Napoli beat Juventus to win Italian Super Cup

A look back (first published 23 December 2014): since this post was written Gonzalo Higuaín has deserted Napoli and gone to play for Juventus.

The Phraser

Napoli and the passion of football Napoli’s San Paolo Stadium – home of football passion


Luigi’s eyes darkened.

“Arsenal?” we stared at our son.

Luigi’s eyes flashed.

“Arsenal,” the son repeated with a grin.  What was he thinking?  Panic seized me – this was Napoli.

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Carols in a church that has seen it all

A look back (first published on 12 December 2014)

The Phraser

Christ Church in Naples all prepared for its Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols Christ Church in Naples all prepared for its Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

We could have been in England – the pure voice from the shadows behind us lifted the words into the church, floated them high above the candlelit pews and on towards the altar.

“Once in Royal David’s City …”

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A look back over two years in Naples, Italy

The Bay of Naples, Italy

The Bay of Naples, Italy

Experience, memory and time frame our lives.  We exist together and are shaped by them but are unable to catch hold of any one of them … we’re like flotsam on a storm sea.

I look back at my life and know its chapters have changed me, that each has altered the book of me they belong to.  Now there’s a new chapter to add – Naples.

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The hands of Naples

A look back (first published on 10 December 2014): we had been on the outskirts of Naples a little under four months at this point. These were the hands that caught my eye – all I would do differently now is give each photograph more space.

The Phraser

The shoe polisher at the heart of the commute on Via Toledo The shoe polisher at the heart of the commute on Via Toledo

The morning walk to work files to and fro through the city.  On a good day some will stop to add a shine to their shoes.

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The luxury of Naples

A look back (first published 3 December 2014): I posted this photograph piece after discovering Via dei Mille in the Chiaia district of Naples. There are other ‘wealthy corners’ in the city but it’s hard to beat the seafront area as a location.

The Phraser

DSC01912The light on the sea in Naples is like oxygen for the mind.  It has space and calm, and is free of dark cobbles and hectic life.

Here are some pictures of a few of the quieter, wealthier corners of Naples.

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Naples in 10

A look back (first published 2 December 2014): an attempt to catch in a handful some of the history that has shaped Naples, Italy – a city whose music and tailoring still fashion many of us … often without us even knowing.

The Phraser

Pulcinella on the lungomare in Naples Pulcinella on the Lungomare in Naples

Punch-drunk but still standing Naples has borne the attentions and abuses of history with steely grace.  Today she is like the coffee she serves – undiluted and unapologetic.

Here’s an attempt at a ten point profile of the city.

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We thought it would be obvious …

A look back (first published 25 November 2014): I think this piece should have gone under the heading “In Search of Vesuvius” because that is how it begins.

The Phraser

Vesuvius from the Castell dell-Ovo Vesuvius from the Castell dell’Ovo

We should have known better – nothing is obvious about Vesuvius.

The volcano has sat across the bay from us all summer – big, blue and balmy.  It reclines like some artist’s prop, a balance to the curve of sea and islands, a backdrop for the scuttle of life on its slopes and down to the shore.

It looks benign, the perfect place for an afternoon stroll, perhaps even a villa or two.

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The hands in every glove

A look back (first published 18 November 2014)

The Phraser

Father and son - the fourth and fifth generations of the Squillace family Father and son – the third and fourth generations of the Squillace family of Omega srl (with the founders in the background)

Italy equals leather in the same way that England equals gardens.  In Rome and Florence well-ordered workshops are easy to find on the main tourist streets – in Naples, amongst the best in business especially for gloves, there is no sign.

Naples never hands anything to you.

The maps app took us to the exact address and … nothing.  No shop window, no big sign, no smell of leather, no sounds of tapping and stitching, no gloves.  We were up in the top end of the city and Omega srl had vanished.

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