Italy – the land of opposites

In the end of August, my husband and I went to Ischia for a couple of days to celebrate my brother’s birthday. When we were approaching the airport of Naples, I looked at the Vesuvius and then Naples in the shadow of this volcano. So beautiful and so risky, because Vesuvius is alive, but it never erupts, it collects everything inside and then one day it will burst out all lava and bury Naples. Like it did to Pompeii.

Quartieri spagnoli, Napoli

Quartieri spagnoli, Napoli

Piazza Plebiscito, Napoli

Piazza Plebiscito, Napoli

The airport was very clean and modern. Much more modern than the old Malpensa terminal where we left. I was positively surprised; you know Naples has its reputation. Naturally, there were no signs for airport bus that would take us to the port of Naples, but we asked one employee in the parking and he told us where to go. During the ride to the port, we passed some zones where the streets were full of trash. It looked like people threw the trash without thinking. It is a pity because Naples is a beautiful city. Then in the center it was all clean and no trashes. So finally, we found the port and “aliscafo” to Ischia. While waiting the boarding we sat in a small bar. There were two waiters and they worked so slowly that I could not believe it. They took one glass and took it away, got back and took another glass etc.

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Ischia is beautiful and expensive. We had such a nice time there. One taxi without asking drove around the island and still he took only the sum we had agreed earlier. He wanted us to see the most picturesque places. One evening we sang “O sole mio” at cantina with the owner of the restaurant. People are much warmer and more easy-going there than here in Northern Italy. There is warmth and friendliness that I’m not used to here in North. Then the language – it sounds so funny when they speak due their accent. Here at Lombardy, the accent is rather weak and there instead it is very strong.

San Angelo, Ischia

San Angelo, Ischia

Ischia

Ischia

Sunset at Ischia

Sunset at Ischia

Before we took the flight back to Milan, of course we ate a pizza at Naples. We sat outside and had the opportunity to see the street life. There were two men that showed free parking places to the cars and naturally, you paid for them for this service. The police passed in the car, but didn’t care about this illegal activity. Everybody knows that all that business is in the hands of local mafia and these men are just the lowest level of the organization – so why bother because arresting them wouldn’t change anything. Pizza was good and watching illegal vendors and parking men was great. I mean Naples is a big city and everybody knows that mafia is powerful there. After pizza, we walked around and admired this beautiful city. Then finally, my dear husband decided to take an illegal taxi to the airport (I started to be worried). The driver was nice and spoke with so heavy accent that I had difficulties to understand. Nevertheless, we arrived happily to the airport and then home.

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Southern Italy is just the opposite of Northern. All the statistics show that Northern Italy is the locomotive of Italy. Southern Italy gets poorer all the time and people keep on moving to North. Their language or let’s say dialect is so different from the language we speak here in Northern Italy. In addition, their attitude to life is much more relaxed. Unfortunately, mafia is present there – at Ischia, the taxi driver said that unfortunately Naples’s organized criminals come to Ischia in August. Here in North we have mafia, but it is more concentrated in business.

After this trip, I learned to admire even more the beauty of this country. On the other hand, I think that Milan and Naples are from the different country. I don’t think people at Milan feel much similarity with Neapolitans. However, I guess I’m one of those millions people that remain fascinated of Naples; there is something special in that city. Like Pino Daniele sings:

“Napule è mille culure
Napule è mille paure”… Napule è

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