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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Naples, Italy – let’s take a look at love

Love in Chiaia - Naples, Italy

Love in Chiaia – Naples, Italy

Love – the elusive glue that helps us stay together in ways we still don’t understand.  It’s something that most of us come across at some point in our lives if we’re lucky … unless we come to Naples, Italy, and then it’s everywhere.

How so?

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Italy: Naples raises its voice to defend its rights over San Gennaro

I wrote this piece in March 2016. It gives the history of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples, and covers the storm that raged over the threat to the city’s custody of the saint.

The Phraser

Mural of San Gennaro near the Duomo in Naples, Italy Mural of San Gennaro near the Duomo in Naples, Italy

A threat has been made to the heart of an old city, to a unique relationship between the people and their saint.  The partnership has lasted through centuries of invasion, violence, disease and volcanic turbulence … but now bureaucracy wants its say.

The challenge is to the arrangements in place for the care of the patron saint of Naples, San Gennaro, and his glittering collection of treasure.

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Madre: the museum of contemporary art in Napoli

This piece, first published in April 2016, was written after my first visit to the Madre in Naples. I loved the museum’s calm space, the range of its exhibits … and its roof terrace.

The Phraser

Internal courtyard of the Museo Madre in Naples, Italy with art by Mimmo Paladino on the roof Internal courtyard of the Museo Madre in Naples, Italy with art by Mimmo Paladino on the roof

Art is a place to be, a place that tries to reach us, provoke us. It swallows the rules, the clocks, the to and fro, and waits for us to respond.

Much of Naples itself is art – ancient, modern, faded, alive – but it does not have the quiet, the spaces between, that the Madre brings to its displays.  This is the luxury of a visit to the Madre, the chance to leave the hectic city and step into its  calm.

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Sea cats around the Bay of Naples, Italy

I published this post on The Phraser at the end of February 2016. February is a grand time to be on the Bay of Naples. The sun might not always be there, and it might be chilly, but there’s always coffee and plenty to explore … plus, of course, you’re bound to bump into a cat.

The Phraser

By the old fishing harbour in Pozzuoli, near Naples, Italy By the old fishing harbour in Pozzuoli, near Naples, Italy

Last week a bonny, blond portrait painter came to stay.  We took her to see the sights: old fishing harbours; castles; artworks; views; and we fended off the men … but it was the cats that caught her eye.

I looked where she looked – this is for her.

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In search of a book in Naples, Italy

A look back: this piece was first published on 12 February 2016. I can still feel the sunshine of that walk, and the satisfaction of being able to ask for help in simple Italian. The embarrassing part is that, a year on, the book I took such trouble to hunt down is still not finished … plus I’ve discovered my weary dictionary isn’t big enough for Enzo Striano.

The Phraser

Books and Naples, Italy are old friends Books and Napoli are old friends

Step in amongst the books in this ancient city and it’s hard to avoid the big names on almost every corner. My search for just one novel was busy enough.

Start on the Lungomare and there’s the castle known, thanks to Virgil, as the Castel dell’Ovo (Castle of the Egg).

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Naples, Italy: the loss of Pino Daniele

This piece is an updated version of an article first published last year to mark the anniversary of the death of the singer Pino Daniele who was born and raised in Naples, Italy. Tomorrow will be the second anniversary of his death … I don’t think Naples will ever forget him.

The Phraser

Pino Daniele - singer, adored by Naples, died suddenly January 2015 Pino Daniele

Waves of emotion can hit you from any distance – one washed right over me this time two years ago. I was thousands of miles away from the event that caused the outpouring of emotion … but I knew that it mattered.

The ‘event’ was the sudden death of the singer Pino Daniele on January 4th 2015, and the city whose heart split open was Napoli. Facebook wept with tributes. I could feel the pain from wherever I sat.

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