City Journal Summer 2014

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Summer 2014
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Michael Anton
Gritty Grandeur « Back to Story

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There aren't many words that can accurately described Naples and its residents, but the ones that come to mind are: edgy, vibrant, exciting, vivid, splendid, soulful, and fulfilling. I lived there for 4 years and have been back twice since. The people there (and in most of Italy) and the most wonderful on the planet. For every pickpocket there are dozens of kind-hearted souls who will give you the shirts off their back, or spend all day explaining how to get to the location you are trying to find. Once on a city bus I asked the driver where to get off for a certain location and at least a dozen Napolitanos started a conversation with me trying to help me out (and of course, arguing amongst each other!). Try that in a big US city.
Why is the city of Naples in it current state? It is primarily due to left wing politicans who has dictated policy for so many years. Mentioning Detroit in the same breathe certainly makes sense. Two great cities that have been victims of left wing policies. Despite the santitation problem, I do enjoy the architecture and Neopolitian cuisine.
You saw a different Naples from the one I saw last year. It's been a pigsty for years, Cammora or no, and even my Neapolitian friends are dismayed and disgusted. Not even a good place to change trains. The Italians should be ashamed.
I was in Naples in 1969 (my only visit) and your description matches my memory of it exactly. The reason given then for the garbage on the streets was a strike, so I thought that was a temporary state of affairs. Too bad they can't clean it up. But if the chain stores are staying away because of that, then it's not all bad. We're going back to Naples in May and looking forward to it!
Al--

Just how many wives have you got, boy?
Loved the article
What is it with this website and "English provincial" cities. There have been surveys suggesting that 70% of Neapolitans are scared to go out at night. Yes you will find some drunks on the streets of English cities but they are refreshingly Camorra free. Also English provincial cities do not have governance systems that have been so profoundly corrupted by organised crime that they ahave become indistinguishable from organised crime.
Great article showing what Naples is really about. Whilst I on the one hand appreciate the absence of tourists, it would be nice to see the city flourish once again for the sake of its inhabitants.
Interesting article that helps bring Naples to life. I love the detail.

Alexander, thanks for your informative comment.
My wife and I spent a wonderful Thanksgiving Day in
this beautiful city. Started the day with a cappuccino and a sfogliatella and walked the entire city until 6 pm. A day that will never be
forgotten.
My wife and I spent a wonderful Thanksgiving Day in
this beautiful city. Started the day with a cappuccino and a sfogliatella and walked the entire city until 6 pm. A day that will never be
forgotten.
Alexander Harper March 20, 2011 at 3:54 PM
It is very similar to Buenos Aires, which of course had a large Neapolitan influx in the late 19th early 20th century (including the Camorra). Even the portenio dialect owes much to Naples and the dress code too. Suits and ties are still de rigueur in most Buenos Aires offices. There are almost no chain stores and every barrio has its own independent shops, restaurants and cafes. The southern Italian and Spanish cultures had centuries to meld under the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, whose cultures and customs were easily transplanted to the pampas and the great port of Buenos Aires.