Naples Snowmageddon

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.


H/T Corriere Della Sera


Oh Rome! My Country! City of the Soul!

Oh Rome! My country! City of the soul!
The orphans of the heart must turn to thee,
Lone mother of dead empires! and control
in their shut breasts their petty misery.
What are our woes and sufferance? Come and see
The cypress, hear the owl, and plod your way
O’er steps of broken thrones and temples, Ye!
Whose agonies are evils of a day —
A world is at our feet as fragile as our clay.

Byron. Childe Harolde. IV. LXXVIII. Statue of Byron in Villa Borghese Gardens.


‘Paradise doesn’t exist’!


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.


Naples from the Air

On a grey December morning in Naples, relax and enjoy a sunny flight over the lovely area of Bacoli, Baiae and the ‘lofty promontory‘ of Capo Miseno, on the north west corner of the Bay of Naples.

The Roman poet Horace apparently exclaimed ‘with rapture‘ that: ‘There is nothing in the world to compare to splendid Baiae‘ where the ‘various temptations on offer were as persuasive and seductive as the music of the sirens‘.

It’s a lot quieter today but well worth a visit out from Naples.

More Naples drone footage here.


‘You want to be American’!

A tongue-in-cheek, Neapolitan language song written by Renato Carosone in the late 1950s, Tu vuò fà l’americano is about a young wannabee who affects a contemporary American life style (sharp clothes, whisky and soda, rock-and-roll, baseball and Camel cigarettes) but who relies on his parents for money.  Seen as a satire on the process of Americanisation in post-war Italy, the lyrics most damningly accuse: ‘How can your girl friend understand you, if you speak to her in half American when you make love under the moon.  Where do you get off saying ‘I love you?’

Sung famously, in English, by Sophia Loren in ‘It Started in Naples‘, and also appearing in the Talented Mr Ripley, lyrics in both Neapolitan and English are below. Continue reading