Wednesday, February 21

Love Your Land Appeal

I normally try to blog about emotions, social and envirolmental issues and exotic locations, but rarely have you heard me talk about my hometown, Napoli, Italy. The historical harbour of ancient civilizations, the "Campania Felix"(litterally, the 'joyful countryside') used to be the place-to-be, the a glam summer resort for prestigious Roman citizens and the inspirational muse of poets, songsmiths and artists from all over the world. Goes the saying "Vedi Napoli e poi muori",See Naples and then die,which summarizes the spirit and the enthusiasm that used to animate tourists visiting the beautiful partenopean city. Entering Naples one is immediately confronted by centuries of traditions which still cohabit to this day with extemporaneous dexterity. Naples, with its buildings and palaces,is some sort of open book:every monument is a piece of history that leads back to the various dynasties that have succeded in the government of the city. The Unesco has declared the urbanistic richness of Naples "heritage for humanity"...all good and sound...until you physically enter Naples (be it via air,rail or car) and the saying suddenly becomes closer to reality than you ever thought possible. Overwhelmed by a chaotic conglomeration of buildings, neglected roads, anarchic scooter riders and barbarian swearing monstrous car drivers, suspicious looking thugs selling drugs and contrabanded fags, ever-pregnant destitutes, dirt, smog and clandestine immigrants selling fake labelled fashion items and pirate media on the streets whilst oblivious police officers jauntly stand at the bar sipping expressos and puffing cigarettes,you nearly expect it to put your life to the risk. Call it the Italian way?! I am not sure. Often talking to my foreign friends they express admiring opinions on the Italian friendliness, easy-going,chilled life style..the noise,the chaos,the opulence adds up, in their view, to season the goodness of our food and land. I must say I do miss sitting outside of my favourite cafe by the seaside overlooking Castel dell'Ovo and the Marina on a sunny afternoon drinking Hazelnut coffee or eating ice-cream..but it frustrates me no end to see how lack of general basic civic responsability has led to the ultimate deterioration of such a charismatic city. Inspired by J-Mac's post,I was debating with my dad and some of his middleclass mid-forty intellectual male friends the other night and they aggressively responded to my "friends-of-the-earth" approach to life with the stereotypical "why do we bother making any efforts when the USA and China are polluting the globe" - which is an understandable and very logic, but if we don't take personal responsability for ourselves, how is anything,even the big government policies,going to change?! I have had a very conflictual love/hate relationship with Naples for years,but that is not because I don't appreciate my origins. I simply detest the attitude of the Neapolitas which has turned an earthly paradise into a ghastly place. Coming back to my title,my appeal is a call to the napoletani to get off their lazy arses,to get active,fierce and determined to retrive the beauty within our magical city and to my foreign readers to visit Napoli: for info, ask me,anytime,there are some magnificent, breathtaking scenaries, artefacts, architectural masterpieces and naturalistic wonders to see, the food is the best in the world and there are things to experiences that will awe your memory for the rest of your longevity! And,of course,I am Neapolitan,what else could you ask for!?!(",)

14 comments:

Estelle said...

I lived in Italy for 2 years and return there every year for my holiday. It's a great city but you are right that the city is a pace of contradictions. I think what makes Naples special are the people. My favourite part of Naples are the markets and noise and the chaos that seem to reign! I love the old parts and there is nothing that compares to a pizza from San Michele's. delicious!!!
Ciao da Londra!

The Wee Italian Chick said...

No way,can't believe you know this much,Estelle.
It's ever so nice to hear some praise about Naples and the Neapolitans (besides icecream..d'oh!)So where abouts in Italy did ya use to live?! Sounds cool.

Gorilla Bananas said...

It looks beautiful, Miss Chick. Do they still have chaperones in Napoli? I think I would make a good chaperone.

Baron Hashbrown said...

Considering good food is my favorite pastime, I should make a pilgrimage! Is there surf too??

Miao said...

I've always wanted to visit Europe - I shall drop by Italy when I finally have the chance!

The Wee Italian Chick said...

It's not "The Godfather",GB,and we don't have cheperons anymore.However,if ever should I need one, I now know I can count on you: I am sure you'd make an eccellent one! ;-)
Baron,Naples is a galore of sun,sea and good food - but unfortunately hardly any waves at all. On the contrary, if you'd wanna pick up sailing,it's fab!

Miao,I think a lady of your knowledge and charm must pay a visit to Europe's wonderful treasures..welcome anytime!

Estelle said...

i lived in a village in the provincia of potenza before Naples and after that I went to live in Catania....it was great experience and I'd love to say that I can speak italian, but someone told me that it was more like Pozzolano.
Although I love neapolitan ice-cream, I think the granita's in Catania might have the slight edge. Also have to say that there is nothing like an ice-cream of coffee down at mergellina on a hot summers evening, after a day in Ischia or on the Amalfi!
Anyway, after Naples, Manchester probably seems a little quiet!!
Che Dio Ti Benedica e Buona fine settimana!

Jay said...

I'd love to visit sometime, it sounds so contrasting and yet so compelling

The Wee Italian Chick said...

Estelle:I am so impressed!Sembri conoscere il Sud Italia cosi' bene!!!Ma che ci facevi li?Did you work for a church or something?How comes Naples?Sorry...soooooo many questions, I'm just genuinely intrigued! I agree about the sicilean granitas,they are the best (not to mention their almondy sweets..bliss!).Also, Puteolano is a horrible,horrible dialect - nearly uncomprehensible how on earth did you pick it up?! (Well,so says the woman who speaks English with a Northern Irish accent though she is Italian and lives in England..bizarre!!);-)

Jay:welcome any time,mate! ;-)

Baron Hashbrown said...

Yes, I had wondered how you had managed to pick up that strange accent? I was a bit surprised when I met you. At first I thought it sounded west-country but I came to the conclusion it must be a cocktail! Did you live in N.Ireland too?

The Wee Italian Chick said...

First impressions,ehi?! No,I never lived in N.Ireland - I have only been there four times in my whole life..I shall blog about my curious accent sometimes! (",)

Estelle said...

so, I was working for The Salvation Army as a minister in charge of several churches and what a privilege that was.
You really are a good neopolitan, telling the truth about puteolano dilaect.Actually, I think my naples mates thought that my naples accent was so funny, cos I was an english woman who could actually speak and understand dialects, although I never did master sicilian dialect. Hard work that one.
I love the south of italy and feel as though I have left some of my heart there,especially where mozzarella di bufala is concerned!
Good to be able to catch up with another traveller in this wonderful world!
Have a good and God-blessed weekend!

Cayetana Altovoltaje said...

Naples sounds great. I love decadent, chaotic cities, although it brings me down sometimes when I see a beautiful place all run down (case in point: Rome).
Let's go a-sailing some time, housemate!!! Andiamo!!!

The Wee Italian Chick said...

Andale,andale,amiga!Lol! Make me smile every time,housemate!

Estelle:I think you are great!I'd so love to meet you someday!God bless and have a nice week-end! Un bacione.Ivonne