Stefano Santos

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In the land of the Sarrastes

The Sarno Valley, despite appearing today like a mere extension of the greater Neapolitan metropolis, locked between the Vesuvius and the Lattari Mountains, crossed by the most polluted river in Europe, has always played a major in shaping Campania's history and culture. Its fertile lands yield among the most iconic produce in Italian cuisine: the Gragnano's pasta and the San Marzano tomato; its coasts (from Portici to Castellammare) were instrumental in stimulating the Industrial Revolution under the Two Sicilies' Kingdom; its holidays and traditions are among the most beloved in the whole region. But it is also the area that was struck the worst by de-industrialization and economic decline during this last century. A series of reportages to attempt to reconstruct this mosaic.

Project made within Officina Reporter.

© 2016 - Landscapes from (L-R): Torre Annunziata, Sant'Egidio del Monte Albino, Sarno.

© 2016 - Religious devotion in Pagani (Madonna delle Galline 1,2) and Scafati (Madonna dei Bagni 3).

© 2016 - Religious devotion in Sarno (1,2 - Croci e paputi) and Scafati (3 - Madonna dei Bagni).

© 2016 - Traditional dances and folklore in Scafati.

© 2016 - Traditional dances and folklore in Pagani.

© 2016 - Agricultural tradition in Scafati, San Valentino Torio and Sarno.

© 2016 - Agricultural tradition in Sarno.

© 2016 - Lucia De Palma showing pictures from her wedding with Marcello Torre, and one with her son Giuseppe in her home in Pagani. Marcello Torre, a lawyer, was elected mayor of Pagani shortly before the Irpinia earthquake in 1980. He was slain by the Camorra just outside his home as he denounced the widespread corruption linked to the reconstruction in the aftermath of the earthquake.

© 2016 - Mario Esposito Ferraioli showing pictures of his brother Antonio, near the corner where he was assassinated by the Camorra in 1978. A cook in a local factory, he was an active trade-unionist and denounced the corruption linked to the supply of the meat in the factory dining hall.

© 2016 - Sarno, Pagani and Torre Annunziata.

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