Without a doubt we Italians constantly use our hands when we speak, and our gestures are just as expressive as our words. This fact is often mocked abroad and is seen as something excessive, rather uncouth and vulgar. However, let me say that it's anything but! It is pure theater. It is an ability to make oneself understood and communicate that is both ancient and modern.
It is an ephemeral and eternal game of signs and extremely rapid allusions. It is a phenomenon that is a form of art in Naples, a place where hand gestures and their immediate and direct comprehension are supreme. You may have witnessed a lively conversation between two Neapolitans, accompanied as usual by continuous and frenetic hand movements and a sequence of Oscar-worthy gesticulations in a marvelous baroque emphasis that underlines and dramatizes each phrase and salient concept.
Or, better yet, you might come across someone clinging to a cellphone as if it were a question of life or death or, in a totally surreal moment, lost in the solipsism of the earphone, wandering the city streets, tracing complex and mysterious geometric shapes in the air that form and vanish, with dancing fingers and Kabuki twists, rhythmic and increasingly emblematic hieroglyphics.