“One can’t blame the Neapolitan for never wanting to leave his city, nor its poets singing its praises in lofty hyperboles: it would be wonderful even if a few more Vesuviuses were to rise in the neighborhood.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Naples is alleys and castles, Fascist architecture, churches and baroque art, heaps of garbage, espressos, rows of bars, and streets lined with beautifully dilapidated facades.
Naples is roaming the Spanish quarter and be rewarded with a snapshot of authentic life.
Naples is walking the Lungomare (the seaside boardwalk) and watch the sun sink into the sea as Mount Vesuvius turns alarmingly red.
Naples is buying a kilo of sardines on the market for one euro, a generous Apérol Spritz for two, and the best prosciutto for three.
Naples is ambivalence. Some taxi drivers may be waiting to cheat you out of your money, but restaurateurs may reduce your bill and refuse your tip out of sheer hospitality.
Naples is far too many Vespas speeding far too fast with far too many passengers. There are fathers who drive their three unhelmeted kids to school on one scooter.
At last but not least . . . Naples is pizzas, pizzas everywhere, traditional margarita pizzas, gluten-free pizzas, people waiting in line on the streets for supposedly the best pizzas, pizzas with onion jam and zucchini flowers, pizzas with countless anchovies, pizzas dripping with oil, pizzas that first crunch and then melt in your mouth like the best little thing you can gift yourself.