A greying, sick man sits on a beach on a southern shore and speaks warmly about Naples. Marcello Mastroianni, the incomparable and very cool post-war Italian actor, notes that ‘the strength of the Neapolitan is ..in their character, in their nature, in their traditions’. He continues:
‘Io amo Napoli. E’ la città meno americanizzata d’Italia anzi d’Europa. Una volta a Roma,mentre passeggiavo,qualcuno alle mie spalle disse:”Ammazza le rughe,come s’è invecchiato!”, invece a Napoli uno mi si avvicinò così:” Marcellì, ce simmo fatt’ viecchiarell,eh? ‘o volite nu cafe?” :che garbo,che gentilezza d’animo…Napoli va presa come una città unica,molto intelligente: Napoli è troppo speciale quindi non la possono capire tutti’.
Translation and video below.
‘I love Naples. It is the least Americanized city in Italy and also in Europe. Once, when I was strolling in Rome, someone said over my shoulder ‘Look at the wrinkles. How he’s aged!’ whereas in Naples a man approached me [in Neapolitan] so: ‘Marcelli, we’re getting old, hey? Fancy a coffee?’ How graceful, how kind in spirit…Naples should be seen as a unique city, very intelligent: Naples is so special that not everyone can understand it’.
Video from the film ‘Marcello Mastroianni: I remember‘. Picture of Mastroianni in Marriage Italian Style (1964), filmed in part in Naples.