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.

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A parade of horse-drawn carriages through Naples, Italy

I took the photographs for this (it’s mainly photographs and two short video clips at the end) in Naples, Italy in May of last year. The horses were handsome and the weather fair … it was a lovely morning

The Phraser

The parade of carriages leaves Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, Italy, beneath the watchful Castel Sant'Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino The parade of carriages leaves Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, Italy, beneath the watchful Castel Sant’Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino

This post is to remember in photographs a parade of carriages and their teams on a morning when the weather played fair.

The setting was Napoli, and it was the Sunday of the last weekend in May 2016.  The occasion was to commemorate a day in 1734, also in the month of May, when 18-year-old Carlo di Borbone rode into the city of Naples on the brink of becoming its king.

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Naples, Italy: on its way to the New Year

I first posted a version of this piece this time last year. This is a relaunch – more photographs, less story – a thank you to a city that gave us so much.

The Phraser

Image from a t-shirt design by 'Officina Flegrea' Image from a t-shirt design by ‘Officina Flegrea’ – off.flegrea@gmail.com

In the summer of 2014 we arrived in our new home on the outskirts of Naples.  We left this autumn.  Two years in total, two years in which we were privileged to see places many Neapolitans themselves never get the chance to visit.  Some of the sights we saw were outside the city but many were squeezed into its narrow streets.

This post, mainly of photographs, is a glance at the context, at some of the neighbourhoods and corners, that frame a few of those places that were in Naples itself.

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The horse that followed me to Benevento

A look back (first published in April 2015): since this visit to Benevento I’ve discovered another horse of Mimmo Paladino’s in Naples. This horse, possibly even more striking than the others, stands on the roof of the MADRE (Museum of contemporary Art DonnaREgina) in the city.

The Phraser

Reflection of the horse that followed me to Benevento Reflection of the horse that followed me to Benevento

I didn’t expect to see the horse.  The guidebooks never mentioned that one would be there, nor that others would be hidden in the same space.

My first sight of the horse was in Naples.  He’s tucked around the back of the Royal Palace where he struggles to climb out of a mound of salt.  You don’t forget horses like that.

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The Certosa di San Martino: the jewel at the top of Naples

A look back (first published on 13 December 2015): I have made quite significant changes to this post – the skeleton is the same as the original but I have replaced much of the Angevin history with photographs. By the end of our two years in Naples I had visited this charterhouse so often that my library of photographs is more than my blog can hold. I hope you enjoy them, and that one day you’ll be able to visit the Certosa di San Martino yourself, because I know that my camera and I can’t do it justice.

The Phraser

The Certosa di San Martino and Castel Sant'Elmo dominate the Naples skyline The Certosa di San Martino and Castel Sant’Elmo dominate the Naples skyline

There are two chunks of prime real estate in Naples, two properties that swagger largest when you look up at the city from the sea.  They’ve been together for centuries.

The highest of the two is Castel Sant’Elmo – the star-shaped fortress that looks like it’s been carved out of rock by a gifted sledgehammer.  Right next to it is the Certosa di San Martino, proud when seen from below, but less obvious when approached by road.

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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.

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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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