My Perfect Day
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.