Napoli feels a little transgressive to me. First there’s the chaos. We went to Rome one weekend, and by way of explanation, it felt like having landed in Oslo or maybe Poughkeepsie. In Napoli you fight your way across the street against an onslaught of motorbikes that ride straight through red lights not on occasion but All. The. Time. The train and metro system is bizarre – stations that are next door to each other but unconnected, and you couldn’t transfer even if they were connected. Rigid schedules that they never meet. Metro lines and funiculars that are inexplicably closed, for as long as I’ve been here, despite showing up on Google Maps searches as valid travel options. I won’t even get into the transport strikes! I do like the graffitied trains, though.
There’s also a really high percentage of tattooed people, and a lot of them are tattooed over a high percentage of their bodies. Tattoos are clearly status symbols, with tons of tattoos in the fanciest parts of town. One fellow had tattooed solid ink up to his knee, like a sock. Not a solid design or intermingled tattoos or Dante’s circles of hell or the Sistine Chapel. Just a sock. One sock. I can’t imagine how one would get pleasure out of that, but there’s no accounting for tastes!
My favorite was one with passport stamps. But I’ve seen lots, including a few genuinely scary or at least odd ones. One guy seems to have a spinal column on his calf, and I wanted to ask him, but don’t you also have a spinal column just above there? Another guy had what looked like the word Mallorca in script under one eye and the word Tangy on his neck? WTAF?
Then there was a restaurant hostess who came at us with her head titled back as if to showcase the giant butterfly across her neck and clavicle (AGHGHGH!). I apologize for not getting her picture, but I was traumatized. I’ve felt only slightly weird about taking these other pictures. I mean, they got tattooed and then walked on the streets with shorts and a t-shirt – they want these to be seen, right?
Not all weird
There are loads of good places to visit in the area. We took a little tour bus and a boat to get to Sorrento and Positano. The pics are all you need, not my chatter:
This has been my second-favorite church visit of all time – behind only La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, bless its heart. It’s a bunch of amazing panels dramatically outlined… wait, I’m chattering again.
Other Napolitan wanderings
There’s a quilted church, nighttime walks, our favorite restaurant, a random colorful shrine found on a quiet street and Dante Aligheri and his birds. All worth a little visual.
I’ll just leave it there for the moment. Here. There.