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.

Continue reading

A day under an umbrella in Cetara, on the Amalfi Coast in Italy

I sat down to retouch this piece, change its style slightly, and … there I was, back under the umbrella. It was like remote sunshine therapy with a big YouTube smile at the end. I hope it does the same for you.

The Phraser

View through to the sea in Cetara, at the eastern end of the Amalfi Coast View through to the sea in Cetara, at the eastern end of the Amalfi Coast

It’s mid-week and warm.  We’re in a fishing village, between a sea-blue sky and its beach below, with hardly a tourist in sight.

The name of the small town is Cetara, on the Amalfi Coast.

View original post 592 more words

Happy Easter! This year we’re in England.

Wisley Gardens in England

Wisley Gardens in England – ready for the Easter weekend

There is warmth and new green in the south this weekend.  The trees are fresh-leafed, there are bluebells in the woods, and there’s blossom on the verges … it’s beautiful.

And, of course, there are chocolate eggs … but not like in Naples, Italy.

Continue reading

Naples, Italy: a towering view, and a night of art in a royal palace

Last June we had an eccentric, wonderful evening trip up the ‘red tower’ in Naples, Italy, followed by a night visit to the art gallery at Capodimonte. I wrote about it then but here’s a repaint … better, I hope.

The Phraser

The eye-catching 'La Torre di Rò' (Torre del Palasciano) in Naples, Italy The eye-catching ‘La Torre di Rò’ (Torre del Palasciano) in Naples, Italy

Some evenings unwrap like the best parcels – one surprise at a time.  This is one of those evenings.

We’re part of another Curiosity Tour of Naples.  I’d signed us up for two reasons – the first was to visit the old red tower I’d seen above Naples so often; and the second was to show our visiting artists the Museo di Capodimonte.

The tower is part of our lives here in Naples.  We see it on every trip along the tangenziale from the airport at Capodichino.  It stands tall and mysterious above the dark green of the bosco di Capodimonte.  It is an exotic exclamation mark above a city outlined in rectangles.

View original post 1,257 more words

To Paris, France for the day

The rendezvous outside the Louvre - Paris, France

The rendezvous outside the Louvre – Paris, France

Any chance you can join us?”  A message from an American friend pings into my in-box.  Hmmm?

There’s sensible … and then there’s Paris.  Even if only for a day.

Continue reading

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

I visited Sanità in Naples, Italy last summer. Our guide was young and local, and the morning she gave us felt personal … as though, thanks to her, the city had allowed us a little closer to its secrets. It was an excellent tour.

The Phraser

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.

View original post 1,575 more words

San Gennaro and the saints process through Naples, Italy

My Africa interlude is finished for now. This piece was written in May 2016, a few days after I’d followed the annual procession of saints through the old streets of Naples, Italy. It was an unforgettable day.

The Phraser

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.

View original post 786 more words