Friday, 18 July 2014

Love in Naples

It's official. I am in love with Naples. I thought it might just be a one night stand but the passion has intensified over the past 24 hours. Now it's a two night relationship. Naples is wild. It's a love or hate relationship. Its passionate or its painful. It's sexy or it's just plain dirty. So full of life and energy and madness. As far as rules go - forget them. Here's a few examples: texting while riding a Vespa with no helmet and weaving through oncoming traffic in laneways only one vehicle in width; a 12 year old, no helmet, jumps on his motorcycle in Sanita district and speeds off; two women and two children under five, on a Vespa in the busy back streets (Spanish quarter) - no helmets; u turns in the face of oncoming traffic as a matter of course; short changed at the Central station when buying tickets for the Metro from a very helpful member of Trenitalia; short changed at the local deli when buying ingredients for dinner; overcharged in pretty much every transaction. Tourists are simply an obvious opportunity to make a few extra biucks. I'm wearing a label on my forehead - 'Tourist, take me for a ride.' So what's to love. It's the adrenalin, the energy of the place. I've always been attracted to taking risks and this is the city for risk takers be it taking your life in your hands crossing the road or riding your motorcycle or wandering in narrow laneways from which there may be no escape. These days I've mellowed and take very calculated risks but there's something about this place that has me reliving my mis-spent youth. It's LOVE. Not Rome and romantic love; not Malta and slowly falling in love with the relaxed style and ordinary everyday things; not Lisbon and its sophisticated charm. This is Naples and it's full on passion which might burn out quickly but I suspect this will be a love that will linger. My previous love of this intensity was probably India almost thirty seven years ago and before that Andrea forty years ago this year.

1 comment:

Mickcap said...

Palermo had the same effect on me. The mafia, cosa nostra and camorra were terrible, ruthless organisations, but their lawless cities have retained their rough, wild and lively communities that have been tamed in our well planned, tidy urban areas.