Last weekend I visited the wild south of Italy, Naples (Napoli). I have enjoyed this beautiful country all the way from the southern island Sicily to the northern cities, such as Milan and Venice. But I haven’t found such special taste of life anywhere else than in Napoli.
In the city you can feel a very special energy that all the danger around creates. An active vulcano Vesuvio as a landmark of the city makes you live in a moment in these old streets and appreciate the beauty of life in its vulnerability.
The first feelings of danger I got on the streets, as the traffic made my heart pump a bit faster. Everyone drives where they find a way to go, the vespas pass by with some extra speed, at times even in impossible places. Here is a short video I took that shows how the traffic lights, or the lack of them, work. Quite well actually, everyone can move by the same rules.
About another dangerous matter, the mafia, known by the name Camorra in Napoli, it is these days more underground and a normal tourist rarely witnesses any events of it, but it’s still living. Already once before I posted about Gomorra, a true story of Camorrra written by Roberto Saviano. It explains the system very well and shows that mafia is definitely not a joke as few people seem to think, it is everyday life for many locals.
In the middle of all this I really started feeling to live in that exact moment. And when talking about this, we cannot skip food. Napoli is most known of its pizza and pasta but there are so many other local specialities. Such as fresh mozzarella.
Sea food is a must to try since by the Mediterranean you experience it with your every sense. You smell and see the waves, and you feel the warm Mediterranean breeze on your skin while the salty deliciousness takes over. As this octopus in the picture.
As in any at least a bit touristic place, also in Napoli area you should follow the locals to find the best and most original food, such as this restaurant ‘Zona A’ in Pozzuoli.
As another book to recommend, The Officer by Anthony Capella gives the tastes of Campania area by its delicious words. It is a novel but written in real frames of history, in the times of second world war. Though, just a little warning, after this you cannot resist to book the flights to try all those recipes described in the story.
Only in a weekend, Napoli took its own place in my heart. I miss those amazing landscapes, juicy pieces of mozzarella, and the passion that the city and its inheritants deliver. I will really try to adapt the Neapoletan ability to enjoy life to my everyday experiences.
Enjoying a chilly moment on a beach close to Napoli
Lido Vittoria, Italy
As we say, there are two sides in the coin. In every place, time and culture there are always positive and negative aspects. How we find something is mainly about our attitude and our own behaviour. When we respect, try fearlessly another life style and let the people come to our hearts on their own way, we gain the most – openness and love.