Here is My Napoli

Napoli brews fire; its main commodity. Napoli is an eruption that hasn’t happened yet. Napoli is not quite walking in a straight line and giant, wild hand gestures, swinging personalities, trust in the right neighbourhood, dodgy, shifty manoeuvres in the wrong one, shady characters and a warm hospitality, an unexpected embrace. It’s your Airbnb host making you fresh coffee and explaining how the Napoli coffee pot differs to the moka one. It’s drinking a 1 euro plastic cup of prosecco on a narrow dark street while you wait for the famous pizzeria that has Bill Clinton’s face on the menu from that one time he went there. It’s taxi drivers gathering together to loudly instruct and argue with your taxi driver over the best route to take you where you need to go, that same taxi driver calling his mate for directions and still needing to ask his “colleague” (a random taxi driver on the street) who responds with a series of emphatic gestures and him finally driving you towards the little street but he can’t drive through it so he’s pointing in the direction so you don’t get lost but has no qualms about almost running a woman with a pram over to get there. It’s making sure they always give you the right change, even if it’s 10 euro cents and being delighted when you laugh and leave it as a tip. Napoli is casually finding out you’re staying in a beautiful 17th century building where writer Goethe once lived. It’s periodic strikes of lightning lighting up the dark sky. Everything is the most Italian thing ever; cliches but if cliches were pumping out from a wild manic heartbeat. I’ve never been so enthralled by a place before, so unequivocally taken in. A waiter in Amalfi told me I have “the face of a Napoli woman, the most beautiful women in the world” so naturally I’m now acting like a kingpin local around the joint, downing espressos while standing at the bar, nodding knowingly, hobbling along the cobblestones with my aching calves, hoping I’ll see the ghost of Sophia Loren around every corner whispering “benvenuto a casa” even though she’s still alive and I might have already tried to find her house.