Stazione Toledo, Napoli – a handsome metro station

A look back (first published 16 August 2016): Napoli is built like a sfogliatella, with layers that rise up from the seafront to the heights of Camaldoli. On, in and under every ridge lie treasures, and the Toledo Metro Station is one of them.

The Phraser

How do you persuade anyone to use the underground metro in Naples? How do you persuade anyone to use the underground metro in Naples?

A year ago I arrived in Naples – one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Over the months since I’ve explored miles and miles of its old centre, of its sfogliatelle layers, but I’ve never been tempted to use its metro.  Why would I? Why miss any of the city’s light and life for a second?

Well … turns out I was tempted recently, and there were two reasons.

View original post 745 more words

A young artist’s first impressions of Naples, Italy

A look back (first published 7 August 2015): part of the fun of being in Naples is the artists the city attracts. We had a few come through our door – Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie was one of the first. She has now finished her foundation course in Art and Design and is in her first year of a BA Textile degree in Cardiff.

The Phraser

Impressions of Naples (2015) by Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie Impressions of Naples (2015) by Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie

This blog post is based around an image of Naples captured by a young artist, Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie, born and raised in Zimbabwe.

View original post 599 more words

The Villa Comunale in Naples, Italy: and Carducci

A look back (first published 16 July 2015): when we left Naples a fortnight ago there were still occasional purple flowers on the young jacaranda trees along the edge of the Villa Comunale, and the park’s lovely old bandstand was under wraps.

The Phraser

The Villa Comunale in Naples The Villa Comunale in Naples

It was months before I noticed him.  I drove past him every day  … and yet I never looked left.  There were two reasons – the first was fear, new-to-the-road fear, and the second was the light of the early sun on the sea.

The fear of the drive into Naples has almost gone, and with it the bolts of shock that thumped through my heart each time I joined the traffic into the city.  Now, my spasmed eyeballs have relaxed and there’s time to enjoy the view.

View original post 824 more words

Easter chocolate at ‘Cioccolato Foresta’ in Naples

A look back (first published 2 April 2015): I wrote this on impulse after we stumbled into this gleaming chocolate store. The staff were so friendly and the chocolate so delicious I could not resist.

The Phraser

Salvatore Polito and Valentina Guarino of 'Cioccolato Foresta' (Gay-Odin) in Naples Salvatore Polito and Valentina Guarino of ‘Cioccolato Foresta’ (Gay-Odin) in Naples

Naples, Italy is famous for many things – but not everyone knows that chocolate is one of them, nor that the city’s champion chocolatier is Gay-Odin.

I first heard the name in an Italian class at the Centro Italiano followed by the words “… molto famoso “.

View original post 377 more words

2015 – my day in Naples with Pope Francis

A look back (first published 23 March 2015): I walked miles across a quiet, traffic-free Naples on the day the Pope came to visit. The weather was sunny and still … the city apprehensive. Tension tightened everything.

The Phraser

Why the Pope's visit to Naples matters Why the Pope’s visit matters: “Acerra terra di morte … ma di speranza con Papa Francesco.”
(Acerra land of death – but of hope thanks to Pope Francis)

Papa Francesco spent this year’s ‘first day of spring’ with the people of Naples.  He was warm, and brave and made thousands smile.

His first stop was Scampia – I never got there but I knew, and those watching knew, that the Pope was taking his message of hope and of ‘resistance to evil’ right into the heart of difficulty.

View original post 599 more words

2015: Pope Francis to spend whole day in Naples, Italy

A look back (first published 20 March 2015): I am so pleased that I was in Naples at the time of this visit as it’s a city that’s shared centuries of lively history with a varied cast of pontiffs.

The Phraser

San Gennaro, patron saint of Naples, being positioned for the Pope's visit San Gennaro, patron saint of Naples, being positioned for the Pope’s visit

Popes do visit Naples but not often and usually their presence is connected with some disaster in the city.

This time Pope Francis has chosen to spend a day here and he’ll include one of Naples’ most troubled suburbs – Scampia.

I was in Naples today with less than 24hours until the Pope’s arrival.

View original post 424 more words

An elephant, a bird, and an offer

A look back (first published 14 February 2015)

The Phraser

Carved elephant An irresistible elephant

I wasn’t looking for any of the above but somehow they found me.  That’s what Naples does.

My elephant – she’s now mine – spent days for sale on the steep, wintery steps outside the huge post office near the city centre.

I passed her twice a week en route to class.  It was hard to miss her.  My head was full of elephants and there she was, big and awkward in amongst the trinkets and faded pictures.

Then yesterday, on an impulse, I roped together my Italian and my courage, and paused.

View original post 375 more words