The Cornicello is an ancient amulet or good luck charm that you see throughout the streets of Napoli. These things hark back to an ancient period where there was the belief that these beauties warded off evil spirits and bad luck. The colour of red was also to bring positive vibes, victory and fertility… if that is your thing. All in all, if these things can protect you from the ‘Evil Eye’ or just make your front door look better, I am all for it.
These are made from clay for us by Neapolitan artisan Salvatore. Each is hand shaped and painted in his studio in the Sanita neighbourhood of the city. They came with some ribbon for you to hang wherever you see fit. I have mine on the inside of my door, but I’ve seen them in cars, in prams, and some people even loop them on their jeans.
Each one is slightly different with the only stipulation being that it must be “tuosto, stuorto e cu a’ punta”, tough, twisted and with a tip. So yeah, I know that it looks a bit like a chilli pepper, but I promise it is a horn. My mate Joe (our man in Napoli) reckons that the luck of these only work if you give them to someone else, so if you want one for yourself, get someone else to get it for you, or send one to someone who needs some good luck!
Between 5-8cm high, not including the ribbon. Depends on how big Salvatore wants to make them on the day.
Below is a little video produced by us all about cornicellos and the superstitions in Napoli.
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