My Per­fect Day

Where Naples Coast & Islands - - WHERE IN NAPLES -

Naples in three ad­jec­tive?

Unique, vi­brant and phe­nom­e­nal.

Naples in three snap­shots?

The Gulf seen from via Orazio, Spaccanapoli and the face of a child which sym­bol­izes hope and the fu­ture.

If Naples were a song?

Na­pul’è by Pino Daniele.

And if it was a film?

It would be a film with a sound­track by Pino Daniele fea­tur­ing a starred cast of ac­tors like Totò, Ed­uardo and Massimo Troisi. In hon­our of Sor­rentino, I would call it The Great Beauty, but it wouldn’t have any­thing to do with the deca­dence of Rome de­scribed by the di­rec­tor.

Which is your coffee rit­ual?

Coffee is the first thing that I drink when I wake up and it’s of­ten the last thing that I drink be­fore go­ing to bed. I tend to drink sev­eral cups dur­ing the day but if it’s not good I pre­fer to do with­out it.

You went away from Naples a long time ago. What do you miss most about it?

My loved ones, my friends, the sta­dium, the Lun­go­mare, the nar­row streets of its neigh­bour­hoods, its aro­mas… If I had to choose just one thing I would say the sea.

What is the pleace ‘dear­est to your heart’ in Naples?

The places of my ado­les­cence, from via Scar­latti to pi­azza Fuga, to Vomero. But mostly the rocks in front of the old ‘Giusep­pone a Mare’. A mag­i­cal place from where you can see the whole of Naples from below. See but also hear it.

The strong point of Neapoli­tans?

Their vi­tal­ity, warmth and cre­ativ­ity. Their abil­ity to over­come ad­ver­sity like the old say­ing ‘The Neapoli­tan be­comes dry but doesn’t die’.

And their weak points?

Of­ten be­ing re­signed. If we were more aware of our qual­i­ties and our her­itage, to­day Naples would be dif­fer­ent. Since I’ve lived abroad I of­ten hear peo­ple say­ing ‘You Neapoli­tans have an edge over oth­ers’. It would be great if we ap­plied this at home.

What do Amer­i­cans think of Naples?

Naples, like the rest of Italy, is very well re­garded in New York. Al­though Naples is a dif­fi­cult city, where tourists are in ques­tion it’s no less dan­ger­ous than any other me­trop­o­lis in the world. Why be con­di­tioned by prej­u­dice and miss the op­por­tu­nity of vis­it­ing one of the most beau­ti­ful and least pre­dictable cities in the world?

Can the Ribalta be con­sid­ered an out­post of Neapoli­tan cul­ture in New York?

It is! Mayor de Mag­istris de­fined it as the Neapoli­tan Em­bassy in New York. Ribalta is a piece of Naples that has been trans­ported to New York. It’s a home from home for us Neapoli­tans liv­ing here and an in­for­ma­tion of­fice for Amer­i­cans who dis­cover it through our di­alect and our dishes.

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