Monday, May 9, 2011


Galleria Umberto

What outsiders say about Naples: There’s good pizza, coffee, and watch out for the pickpockets.

What Italians, the non-Neapolitans say: You’re going to Naples? Why you like garbage?”  Or, don’t trust the Neapolitans, they are funny and false.

Perhaps there is an amount of truth to these generalizations, but the point of travel is to see past or through those ideas, to see that the pizza from Naples is set apart because the Neapolitans use more dough than Rome, Venice, and other regions of Italy. And sure, there are piles of un-tidy trash around, especially near the train station, but the garbage is the spark of a conversation. The story behind that is that the politicians/mobsters (Mobsters is to be read in a hushed tone.) prevent the garbage from being taken away as they pocket the money they receive for that problem.

Onto other things...

Wandering the streets of Naples is much like walking through halls of stranger’s homes due to the personal items of clothing that are hung out to dry on clothing lines above head, or on window sills.

In regard to wandering, one must be alert because the mostly helmet-less moto drivers do not stop at side street intersections. They slow down and tap on the horn, which in turn creates a friendly beep sound that is nearly undetectable when it’s competing with the other general noises and voices of the city. So you may want to watch your step.

Which voices am I speaking of? The Neapolitans are constantly outside talking to each other about the weather, or bread, or someone’s ill Nonna. And when they’re inside their houses they continue to converse with each other through towels and wet socks with others on the street from their windowsills. “Get four eggplants!” --- “Okay!”

Indeed, Naples has an energy. If the energy were a person, he/she would be that person who tells a funny story with their mouth full of food. Or, that person who is willing to shout over the person beside him/her in order to be heard, not negatively, more like if I talk louder someone, anyone, will have to hear a least three words I say. 

(Left)  Anancino (Right) Mozzarella 
When it comes to food Neapolitans like to experiment with frying, they commonly fry things like pizza dough, macaroni cakes, cattò di patate (balls of mashed potatoes), buffalo mozzarella cheese, and their version of the arancino  (Balls of rice, cheese, and tomato sauce.)

As for a last observation, there are an uncountable number of people who live in the center of the city who have converted their garages into studios or extra rooms. Which is technically illegal or creative, it really depends on your own point of view. I'm going to go with creative. 

1 comment:

  1. Yeah it's much better without the "I" ! :) That's also what we're asking our editors to do