Napoli, Italy


We said goodbye to Naples yesterday and I wish I could paint you a picture, words to embrace the experience. I will try. We lived three days and nights at the end of Via Ventaglieri up ten flights of stairs to Emma and Enzo’s apartment, our kind affectionate hosts. We lived in the heart of Naples. Our street a busy collage of children, youths, mothers, fathers, whole families on mopeds flying up and down, some smoking, others texting, others lying stretched out on mopeds parked. Our street lined with vendors: fish, vegetables, fruit, clothes, sunglasses, bags and shoes, cafes and bakeries, delis, auto repair shops, pharmacies, metro station, layers of balconies with laundry spread and potted plants hanging, voices yelling, laughing, cheering, arguing, fighting in a passionate rhythm, beautifully fierce and alive. Smells of bread and pastries, coffee, the sea, fish, midday garbage in the drains, gas from mopeds, by 7:30pm the air is full of divine aromas: families and restaurants cooking and serving. Olive oil flexing. On the streets of Naples we witness fearless passion from the teens to the twenty, thirty, forty and fifty year olds kissing, caressing, touching, touching, caressing and kissing. We look away at first but then we laugh and wonder why our world was not more demonstrative with our love as Naples, as Italy. Well I wonder. Maya doesn’t. Maya looks away. Maya tells me to look away. Maya steals looks while I pretend to look away.

The first night maya and I buy from the street bread, olives, mozzarella, peaches, melons and cherries and eat from our balcony watching the sky turn mauve and the birds soar, circling our neighbourhood ten floors high, a castle in the distance. We hang out on the streets the next day drinking cappuccino, eating gelatos and pizza, walking by the sea, watching the locals stretched out on rocks tanning their skin, kids jumping into the sea. We sit in piazza squares watching boys play football; dogs chase other dogs; kids running, sipping fruit crushed ice; teens smoking and holding hands; parents meeting after work with babies in strollers; elders sitting, watching, smoking; restaurants getting ready for dinner. On our third day we take the Metro then the Train to Sorrento where we meet up with a tour and spend the day driving coastal villages, our destination the Amalfi Coast.

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