We should have known better – nothing is obvious about Vesuvius.
The volcano has sat across the bay from us all summer – big, blue and balmy. It reclines like some artist’s prop, a balance to the curve of sea and islands, a backdrop for the scuttle of life on its slopes and down to the shore.
It looks benign, the perfect place for an afternoon stroll, perhaps even a villa or two.
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.