This article illustrates the main results of a one year ethnographic research about three typical handmade productions in the historical centre of Naples: lute making, jewellery, and nativity scene (called "presepe") making. Neapolitan artistic craftsmanship, most known maybe just for the 3 investigated productions, constitutes a local resource and a development opportunity, which represents the continuity with tradition but also the capacity of innovation. The craftsmen recover and adequate techniques of cultured art, reinterpreting contents and techniques of traditional productions, while differentiating the product and its quality on the basis on the new requests of the customers.
They also have introduced new technologies in the traditional production processes, and changes both in the work organisation and in the transmission of craft. The collected information permit to identify the potential, the richness and variety of forms of a field that, though still bound with tradition, has undergone many changes and still tries to innovate every day. [Publisher's Text].