On pickpockets, congealed blood and volcanos

5 Feb

Naples has an aura of danger.  The monolithic buildings made from dark, volcanic tufa are crammed together on ancient street plans.  Sunlight rarely pierces the gloom in this city of narrow alleyways and concealed corners, around which, you are led to believe pickpockets and knife wielders lurk.   Gesticulating, vociferous Neapolitan conversation sounds like aggressive arguing to mild Northern European types, they are probably discussing the price of tomatoes, but they sound  like they are threatening to murder their enemies.

It is a place of superstition where the congealing of a Saint’s blood determines the city’s luck or otherwise for the rest of the year.  If the blood magically liquefies, all will be well, if it remains congealed, disaster will befall Naples.  In a city under the shadow of an unpredictable volcano, disaster is an ever-looming possibility.

But Naples is a fascinating place with inhabitants full of verve.  An unbelieveable amount of care goes into preparing a cup of coffee, or getting dressed for the evening passagiata.  The daily fish market is a theatrical specatable to rival any at Covent Garden.  They worship saints and discuss the best mozarella with an equal passion.

Naples is a city where life is lived joyously.  We were woken one morning by the sound of  a soprano singing an aria somewhere along our narrow street.  We listened, enchanted for a few minutes and then, came a male voice from the opposite end of the street, answering her in song. The rest of the city carried on with their everyday lives as if this was nothing special, while we listened with huge smiles on our faces.

This post is part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby. For lovely travel pictures, click here


3 Responses to “On pickpockets, congealed blood and volcanos”

  1. jessiev 05/02/2010 at 9:54 pm #

    and, i so want to go now. thanks!

  2. Crystal Jigsaw 07/02/2010 at 3:10 pm #

    Oh that sounds wonderful, imagine waking up to the sound of serenading.

    CJ xx

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 07/02/2010 at 10:47 pm #

      It was a real film moment!

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