Maiori in Europe
The research, conducted between 2014 and 2017, by the "Interdepartmental Research Center for Urban Planning" Alberto Calza Bini ", of the "Federico II" University of Naples, as official partner of the project called " CARNVAL ", had the general objective of promoting the great variety of European carnivals, historical and social realities of Europe.
The project aimed to promote the events and create links between them, to spread the idea of a common European cultural space, strengthening the feeling of a common European identity. The primary objective of the project was to create social cohesion, as an intangible capital asset of the historic cities.
The research focused on the relevance of intangible "values" of the cultural heritage of the Campania Region "festivals", with the aim of safeguarding their authenticity and promoting them.
The goal of the team of the Calza Bini Interdepartmental Center within the CARNVAL project was to initiate greater scientific knowledge and reflection on carnivals in the Campania Region. The research activity has been active and proactive, has constantly tried to stimulate, through its work, the European partners and local communities to a common attention to the strong links between the carnival and the history of the contemporary city, with the aim of stimulating a future diffusion and wider exploitation of the carnival event and the urban center through the CARNVAL network.
The role of the University Center in the CARNVAL project, in addition to supporting research, was to put the university in synergy with local institutions and the bodies managing the selected carnivals, was a bridge between the institutions.
The dialogue between the parties has allowed cooperation and the exchange of information, a necessary process both, to achieve the project objectives, and to initiate actions and strategies aimed at enhancing the carnivals and cultural heritage of their territories.
In this way an indirect monitoring was created, but useful for the knowledge and promotion of their heritage. This work of interfacing with the managers of the local government and with the organizing bodies has stimulated their sense of responsibility by making them participants in the research, operating in the implementation of the inputs launched by the university and in the subsequent verification of the effects on the territory. It was possible with a hard work of relationships, to systematize the differences between the carnivals, creating synergy, producing greater social cohesion and stimulating intelligent and inclusive growth in the area.
The Creative Coastal Association has been organizing and managing the Grand Carnival of Maiori for a few years; the President Alfonso Pastore explains that since the Maiori Carnival entered the network of the CARNVAL project, we witnessed an important change of mentality which helped them grow.
Four giant papier-mâché floats are created every year; dance groups in fancy-dress precede the passage of the floats with dances and spectacular performances on the theme chosen. The parade runs along the high street and the beautiful promenade, starting from the Mezzacapo Palace, where concerts and shows take place, dominated by the Castle of San Nicola.
The new management has resulted in an exponential growth: The 2017 edition recorded a 40% increase in attendance compared to the previous edition; a milestone was reached in 2019 thanks to an excellent promotional on-line campaign.
Today, the local community has finally realised the huge potential of the Carnival, therefore, it is necessary to continue to work in this sense, increasingly reinforcing the bond between citizens and their cultural, historical and artistic heritage.
In order to reduce the risks of touristic exploitation, it is important to preserve an in-depth knowledge of the cultural heritage of the city and to enhance it through events like the carnival.
Adopting sustainable development strategies with the aim of protecting human, artistic, environmental and cultural heritage, have now become the engine of advanced economies. The Grand Carnival of Maiori can be considered part of “a strategy of development and cultural growth”, which also attracts a more sustainable type of tourism.