Let’s start from the beginning. Probably not the city where it all began. But still. Consider this : our good friend M. from A. – city of Africa – first traveled to Naples. Before Rome, before New York, before Calcutta and Shangai. Before everything. It was the first time of his life outside his country. And it was Naples. Napoli. Napl. Napule. Neapel. So on.

 Naples Panorama from Corso Vittorio Emanuele. © Giovanni Ambrosio/Offside Productions.
Naples Panorama from Corso Vittorio Emanuele. © Giovanni Ambrosio/Offside Productions.

Yeah, sure, no doubt. It’s no more the veiled and mysterious city of the lost golden age (ask to Neapolitans about their golden age). There are endless lists of the 3OO monuments in Naples you must visit before you die, of the 135 best restaurants in Naples, of the 1500 easiest parking lots in the city center, of the best 1 billion of bars to taste the real neapolitan espresso, of the only stadium where Diego Armando Maradona played, of the best guides to guide to Naples and Amalfi coast.

But still.

This is a city in which football passion is literally engraved on its walls. You can read Naples as an enormous canvas in which the history of local ultras mouvement is written. And then you can walk and search for churches, historical buildings, artworks of any type. This is a city full of promises.

Wake up early in the morning and go to sleep very late if you want to have a serious introduction to Naples.

Napoli, Cavone. © Giovanni Ambrosio/Offside Productions.

Do you want to see something away from beaten paths? Start your trip in the morning from the Centro Direzionale and then walk down Via Ferrara until the Stazione Centrale. There’s a stunning market in which new and old Neapolitans share the tiny spaces between fruits and vegetables, ultras graffiti, lingerie and other kind of useful stuff you can always buy in a Naples market. After that you are free to loose yourself in the historical center. But do it walking down the Rettifilo. You can’t miss it, it drives you from the station to Università Federico II. It’s crowded, loud and full of life. Students from the hinterland loves and hate it with the same strength.

Naples, Centro Direzionale © Giovanni Ambrosio/Offside Productions.

Where to eat : Salotto Nunziata. Absolutely far away form beaten paths, near Piazza Amedeo, this is a restaurant in which you are seated, at the same time, in the living room of your best friends’ mother whose improvised dinners after a long day are pillars in your memory, and in the study of your great erudite friend who can tell you how people used to make bread in old Pompei. Fascinating. Something also you have to experience : a coffee at Bar Mexico, Central Station.

Find it by yourself : you already know it. It’s totally big deal : pizza. And this is the place. We have our favorite contemporary pizzeria, great service, great dough, great tomatoes.Not that far away form San Paolo Stadium. Ask local people…

Something really local : there’s a stupid thing you should avoid in Naples : not to drink a coffee after your dinner. Our tip : very late in the night, go to the Chalet Ciro in Margellina and try to find your space at the counter. You’ll be served with a coffee as hot as hell probably is. In a cup event hotter…

Contemporary art : One of most beautiful galleries you have ever seen in your life should be Thomas Dane Gallery. It hosted a show by Glenn Ligon with a piece that every serious football art lover should see : Siete Ospiti.

Giovanni Ambrosio

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