Naples vs Pompeii...A Gritty Sense of Style

Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
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Trip End Jun 01, 2012


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Flag of Italy  , Campania,
Saturday, August 9, 2008

There is nothing quiet and reserved about Naples... not the streets, the people, the buildings nor the food... Neopolitans do it their own way... and it is obvious that as a guest, you are intended to do the same...

Italy is made up of independent states... with two very distinct regions... North, where most of the wealth and power reside... and South, where much of the poverty and "old ways" continue on... with Naples as it's main city... The prejudice of the north towards the south is evident still today... with northerners... north of Rome that is... passing judgement on the south... often in a blatantly harsh manner... I know that this is where the Mafia rules... and it seems evident in many aspects... but it is filled with the living... people caught in the moment of their ensuing conversations with each other... much of their energy being passed from one human to another... and not to the building of any kind of facade... "What you see is what you get!"

We stayed in the city center... in the Heart of the Beast... and lived the "al fresco" life... living outside... just like the locals... throughout the day one can find the young and old filling the streets... beer or bread in hand... chatting, laughing and sharing their lives with their neighbors...

Naples overwhelms, even the most seasoned of travelers... and we had come here to take in the nearby ruins of Pompeii and the Archeological museum, located within the city that holds most of it's unearthed treasures... but I found myself falling for this gritty and quite often grimy place... she is like a tomboy with the mouth of a bar maid... her beauty unveiled as the days passed on... I intitially fell for this urban gal on an early morning walk... when all of Naples seemed asleep... It was much easier to appreciate her structure, without having to dodge a beeping moped or pack of chatting youth... blind to the world around them... bumping their way through the narrow corridors twisting throughout the city...

Naples is also the home of the king of foods... PIZZA... pronounced with a hard T, when spoken with the Neopolitan dialect... and yes we once again ate... ate... and ate... this culminated mound of the entire food group... SUPERB!!!

Carsten loved hanging out and watching the people... in addition to marveling at all of the Mary paraphernalia... He likes Mary... and thinks she must have been a good mother... for so many people seem to love her... what good son wouldn't love their mother... right?

Aidan loved the pizza... and the mopeds... found it kind of cool to see the locals driving around the sidewalks... and streets... weaving in and out of the scribbling lines of people...

Deb loved the clothes... Italian style... bought a few distinctive items to add to her eclectic wardrobe... it was fun to watch her in a few of the stores... she would peruse through a rack of clothes... pull out a masterpiece and smile wide... with open eyes... stating in a question format, "Have you ever seen anything so cool?" Which I in turn, opening my eyes, stated... "No, but I think someone would need a catwalk in order to pull that one off"... Poor Deb... I hate shopping... your classic male... I am good for about ten... and off to the street corner I go... I would rather watch the people in the outfits than the empty shells waiting to be brought to life... impatiently waiting on a hanger...

We spent one day at the archeological museum... marveling at the treasures... and a day at Pompeii... I could write an entire entry on Pompeii... it is incredible... As Deb stated... it feels like walking around the streets of an ancient Roman city that has been abandoned... highlights include the frescos painted on the walls of many of the homes... the villa perched on the outskirts of town... the cobbled streets... the bakery... fast food stands... and the brothel... due mainly watch the hordes of people waiting to enter... so they could catch a glimpse of the frescos painted on the waiting room walls... paintings that would inspire the waiting customers on the soon to be experienced possibilities...

I have wanted to see Pompeii since I was a young child... looking through a picture book filled with images of Mount Vesuvius exploding and burying the nearby cities filled with panicking people running to an fro... It is more than I could have imagined... and even better being that I was able to share the experience with my young boys...

I do need to say that by the time our 4 days in Naples was coming to a close... we were all ready to escape the noisy caverns of the city... next stop... A farmstay on the edge of the Abruzzo National Park...
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