Naples is (gratifying) chaos.
Naples has all the elements of a city I would normally hate: crowded, dirty, filled with bad graffiti and loud people... but for some reason, it's completely thrilling and charming. And thank god, because I'm here for a whole month (2.5 weeks-in at the moment... a bit behind on blog posts!).
I haven't properly captured the insanity of Naples through photos yet but trust me when I say it's there. The thousands of scooters carrying whole families (babies and dogs included) and loud Italians yelling and gesticulating from cars, windows and shops are a couple of cinematic stereotypes proved to be very true.
I'm reading An Italian in Italy right now which explains that "...in Italy rules are not obeyed as they are elsewhere. We think it's an insult to our intelligence to comply with a regulation. Obedience is boring. We want to think about it. We want to decide whether a particular law applies to our specific case. In that place, at that time". I admire the sentiment but this Italian attitude towards traffic laws ensures that I feel like I've cheated death every time I've successfully crossed the street.
Despite being the perfect package for a tourist spot (warm weather, rich history, on the coast, amazing food-- the pizza is here is OUT OF CONTROL), Naples has failed to take advantage of the tourist industry. This means (outside of the hostel) I rarely see another non-Italian and it's made the last few weeks here feel really authentic.
My 2 years of Italian at BC has proved completely useless (not that I retained much at the time) as Neapolitan Italian is a whole other vernacular away from standard Italian. The few phrases that I do know must be said with an accent that feels like I'm mocking Mario and/or Luigi in order for anyone to understand what I'm saying, so usually I get by with a lot of smiling and nodding. Although doing that, I did agree to a dinner date with a butcher when I thought he was just talking about the pancetta I ordered. So now I have to find a new neighborhood butcher.
It's been a genuine Italian adventure so far.
More soon. Expect a lot of photos of pizza.