customs and tax laws, and the failure to introduce effective farming reforms, severely damaged southern agriculture and resulted in a violently suppressed peasant revolt and massemigration (Allum 1973 : 21–22; Verdicchio 1997 : 24). Napoli lost the privileges it had previously enjoyed as one of the two capital cities of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, alongside Palermo. It no longer drew in massive taxes from the surrounding countryside and ceased to be the State’s preferred city for investment in new industries and technologies (Chambers 2008 : 76, 112).
in those various trends and
indices that register at the more immediate level of everyday experience.
The official contention that the 1990s saw the most successful programme of job creation in the history of the state seems more credible
when one constantly passes the windows of retail outlets carrying advertisements for new staff. The declaration that the former scourge of massemigration has been vanquished, moreover, appears persuasive when
friends and family are no longer compelled to leave the country and
when some of those who left in previous times begin to
. As with my own upbringing, strategies to protect against such prejudice have often focused on the question of language and accent, but there was a sad price to pay for this. It was interesting that Gennaro used a metaphor he felt to be rooted in the Neapolitan landscape that, in fact, recalled fluidity and migratory movement. It evoked memories of massemigration from the Italian peninsula as well as – for me – conjuring up images of the small boats arriving at that moment on Mediterranean shores. For Gennaro and Augusto, nostalgia around eroding forms of culture