Celebrating New Year’s in Naples {Tuesdays with Tina, part 14}

This entry is part 14 of 22 in the series Tuesdays With Tina

If you are new to this series, catch up first and then come back and read.

Part 1                                         Part 11
Part 2                                         Part 12

Part 3                                         Part 13

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Tuesdays with Tina

Me: How did you used to celebrate New Year’s?

Tina: It was the custom back then [and still is] to buy a few fireworks. One of mamma’s sister’s husband owned a delicatessen. We would make a list very early on of all the things we would want to buy to eat for Christmas: green olives, some salami, some of this, some of that. Mamma would get the stuff and then she would pay her sister a little at a time. 

Me: She would buy on credit?

Tina: Yes she would pay her a little at a time and sometimes she would work it off. She would do little things for her. They would help each other out. So then after eight days we would refill some of the stuff that was consumed. We would return to our uncle’s and get more stuff: some hazelnuts, some almonds… Nothing was wasted!

Me: So you would stay up til midnight?

Tina: Yes, we would stay up til midnight, and shoot off the fireworks. In the alleys of Naples, yes, the people might be hungry, but they wouldn’t go without fireworks! It was also the custom, at the end of the year, that the people would throw off from the balcony the stuff that was no longer needed as a way to welcome the new year. 

Me: Who would clean up all that mess?

Tina: The street sweeper. Back then, the street sweeper came door to door with a burlap sack and would empty your trash can right outside your door! If you were up on the third floor, he would climb three floors. Fifth floor? He would climb five floors! The people didn’t bring it downstairs. He went DOOR TO DOOR! And five floors back then isn’t today’s five floors. The floors had really high ceilings so five floors in the old apartments would be the equivalent of, say, eight floors today!

Me: He worked for the city?

Tina: Yes, he worked for the city. Like the milk. It was municipal. 

Me: Did they deliver milk too?

Tina: No, we would go to the dairy. We would buy fresh milk. They sold it in glass bottles. Later, with progress, they came out with a triangle shaped paper carton or bag, shaped like a pyramid.

Me: Oh, yeah! I remember those! We didn’t buy it because we bought our milk on the base, but I remember seeing them in commercials and in the stores. 

Tina: After they stopped selling milk in bottles, they came out with paperboard and it was fascinating! Wow! So strange. Then you started seeing plastic buckets, all colored in red, blue, yellow. You would see the ads in the movies. Not on TV because it was still black and white. But at the movies, they would run ads before they played the movie. They were so beautiful! We had enameled buckets. There was a lot of difference!


Series Navigation<< Life in Naples in the Late 50s, Early 60s {Tuesdays with Tina, part 13}Meeting my dad {Tuesdays with Tina, part 15 } >>

About Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

I'm a wife, mom, and a homeschool teacher. I'm always behind on housework and paper pile sorting. I'm fond of this crazy life but not of melted cheese. I want to follow hard after God, making each day really count. I like to run, read, cook (and eat!). Thanks for joining along on my journey!

4 thoughts on “Celebrating New Year’s in Naples {Tuesdays with Tina, part 14}

  1. I love this series! I need to go catch up. I don’t know what happened, but suddenly you weren’t in my blog feed and I wasn’t reading anything you were writing, oops! Sorry about that. So funny about the trash man, can you imagine if that was still happening today?!

  2. I popped in from the kitchen gadget TBT blog hop, got intrigued by the My Italian Kitchen series, and now I’m hooked on this story! I love hearing the stories of people’s lives. Thank you (and your Mamma) for sharing.

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