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 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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Interview: Bonnie Alberts of Napoli Unplugged

Bonnie Alberts - one of the four authors of the Napoli Unplugged Guid to Naples

Bonnie Alberts – one of the four authors of the Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples

“I don’t see how an American can ask me if Naples is safe!”

Bonnie Alberts is an American, a well-travelled American, who has lived in Naples, Italy for a decade.

“I don’t understand the reputation – it’s a breathing, working city.”

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A young artist’s first impressions of Naples, Italy

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.

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2015 – my day in Naples with Pope Francis

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.

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

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.

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