Neopolitan Vocabulary

Sumitted by Italian SIG member Pat Zalinski


Greek bradus: slow, sism: movement) has been part of the Neapolitan vocabulary since it was coined in 1883 by Italian geologist, Arturo Issel. The term means very slow uplift or descent of part of the earth’s surface … which happens a lot around bella Napoli.

These seisms are caused by complicated filling and emptying of calderas beneath the earth’s crust that can really shake things up topside. In the Naples area the coastline of the Roman age is actually at a depth of 10 m below the present day sea level. In recent times all this up and down heaving has forced relocation of entire communities inland including parts of Sophia Loren’s hometown of Pozzouli.

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