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‘Paradise doesn’t exist’!

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This well-executed, politically-minded graffiti made me smile when I snapped it on Saturday in a back alley near the Museo Diocesano in the Centro Storico in Naples.  The skeletal figures are taken from the workers on strike in the famous painting Il Quarto Stato – The Fourth Estate (1901) by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo which is in the Museo del Novecento, Milan.

More on Naples graffiti, love it or loath it, here.  There is even a Napoli Street Art Twitter feed you can follow here.

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Naples: Utterly chaotic and with a hint of danger

Naples via Daily Mail

‘If you have a hankering for somewhere ancient and aromatic, shadowy and mysterious, laden with centuries of history, somewhere not yet quite 20th century, let alone 21st, then Naples is the place for you: colourful markets, anarchic traffic, washing hanging out on balconies next to gorgeous, crumbling baroque churches — and humanity, in all its noisy, squabbling vigour, living its life out in the cobbled streets and the piazzas’.

The Daily Mail’s writer liked Naples in all its gritty glory.  So do we.  More about Naples here.  Naples graffito featured image from WordPress Blogger The Daily Norm.

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Naples from Parco di Capodimonte

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/8ea/67603008/files/2014/12/img_1307.jpgDowntown Naples as seen from Capodimonte yesterday.

Unfortunately the large park behind the old Royal Palace was closed to visitors but there was still the opportunity for a Sunday stroll to walk off some of the Christmas turkey.

As you can see, the weather has taken a colder turn and rain was in the air – fa freddo!

‘On his last sight of Fiammetta’ – A Naples Love Story

By legend it was in the ‘huge, utterly gothic space’ of the Church of San Lorenzo Maggiore, situated in the very centre of the Centro Storico of Naples, that the 14th Century poet and writer Giovanni Boccaccio first glimpsed his muse, Fiammetta or ‘Little Flame’.  He was 21 years old at the time and had arrived in Italy’s biggest and richest city with his banker father from Florence a few years before.

Many thought, and think, that Fiammetta was Maria d’Aquino, a daughter of Robert, King of Naples.  Boccaccio venerated her beauty and mind, even if her body remained out of reach as she retreated back into the court and away from Naples city life.  Instead of a companion, she would become a constant feature of his later works, many of which recreate Naples in all its earthy reality.

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Saving Naples

It is sadly true that, despite the many wonders and attractions of the historic centre of Naples, a lot of the buildings in this UNESCO World Heritage Site are in a sorry state of repair.  Formerly beautiful Palazzos are run down with little sign of repair work.  Churches are locked, damp has eaten into the walls and netting is strung along roofs protects passers by from falling masonry.  And there is a lack of money, and will, to do anything about it.

Here the BBC’s Rome correspondent looks into the issue:

Millions of euros have been promised for renovations but is this enough to restore the heart of the city and make the most of its past?

via BBC News – Saving one of Italy’s oldest cities from crumbling away.

Picture via UNESCO.

Art with an edge

Nice piece about a trip to the Centro Storico and the beautiful Cappella Sansevero.

The Phraser

DSC01678I love art – not in an expert way, just in a ‘this amazes me’ way.  Two weeks ago we visited a statue that seemed to have barely stopped breathing – ‘The Veiled Christ’ in the Museo Cappella Sansevero in Naples, Italy.

It was a mini Indiana Jones of an event.

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