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.

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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.

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Zimbabwe: to Bulawayo and back (not for the birthday)

Our approach into Bulawayo in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe

Our approach into Bulawayo in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe

I was born in this country, and lived here for a quarter of a century … yet, because our focus was our farm many miles away to the north, its second city is new to me.

Below are acres of wet, green trees.  Bulawayo’s drought has broken.

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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: the Museo Civico Gaetano Filangieri

This is a look back at a post written at the end of May, 2016. It’s about a small museum in Naples, Italy whose founder sought to save the skills and treasures of craftsmen before they were buried by the Industrial Revolution. There is care and pride in every detail.

The Phraser

The Museo Civico Gaetano Filangieri in Naples, Italy The Museo Civico Gaetano Filangieri in Naples, Italy

The best treasure comes in chests, compact and crowded, that brim with what’s been most precious … and there should always be scars.

The Museo Filangieri is a chest like this.

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To the sassi of Matera – a hard place made of rock

Statue in the square that overlooks the old cave houses in Matera, In Basilicata in Italy

Statue in the square that overlooks the old cave houses in Matera, in Basilicata in Italy

Our three days of travel are almost up.  We have one day left and one last place to see.

We leave the coast near Puglia and, with global positioning satellite technology as our guide, travel alien-style towards some of the oldest homes on earth – the cave dwellings (sassi) of Matera.

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