La vera Italiana!
It’s plethoric, luscious, noisy and loud and tends to be chaotic. Like a true Italian enchantress she has brio and vigor, intense and vibrant colors but also the biggest historic center in Europe. It’s the homeland of pizza and Sofia Loren, it’s the soul of Italy!
Some say that you don’t really know Italy unless you visit Naples. Some say it’s so different to the elegant northern capitals, it almost seems to belong to a different country. And some others say Italy owes its gastronomic fame to Naples. I think all of the above are true. Those who visit Naples for the first time should forget the grandiose of the Italian cities they know. They should also close their ears to all stereotypes about the Italian south. The city that’s nested under the imposing and threatening figure of Vesuvius, the city with the gorgeous coastline along its bay, the city of the four castles and the hundreds of crazy motorini has a unique pulse and endless charms. But only if you allow yourself to get to understand it, to follow its own pace of life, it will reveal its beauty to you.
And then you’ll see that indeed, she is like a genuine Italian lady, a vera Italiana, full of vividness and life, ready to grab your hand and make you swirl along with her in a cheerful tarantella!
“I won’t say another word about the beauties of the city and its situation, which have been described and praised often. As they say here: “Vedi Napoli e poi muori!” , meaning “See Naples and die!” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet and novelist.
Naples: luscious in history, art and gastronomy
1. Pio Monte della Misericordia: Caravaggio’s mark on Naples
The seven young Neapolitan aristocrats that founded the charity institution of Pio Monte della Misericordia in the break of the 17th century ( 1601 ), would never have imagined that they were setting up one of the most admirable and important cultural sites that Naples can demonstrate today. ( Click to read more )
2. The gastronomic paradise of Neapolitan cuisine
A popular, folk capital and a genuine Italian cuisine, simple, earthy, faithful to the locality of raw materials. A city favoured by its location and benefited by its climate and a production so wealthy that makes the area self-sufficient and proud of its tastes. Besides being a threat, Vesuvius proves to be a blessing with its fertile territories giving Naples an astonishing taste identity. ( Click to read more )
3. Monumental Complex Donnaregina: A tour from Gothic to Baroque
The area around Naples’ Duomo is the heart of the most original and old part of Naples. Three ancient roads remain from the Greek-Roman period, with countless, cobblestone, narrow alleys crossing them and forming a shady labyrinth, that invites you to get lost in it, explore it and give into its unrefined beauty. ( Click to read more )
Sfogliatella Napoletana: Love at fisrt bite!
Arrival at Capodichino, Naples’ airport early in the morning. The taxi that takes me to the city center goes as fast as if it were in a car race or as if it were the only one on the road. Actually all cars around us are as fast as that! “Welcome to Naples”, I say to myself. I ask the taxi driver to take me to the central train station, Stazione Napoli Centrale, instead of driving to the apartment I have booked
San Domenico Maggiore: The church, the obelisk and the piazza
The area around Spaccanapoli, one of the three ancient Greek-Roman streets of the old Neapolis that still remain today, is a beautiful frame of narrow streets, cobblestoned alleys, tiny squares, many churches and old palaces. It is in fact one of the most picturesque aspects of the historic center of Naples and a very charming labyrinth, ideal for strolling around.
Babà au rhum: The absolute king of Naples!
“In Napoli where love is king…” sings Dean Martin in the famous song “That’s amore”. Well, in Naples’ food scene the established king is no other than the Babà au rhum, the famous old time dessert that the Napolitani are crazy for! And indeed the rum baba can very well be described as a king, as it has a royal descent with origins taking us back to the court of Polish King Stanislaus I, who like it happens with many wonderful things, invented by mistake this delicious sweet.
Recently in Naples
As Naples is a city with unique ambience, the best way to explore and get to know it is to let yourself wander around and follow the city’s vigorous pulse. Here are a few suggestions and tips that will make your experience even more delightful.
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I find there’s something really intriguing in the word “antico” (antique) when it comes to Italian food establishments, thinking of old recipes and mastery acquired and evolved through decades. And that becomes even more intriguing and totally exciting when the antico...
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