Naples:life,death &
                Miracle contact: Jeff Matthews


Give Me that Old-Time Profession! (6)

This is the sixth and last in a series. Here is the first one-- including the general introduction to the series.

   Links to n. 2   n. 3   n. 4   n. 5 

The water stand.
This one is not really obsolete; such stands still exist commonly in Naples, especially along the seaside. These days, the water is bottled and the selections have expanded to include soft-drinks. It's a safe bet that the modern stands no longer stock the famous water of Chiatamone.

The spirits vendor. Both the Italian and Neapolitan term is "acquavita
" lit. "water of life," by which one means strong alcoholic drinks produced by distillation. The English term "whiskey" in fact derives from the Gaelic uisgebeatha, also with the same meaning. Modern laws on the consumption of alcohol have rendered this profession obsolete.

The ragman,
called cenciaiuolo in Neapolitan
also called Saponaro, from the word for "soap." He wandered the streets collecting old rags and bits of clothing, in exchange for which he gave laundry soap.

The dustman
, or garbage collector. It has been many years since anyone who looks like this has collected refuse on the streets of Naples. As a matter of fact, if you have been keeping up with news from Naples on that score, it has been a long time since someone looking like anyone at all has collected refuse on the streets of Naples!

Also see this entry on the cantastorie/story singers of Naples.

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