Naples, it's most important buildings, it's artists, both famous and  the not so famous, always starting from a connection to the Christmas Crib, the crib  figures, the artisan shops.

Someone wisely observed that the prize for research is not so much in reaching your aim as perhaps in the actual research itself: we shall continue searching, though it is most probable that not everybody will have the possibility of finding the Holy Graal. 

We would like to wish our readers a happy summer and give them an appointment for our next publication which is planned for the equinox of autumn.


The characteristic street of the poetic, artisan Christmas Crib is Via San Gregorio Armeno. This street, famous all over the world, was known as "platea nostriana" because

Antonio Lebro