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

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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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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