Love for Naples was born smoothly, despite the fact that this city doesn’t leave room for the half-measures, the indefinite emotions. But fondness for its multifaceted beauty, came from a feeling of initial rejection.
Tired of the trip and assaulted by the heat of this hot summer, the noise, the bustle of its busy streets, the sloppiness, almost decay, of many buildings in the old historic center of Naples, they tored my senses.
“This would be the beautiful Naples”, I thought to myself, then to find the courage to say it to my partner who confirmed to me the same discomfort. There was a sense of closure and oppression, of decadence. We looked disheartened each other. We thought about the ten days that we should spend in that city, which seemed so far away from how we had imagined it.
So, we decided to move away from the center to find spaces and horizons. We were confident that the landscape would reconcile us with the city.
Mergellina and its promenade at sunset welcomed us,Vomero with its breathtaking views from Castel Sant’Elmo, Pozzuoli with the Flavian amphitheater, in which we were able to walk through the arena and visit the underground rooms, feeling us a bit gladiators .
Slowly we got close to the historic center and we enjoyed the shocking beauty of the Veiled Christ, the evocative trip in Naples underground, the Archaeological Museum with mosaics and frescoes of Herculaneum and Pompeii, modern in their essential beauty (to name just some of the extraordinary works hosted in the museum).
So, we discovered the charm of the ancient center, we looked carefully to capture beauty in details and in the overall vision, we fell in love with the continual swarming of its streets, sounds, voices, colors and flavors, the musicality of Neapolitan language, the friendliness and openness of the people, the house we lived in, with a fantastic view of the city and Vesuvius.
We sweated soul in those hot days of August and we refreshed the senses on the islands in front of the coast, discovering the discrete and original beauty of Procida, a small tongue of land that gives off colors and spaces. We spent unforgettable days and we have carved inside a trail of memories and nostalgia, the promise to return and the certainty that beauty exists. And it has so many faces.
Text and photo
Maria Letizia Del Zompo