Monday, 10 November 2008


Napoli is a city that confuses and bemuses. It took me several false starts before I finally got my bearings. It can be grubby, grimy and get-on-down-dirty, or opulent, gem-like and full of immense beauty depending on your mood. I saw breath-taking palazzos like the 18th century Spinelli Palace hidden behind noisy, cramped streets where shopkeepers peddled their wares in bawdy fashion much as they would have done in Roman times. Washing flapped above my head like a pirate's flag, and I'd dive into churches to seek relief from the craziness outside. There were jewel box chapels, the walls covered in frescos, and kitsch shrines of gaudy plastic flowers to Our Lady. What a city! 

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