My per­fect day

Luigi de Mag­istris

Where Naples Coast & Islands - - CONTENTS -

An interview with the Mayor of Naples who was re­cently elected for his sec­ond five-year term in of­fice

Naples in three ad­jec­tives.

Hot-blooded, be­cause, in the words of the author Libero Bovio: “This is a town where words, whether sweet or harsh, are al­ways words of ‘love”; heartrend­ing be­cause, I agree with Pino Daniele, “those who live by the sea un­der­stand ev­ery­thing, but they have a cross to bear”; vi­brant, be­cause the city is an on­go­ing hub-bub of life and colours.

Naples in three snap­shots.

A ‘clas­si­cal’ post­card: the city sil­hou­et­ted against the bay, at the foot of Ve­su­vius. A po­lit­i­cal post­card: Ber­linguer’s po­lit­i­cal meet­ing in Naples in 1976. Thou­sands of peo­ple ral­ly­ing for a strong idea of so­cial jus­tice. A ‘per­sonal’ post­card: the cel­e­bra­tions out­side Palazzo San Gi­a­como on the day that I was elected Mayor of the city. A square over­flow­ing with peo­ple, fu­elled by a sense of pas­sion, hope and mil­i­tancy. A lib­er­ated Naples with a de­sire to re­deem its des­tiny and make changes for the com­mon good. And, in my heart, the weight and emo­tion of un­der­tak­ing a re­spon­si­bil­ity of this scope: rep­re­sent­ing and bring­ing about the change that those peo­ple, my peo­ple, wanted.

If Naples were a song?

‘Terra mia’ by Pino Daniele. Be­cause this city rep­re­sents free­dom, but also a de­sire to change for the bet­ter.

And if it was a film?

Prob­a­bly “Pas­sione”, by John Tur­turro, a fan­tas­tic de­scrip­tion of the belly of Naples, a fu­sion of clas­sic and con­tem­po­rary cul­ture. It has the plus of be­ing a story told by a non-Neapoli­tan, prov­ing the uni­ver­sal­ity of the pas­sion that only this city man­ages to trans­mit.

Where do you like to go for lunch or din­ner?

Any place that is in­fused with the typ­i­cal Neapoli­tan aro­mas of the vol­cano or the sea. Even a sim­ple eatery serv­ing fried food. We in­vented street food be­fore it be­came fash­ion­able. Here, in Naples, we tend to an­tic­i­pate trends.

The cof­fee rit­ual. Tell us about yours?

I like my cof­fee strong and short: a Neapoli­tan espresso.

Your favourite dish?

Seafood spaghetti: earth, hands and sea.

Shop­ping: what do you like to buy?

I don’t do much shop­ping, the city takes up my whole day. How­ever, I al­ways buy prod­ucts that are lo­cally sourced and ‘Made in Naples’.

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

It’s im­pos­si­ble to choose. I love all of Naples, even its less touristy spots. Only ap­pre­ci­at­ing beau­ti­ful things would be too easy.

The strong points of Neapoli­tans?

Their pas­sion.

And their weak points?

Al­ways pas­sion. “Be­cause those who live by the sea, have a cross to bear”.

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