I am not sure it would be quite so much fun to be in a mini with Michael Caine in Naples but I would be happy to try. I am in the airport on the way home after a whorlwind trip. I arrived yesterday afternoon. Sipping on a delicious cappuccino I have a few hours before my flight. I came on an art trip and have not had time to experience the city itself. So I am glad I decided to do a bit of research to learn of Naples rich and interesting history. My experience thus far has not been delightful. I have seen a lot of poverty, sad properties falling apart. Stinking street pavements whose acrid stench has been made worse by the heat of the sun drawing it out of the concrete and tar. Not to mention the pong of vile fish water leaking out from the buckets locals are selling their fish from. There are a lot of street vendors with brightly coloured vans adorned with blown up plastic spidermen and pink dollies (I have no idea who they are meant to be!)
I went to eat in a restuarant where I was served raw steak and cold chips, the waiter assured me that the chips were only for decoration and that they were on the house and not in the price! He had died bright red hair, smoked in the restuarant and sneezed with great gusto not putting his hand over his mouth. I won’t bother to tell you about the hotel. As I was walking down the street being so judgemental, I thought to myself how lucky I am to have what I have and how everyone here is just trying to earn a living.
Given more times in Naples I could have discovered some of the architecture, have learned that it is a Unesco site. That it was born in the bronze age, 2nd millenium BC and has gone through many transformations. That the center is beautiful and that it is one of the fastest growing economies in Italy. A lot of the architecture in Naples was built by Mussulini the fascist dictator and built during and after the war. Naples was the most bombed city in Europe. I thought I would not like to come back but having read more about Naples I would like to return and discover it in a different way.
The Naples I met seemed old and tired finding survival hard. This was quite a contrast to our little trip to Dolceacqua and Rocchetta Nervina in the mountains above Vingtemille.
I don’t have a photo of David but here I am with my step son Jack who is finding out his A’ Levels later today, we are all keeping our fingers crossed. We went to the beautiful rock pools of Rocchetta Nervina, to the ancient castle at Dolceaqua and of course the Friday morning market in Vingtimille where we bought a 3 kilo jar of sundried tomatoes and goodness knows how many kilos of parmesan.
The view from our Airbnb. I painted, but my paintings are at home. I will add them soon.
My next Paint Provence with Tess is soon September 9th – 16th I have two places left if you would like to come along.