Naples, Italy: ‘Defend the City’ (‘Difendi la Città’)

Naples, Italy

Naples, Italy

Naples, scarred and sublime, is now in a fight against defamation.  One of its latest battles is online.

This city of secrets has eyes everywhere … now they are wanted in the digital world.

Castel dell'Ovo in Naples, Italy

Castel dell’Ovo in Naples, Italy

The city authorities have requested help in their bid to protect: “the image and reputation of the city of Naples and of the Parthenopean people.”

The public are invited to report any negative online coverage to the commune.  As a blogger this bothers me.

Street art seen in Naples, Italy in October 2016

Street art seen in Naples, Italy in October 2016

For two years, from the summer of 2014 to the summer of 2016, I walked and drove through Naples as a visitor and a blogger.

I joined local groups, I explored, and I wrote a great deal about the city’s history and its culture, about its treasures, frustrations, and pleasures … and I met no objections.  During that time I had no doubt that I was known, and I felt safe.

Eyes watching in Naples, Italy

Eyes watching in Naples, Italy

The only hurdles I met in connection with Naples were the prejudice of outsiders, and under-informed expectations … including my own.  Thankfully time in the city, and with local friends, plus hours spent in research and in improving my Italian, allowed me to travel deeper.

These images are part of my memories, my impression, of Naples …

The Cimitero delle Fontanelle in Rione Sanità  in Naples, Italy

The Cimitero delle Fontanelle in Rione Sanità  in Naples, Italy

… a city that arouses strong emotions.

The words Napoli fans sing to their football team - "One day, all of a sudden, I fell in love with you"

The words Napoli fans sing to their football team – “One day, all of a sudden, I fell in love with you”

Naples has colour and light …

On the seafront in Naples, Italy

On the seafront in Naples, Italy

… art, stories, and music.

Mimmo Paladino's horse on the roof of the MADRE Museum in Naples with the Museo di Capodimonte behind

Naples, Italy: Mimmo Paladino’s horse on the roof of the Madre Museum in Naples with the Museo di Capodimonte behind

It has passion …

Football in the San Paolo Stadium in Naples, Italy

Football in the San Paolo Stadium in Naples, Italy

… and it has dignity, whether threadbare …

The Sanità district of Naples, Italy

Lady on a balcony … the Sanità district of Naples, Italy

… or exclusive.

Via dei Mille in Naples, Italy

Via dei Mille in Naples, Italy

Its life has been shaped by its sea and its islands …

View over the Tyrrhenian Sea from Parco Virgiliano in Naples, Italy

View over the Tyrrhenian Sea from Parco Virgiliano in Naples, Italy

… and its terrible volcano.

Vesuvius overlooks Naples, Italy

Vesuvius overlooks Naples, Italy

It is deep-rooted, and enriched by saints.

San Gennaro in the Duomo in Naples, Italy on 19 September 2016

San Gennaro in the Duomo in Naples, Italy on 19 September 2016

It is at ease with superstition.

Luck in Naples, Italy

Luck in Naples, Italy

History has taught its people to keep trust within the family, and that to be Neapolitan is to be strong, and proud … to be your own person.

The military on duty in Naples, Italy

The military on duty in Naples, Italy

It is a city that observes.

Street art seen in Naples, Italy in 2015

Street art seen in Naples, Italy in 2015

I saw it through my lens, and I tried to capture the layers of artisans …

A baker at work in Naples, Italy

A baker at work in Naples, Italy

… and privilege; …

View over some of the beautiful villas of Posillipo in Naples, Italy

View over some of the beautiful villas of Posillipo in Naples, Italy

… the face of religion ..

Pope's visit to Naples, Italy

Pope’s visit to Naples, Italy

.. and its presence on the streets; …

Naples, Italy

Naples, Italy

… the art of coffee …

A coffee stop in Naples, Italy

A coffee stop in Naples, Italy

… the joy of football, …

Love of football ... Naples, Italy

Love of football … Naples, Italy

… and love of the sea.

Mergellina in Naples, Italy

Mergellina in Naples, Italy

Perhaps Naples is a city that doesn’t need words at all.

Street art seen in Naples, Italy in October 2014

Street art seen in Naples, Italy in October 2014

I just hope that its recent, public move to monitor online media doesn’t damage its originality or its future.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2017

6 thoughts on “Naples, Italy: ‘Defend the City’ (‘Difendi la Città’)

  1. Wow I found your post beautifully powerful…. I don’t know how you were able choose your photos from, I am sure so many. But you choose well, I am not sure of what is going on with the media right now, but Naples is a beautiful city with a bad rap of being dangerous. I have been there back in 2009 and had a wonderful time, now I want to go back for a visit with our camper. Thanks for sharing through your eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I loved the Naples I saw as a visitor – it was so alive and different. Naples seems to have a reality that most other cities have forgotten. I hope that your next trip is even better than your last one. The city evolves every day, but still seems able to hold on to its roots.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well said Georgie. Napoli is indeed complex, but its complexity is part of its incredible beauty. Your words and images show this and what a difficult thing it is to show people unless they have lived there and seen and felt it for themselves. When most Europeans cities exist in sepia Napoli lives and breathes in vivid technicolor. It was a pure joy to have had the opportunity to experience this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Glynis. I know I can’t do Naples justice, and that I can only show what I’ve seen, but I learned so much trying to capture something of the city, and it was such a privilege to have the time to do so. What a place, and what pleasure to have such rich memories and to have met so many wonderful people! Goethe said that his father, who had visited the city, could never really be unhappy: “… because his thoughts could always return to Naples.” I agree.

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