Naples: Beauty or Beast?

Napoli, full of complexities and contradictions, defies classification and doesn’t enjoy the bucket list reputation of so many Italian cities.  Often treated as a pass-through en route to the Amalfi Coast, Naples is seldom explored and its many beguiling layers are overlooked by most travelers. If you do have the time to visit, you won’t be indifferent: you’ll either love it or feel just the opposite. There is no “in between.” You’re either drawn to its paradox of love, loss, sex, religion, superstition, birth and death or you may want to run away from it. For me, I love it. I felt its magnetism immediately — the good, the bad, and even the “brutti” … the ugly.

Besides being officially recognized by the EU as the home of pizza (pizza having been recently designated by UNESCO as a cultural treasure), Naples has a rich history and many spectacular Baroque churches. Not always as spiffy as other cities, it offers a veritable feast for the urban photographer. It’s sacred and profane. It’s both Old World and kitsch; camp and hip; seductive and bewildering. It’s chaotic and random; gritty, edgy and operatic. And somehow also pious, and even at times … serene. Napoli throbs with life, exuberance and color.

4 Comments

  1. Adele Falco

    September 9, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Wonderful photography. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Carla Gambescia author of La Dolce Vita University

      September 17, 2019 at 2:54 am

      Grazie mille. Napoli inspires me!!

      Reply
  2. Patricia Sandler

    September 9, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Actually, there is a beautiful rione in Napoli, Chiaia/Mergellina which is very clean and safe to walk around day or night. In the past four years, we have spent a total of three months here. We love it; all of it, even the parts that are a little run down. There is more to do in Napoli than in Rome or Florence. Basta cercarle!

    Reply
    • Carla Gambescia author of La Dolce Vita University

      September 17, 2019 at 2:54 am

      I really LOVE it too!!!!

      Reply

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