There are those who travel but never arrive. Those who visit a place but never know the people. Travel is much more when you get closer to life and how it is best lived here, wherever here may be. It’s time to get a closer view of Naples.
And so begins my verbal sketch of Napoli. The guide went on about the chaos that is his city and offered no shortage of examples. For instance, no one believes a street sign really should be taken ‘literally,” and being aggressive is not necessarily rude. As he spoke, a cast of locals, as if witnesses for the prosecution, cut us off on their motorbikes and crossed the street with an abandon that closely approximated a kind of death wish and urban ballet.
“I love this place, and no local guide is going to talk me out of my appreciation for the cobble-stone streets that make walking a game of chance, the narrow alleys adorned with thousands of colorful bits of laundry on lines stretching from building to building, the old men playing cards in doorways and parks, and the frantic children running, never walking, past their mommas sitting on chairs outside their front door.”
Naples has corruption that is almost enjoyable to watch. Locals find it amusing and discuss it over their morning espresso or their warm afternoon shakerato, an iced espresso served in a properly chilled glass. The city brags equally about the quality of its art and the skill of its pickpockets.
Then there is the pizza. Much of it is larger than the plate it rests on. Proper Neapolitan pizza has few ingredients. Anyone caught serving a “Hawaiian” pizza would be quickly invited to move north. It is the essentials that matter.
Look at the guide books and you will not find the best of pizza’s mentioned. My judgment suggests that for the best in pizza search for long lines and happy patrons or discovers your own taste match.
Bottom Line: Take some time out for pizza in Napoli.
It’s time for something different, travel that is inspired and imaginative.