A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

See It And Die

Cook's Tourist's Handbook of 1884 declared this city ill-built, ill-paved, ill-lighted, ill-drained, ill-watched, ill-governed and ill-ventilatedIt also said that it was perhaps the loveliest spot in Europe.

Lonely Planet's Italy describes the city as follows: Raucous, polluted, unruly, deafening and with so many of its majestic historical buildings grubby and crumbling, and says it has at least as much in common with Casablanca in Morocco or Egypt's Alexandria on the other side of the Mediterranean as with fellow Mediterranean ports such as Genoa, Marseilles or Barcelona. And, like the cities on the other side of the pond, it's glued together by the sheer zest and vitality of its inhabitants.

We know which city they're talking about, don't we - the city generally side-stepped by the more genteel kind of tourist bent on the safe, cultural delights of Rome and Florence, Venice and Verona.

Yes, Naples hit us like a sackful of hammers, and we loved it.

4 comments:

Tramp said...

And how long are you going to keep us waiting until you tell us why?
...Tramp

The Solitary Walker said...

On reflection, Tramp, I think my 'sackful of spanners' epithet was a little too strong - I think I must have had your own reference to the Grecian vase 'spanner' on my mind ..! What I really meant was that Naples disoriented us - in a good way - with its street craziness, its raffishness, its untouristy normality ...

Bonnie said...

You have me trembling in my boots in anticipation! I'm sure you took incredible snapshots of everyday life in Naples. You are such a tease.

The Solitary Walker said...

Oh yes, to have a reader trembling in her boots in anticipation is so cool! This really does make it all worthwhile. More pleasing teasing, I think ...