Naples, Italy: a visit to Rione Sanità – skulls, scars, Totò and a grand palazzo

Mural in rione Sanità in Naples, Italy

Mural in rione Sanità in Naples, Italy – the district (rione) was known as Sanità originally because of the health benefits of living there.

The possibility of progress brings pride and hope, but it takes courage to guard the flame.

No-one needs to tell this to Sanità.  The district, ridden over by a road and tucked out of sight at the back of the city centre in Naples, is building a future for its children one day at a time. One bright gleam of opportunity shines around Sanità’s collection of treasures.

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Two years with the Commonwealth Ladies of Naples, Italy

View over Naples, Italy

View over Naples, Italy

Go to any city and there will be groups meeting.  Usually the difficulty is finding your way into them, especially if you’re a newcomer and you don’t speak the language.  Not so in Naples, Italy.

I arrived here two years ago, and luckily it wasn’t long before I was introduced to the Commonwealth Ladies.

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A parade of horse-drawn carriages through Naples, Italy

The parade of carriages leaves Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, Italy, beneath the watchful Castel Sant'Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino

The parade of carriages leaves Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, Italy, beneath the watchful Castel Sant’Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino

This post is to remember in photographs a parade of carriages and their teams on a morning when the weather played fair.

The setting was Napoli, and it was the Sunday of the last weekend in May 2016.  The occasion was to commemorate a day in 1734, also in the month of May, when 18-year-old Carlo di Borbone rode into the city of Naples on the brink of becoming its king.

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Naples, Italy: the Museo Civico Gaetano Filangieri

The Museo Civico Gaetano Filangieri in Naples, Italy

The Museo Civico Gaetano Filangieri in Naples, Italy

The best treasure comes in chests, compact and crowded, brimming with what’s been most precious … and there should always be scars.

The Museo Filangieri is a chest like this.

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A light has gone out in Naples, Italy

Michael Rae and his wife Bambi, with Vesuvius in the background

Michael Rae and his wife Bambi, with Vesuvius in the background

Michael Clarkson Rae MBE, whose family founded the Neapolitan clothing store Gutteridge & Co, died on 7 March 2016 in Naples, the city where he was born.  He was 79 years old.

The service of thanksgiving for his life was at the English Church, Christ Church, in Chiaia.  It was a sad, grey day.

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San Gennaro and the saints process through Naples, Italy

San Gennaro under escort through Naples, Italy

San Gennaro, his blood, and the saints process under escort through Naples, Italy

In Naples the less usual is everywhere.

A few weeks ago it was San Gennaro, his blood, and a selection of saints, who added the extraordinary as they were carried shoulder high in procession through the city’s streets from the cathedral to the church of Santa Chiara.

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The music wrapped around the roots of Naples, Italy

A busker in Naples, Italy

A busker in Naples, Italy

There is music in Naples – passionate and direct.  Most of it has nothing to do with cornettos and I can’t understand a word … but I can feel it.

My introduction to Neapolitan music, Caruso not counted, was the 2010 film Passione by John Turturro.

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