3 min read

Un Omaggio a Napoli

A Tribute to Naples
Un Omaggio a Napoli

I’m watching and loving the Italian TV series ‘Gomorra’. It is reminding me of Napoli (Naples) and how much I love that city. It occurred to me that I don’t have a lot of photos from there — none that made the first cut, anyway. So I’m going to post some here even though they’re not the best — Napoli shouldn’t have to pay for my failures.

Let’s set the obvious stuff aside, first. Yes, Naples has the best pizza in the world. Yes, it is adjacent to a live volcano.  And yes, it is also adjacent to the world’s most beautiful coastline.

Amalfi coast

The most striking thing about Napoli though, at least to me, is its absolute and total unpretentiousness. It is what it is, perfectly happy with it, doesn’t care what you think about it. The general vibe is: non ci piace? Roma non e lantana … arrivederci.

The other obvious and unique feature of Napoli is the obsession with books. They’re everywhere.

Piazza Dante: libri, libri, libri … in le tutte direzioni il libri

It’s also a very colorful place, even by Italy’s standards.

Kind of natural that it breeds and attracts artists.

And that, in turn, appears to have imbued the local culture with a strong revolutionary spirit.

Just as I was about take this shot, the train lurched into motion, throwing me off my feet. I managed to grab onto a rail just in time or it wouldn’t have been pretty. Any other place. this would’ve elicited a gasp or two but this being Napoli, no one on the packed carriage even flinched.

The Neapolitano dialect perfectly captures the spirit of Napoli, in my opinion. The locals seem to take Italian words and phrases and sort of give up on them halfway into delivery. Napoli becomes Na’p. Tutto a posto (all good) becomes t’appost. Capito (understood?) becomes capi’t. Why waste time and energy on formalities when there is so much life to be lived?

Finally, a word about the local seafood: it is good. In fact, it’s so good, that if I was told that I had to eat only seafood instead of meat for the rest of my life, Napoli is the only place in the world where I would be able to do that and not feel the loss. (That’s a high compliment.)

Europe’s top 5 experiences? In my book, yes. But maybe that’s just me. Either way, if you show up and are not really feeling it, just remember: Amalfi’s only an hour away.