Napoli sits at the foot of Mother Vesuvius - the people love her for her kindness and fear her for her wrath. Sometimes generous – sometimes severe, she favors them with rich farmland, an azure sea and sometimes when she is angry, clouds of dust and ash. This timeless cycle of give and take embodies Neapolitans with a strong sense of history and a rich understanding of change.
Real people live here, and Napoli is all about the people. Not content to be a decaying museum piece like Venice or an icon of fashion like Milan, Neapolitans embrace the hustle and bustle, the constant motion, and the restless energy of the city. They share a keen appreciation that life is meant for living in the company of others – many others. Longing for the solitude of the countryside? Not here, my friend. Napoli is about life among the multitude. Learn to love the crowds, and rekindle the joy of living with people again.
Real people living real lives – seemingly oblivious to the waves of tourists and other invaders bent on using Napoli as a springboard to Pompeii and to the riches of the Amalfi Coast. Step away from the tourist zones, and Napoli lives on as it has for a thousand years – embracing its history and welcoming each new wave of invaders with a wry smile and an understanding nod. We’ve seen all this before, and we will still be here long after you are gone.
Have a problem? Signora would like to order a vegetarian panini? The Neapolitans will listen, understand your problem, express sympathy, and shrug their shoulders. It’s an interesting story – but why are you telling me this? They are not indifferent – but they have heard it all before. The English fades away and its all “non capisco” until you decide to chill a bit and go with the flow. Then it’s all Ok again – perhaps another glass? Va bene – va bene…
Residents and visitors alike – each person leaving his or her mark on the richly grafittied walls and worn paving stones – layer after layer, century after century. Peel away a layer, lift a stone, or strip a canvas and something else will be revealed beneath - a Roman ruin or a broken CD.
Why worry? Have you not everything you need? A good meal, a glass of wine, the deep blue sea, and the endless sunshine? And conversation – loud, intense, full bodied and lusty – about whatever passes on the street or about the idiots in charge.
Because life will go on, and what is new today is what will be ancient in a thousand years. Napoli will be there long after everyone and everything that is there now is gone. And so it goes…