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by cyop&kaf

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Many neighborhoods in Naples still celebrate the ritual of the bonfires of Saint Anthony in mid January. Kids start collecting firewood after New Year’s, sometimes venturing far from home to look for it. Every group stashes their wood in a different hiding place, “the secret,” so they can protect it from being raided by other neighboring groups. Checco Lecco’s gang from the Spanish Quarters has been hiding spruces of all sizes in an abandoned site: it was cleared twenty years before when they demolished a building damaged by the 1980 earthquake. Every afternoon, the kids leave from their “secret” in small groups and head to the elegant parts of town to retrieve Christmas trees discarded after the holidays. The countdown to January 17th, the day of the bonfires, is spent between hectic searches and skirmishes, sometimes real and often imaginary, to defend their treasure from the assaults of the “enemies.” Everything takes place in the streets: in the morning kids occasionally skip school, and at night they guard their hiding place. But, on the very last day before the celebrations, an unexpected obstacle threatens to ruin everything.

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