Pasta heads in Naples

I love these photos of pasta heads taken in Naples and have wanted to include them in Delicious Baby’s photo Friday for a while!

Pasta head 2

Pasta head with cigarette

The card next to the second photo is written in Neapolitan dialect: 

O Maccarone mio

Nisciuno o’ tene!

O’ mengo tuosto

e tuosto se mantene. 

I don’t know Neapolitan dialect but I’m thinking it translates into Italian along the lines of: 

Il mio maccarone

nessuno lo tiene (nessuno ce l’ha)

Lo metto duro e duro mantiene

This would be quite the double entendre, so before I write the English translation and embarrass myself, maybe there’s a Napoletano out there who can straighten me out?

Photos by Sanjay

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Posted by on Jun 3, 2010 in Italian Culture | 6 Comments


  1. Lucia
    June 4, 2010

    Sorry, no help here with the dialect…but I LOVE these pasta heads! So creative

  2. Debbie Ferm
    June 4, 2010

    I love the pasta heads! People are so creative:) (well, except me, ha!

  3. Sergio
    June 7, 2010

    Sorry if you’ll consider my comment rude, but that thing in neapolitan is very “naughty”, it is an ode to the penis.
    The humor of the first part is based on “tenere”, considered in its two meanings: avere (to have)and trattenere (to keep in restrains, to hold).
    – noone has a maccherone like mine
    – noone can stop my maccherone.
    The second part is:
    it is stiff when i insert it, and it keeps staying stiff.
    Obviously the second part has a reference to good pasta, that stays “al dente” when boiled, it doesnt “scuoce”.

  4. Madeline
    June 7, 2010

    Thanks Sergio! Your comment isn’t rude, I appreciate you spelling out the meaning of the sign. And I never thought I’d read a poem about pasta al dente with a double entendre… 🙂

  5. Theodora
    June 9, 2010

    I love a bit of low humour. It makes the world go round. And, as with so many things, Italians do it better.
    If your sense of humour is as childish as mine, this picture of a tribal tomb from a museum in Vietnam might amuse you…

  6. Madeline
    June 9, 2010

    Theodora that’s a pretty unique photo 🙂
    And I agree the Italians do it well – though a Sicilian friend of mine who reads my blog and knows Neapolitan dialect did not want to comment on this post and instead sent me a separate email about the translation. Too funny.


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