A powerful, visually striking video homage to Naples, titled Io Sono Napoletano, from the folks at Napoli Da Vivere. In Italian with English subtitles.
The high sun, the yellow tinge of the stone, the steep descent of the vico, the washing at the windows and the sea of the Bay beyond. You couldn’t be anywhere but Vomero, Naples, as seen today by my friend Christian.
OK, Capodimonte won this accolade back in 2015. But I would still encourage you to take a short walk by 4K video through this huge, rambling, atmospheric, overgrown ex-Royal park on a high hill above Naples. It’s a perfect place to jog, picnic, play with your kids, take a weekend stroll, have a furtive assignation, or walk off a large lunch.
Or better still to find a quiet place for inner reflection, away from the hectic city below.
London-based photographer Sam Gregg, who is particularly interested in ‘marginalised and dispossessed communities‘, has recently published a series of unromantic, unflinchingly honest, and insightful pictures of life in the city titled See Naples and Die.
Predominantly shot in two of the city’s most deprived working class neighbourhoods, the Spanish Quarter and Rione Sanità, Gregg says his photos are:
‘A documentation of the spirit and vibrancy of the people who live in these areas, even in the face of abject adversity. They are fiercely proud of their heritage and emblematic of what it means to be a true Neapolitan’.
A great post below by e-Tinkerbell on Oscar Wilde’s brief, post-imprisonment sojourn with his lover and downfall Bosie Douglas in Naples, at the time noted as ‘a delightful winter residence for those fond of pleasure and gaiety‘.
Picking the story up where the blog finishes, Wilde stayed in Naples after Bosie left:
‘sitting at the Caffè Gambrinus for an afternoon, hoping that some English tourist would recognize him and be charmed enough to pay for a few drinks. But most of the English in Naples at the time spurned him. A friend asked him if he could imagine spending the rest of his life in Naples. “No,” he replied, “the cooking is really too bad.’
Shunned, deserted, alone, he finally left Naples, a city he perceptively described as both ‘evil and luxurious’ and unable to publish his work or find translators, for Paris where he would die, a penniless social outcast, two years later at the age of 46.
Many words can be used to describe Oscar Wilde’s genius and personality, but wise is not one of them, to be sure. Having spent two years in jail after having been charged for “gross indecency”, the echoes of the scandal were not over yet, so he decided that Paris would have been a better place to try and start over again. In those months in Paris he could work on his famous “Ballad of Reading Jail”, but the signs of hard labour on his body and the awareness of the terrible humiliation his family had suffered were not enough to make him ignore the reasons of his heart. Against his better judgement, if he had any, Wilde yielded to his desire to see again Lord Alfred Douglas, Bosie, the man who had brought him to a tremendous downfall, so the two decided to spent the winter in Naples…
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Naples is struggling to cope with its heaviest snowfall for over 60 years, bemusing the locals, shutting the airport, closing schools and offices, and causing traffic chaos.
For a comparison of the conditions, below is the same scene in snowy Piazza del Plebiscito, separated by 62 years. The first famous image by Vittorio Pandolfi on the left is from 1956; the second on the right is by Fabio Cozzolino from 2018 who reproduces the original photograph, down to the car in the foreground. And the umbrellas in the background.
More modern pictures of Naples (and Rome) in the snow here.