Scusa, non parlo napolitano

Here are some quick observations after a night in Naples.

  • For years people have been telling me “see Naples and die!” This expression has two meanings . According to the first, you can see Naples and die because you’ve seen enough splendor and beauty for a lifetime. The second definition, however, is a little simpler: you’ll die because you’ll most likely get murdered. I should note that I did, in fact, make it out of Naples alive.
  • The Neopolitan dialect is honestly another language and sadly I can't understand a word of it.
  • There are tons of advertisements to buy a tesi di laurea (graduate thesis), original or used. As I’m entering my last two months of grad school and doubting my own thesis, this could be an option. What could go wrong? Romeo and Jacopo would never notice, I’m sure.
  • Of course I have to mention the food. Surprisingly, I have discovered a deep love for friarelli (a type of bitter green common in the south of Italy). Less surprisingly, I also love pizza (this is not new information).
  • Graffiti here is like reading a conversation between fascists and antifascists with some declarations of love thrown in the mix (not unusual for Italy, but most of everything is graffitied here). Add that in the mix with the funeral announcements and statues of the Madonna on every corner and you end up with a rather, ummm, unique atmosphere.
  • I accidentally wandered into the filming of a Conan O’Brien special and ended up having to explain to a group of curious Italians who on earth he is. Keep your eyes out for the Conan Without Borders, in which you may or may not spot a very confused American photographer in the background.
  • Yes, this city is much grittier than the rest of Italy; in fact, it feels like a different country. I wouldn’t choose to live here, but I want to go back and explore it for more than just a day.
  • Also to be noted, this little jaunt was my last-ever field trip with SACI. From here on out I have to complete my thesis, finish my final project, and figure out what on earth I’m doing next… I’d rather go and hide in Naples for an extended period of time and eat taralli, but I’m pretty sure that’s not an option.