It’s the Neapolitan name for a back street. The kind of siding, life absorbing – world containing space that exists outside of tourist brochures.
Where people slide out of their one down, one across house from you. Children playing on cobbles. Adults washing their scooters. Eyes make contact, smiles entwine – as you use google maps to get you through and past their lives.
But it sticks to you. The threats. Don’t go outside of the main routes. Don’t have any of your valuables on display.
As we walk a foot away from our outstretched hands. Mobile phone on full display. No one bothers us. Motorbikes and scooters flash by us, but with intent – not threat. We were theirs, they were ours.
Where Italy is concerned I am a Northerner. A rarity to my Southern upbringing. But Napoli, Naples is different. The south. The accusations of the south. They work in the north. The south is a leech. They south radiates with warmth.
As we walk along the coast of the city, we see bats dive over the fishing pots. We are transformed in to lovers of a certain kind of Italy. Hustle, bustle – of over crowded squares. Streets so narrow you could spend a lifetime stuck behind a gathering of locals gesticulating.
Yes, sure – the best pizza in the world cost €4 in this city, but it is more than just that. We walked, got momentarily lost and yet we were still found. Found inside the heart of an amazing place.
Maybe that’s it. Too many Italian cities are based on corsae and pathways. Naples is based on lives lived.
I spent a holiday with my heart race slowing and my eyes opening. I loved it. Naples stole a piece of me. For that, I want to spend a life time offering it up so that others can learn to lose even more.