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"Vedi Napoli e poi muori!" or "See Naples and die!"

Vedi napoli e poi muori

ITALY | Wednesday, 14 May 2014 | Views [102] | Scholarship Entry

There is probably no avid traveler who does not have a plan to visit famous Italian cities, and the inevitable "New City" whose beauty made Goethe write: "See Naples and die." However, there is another city with the same name, with streets crammed with garbage and human excrement, but impeccably clean bins, collapsed architecture and a dazzling theater "Solo per adulti".

If you happen to come to the latter Naples, I suggest you immediately make your way to the magical islet of Megaride. On this island, according to the legend, the body of a mermaid Partenope was buried after she failed to lure Ulysses with her song. Here, you may wonder whether the word "pizza" is mistranslated to your language as you enjoy every bite of that perfect dish, mesmerized by hospitality and smell of fresh food from numerous restaurants.

But, if you have a friend whose life-long desire is to visit Naples and die (of pollution) and you choose to roam its streets, do not photograph piles of feces in Via Toledo filled with elite shops, or you will hear a few polite comments regarding your sanity.

You can start your tour by strolling along a wide beautiful promenade feeling the smell of the sea which, as you enter deeper into the city, slowly disappears and you cannot tell whether you feel evaporation of the clean laundry hanging over the streets like New Year's jewelry in the middle of summer or the smell of feces and dogs as tall as calves.

Step by step, and you find yourself in a majestic square Piazza del Plebiscito decorated with too many graffiti. The road leads you further to the Egg Castle. Its name comes from the time of Virgil, when according to the legend, after burying an egg into its foundations, he said when the egg broke, Naples would also break. We didn't find any eggs, but we found a dead bird implying that it did break, because the castle itself was in a terrible condition. If you keep walking, you can see a great number of once beautiful monuments and fall into depression due to the current ruins. You can try to freshen up in the park with no shade and with withered hay since the sprinklers successfully avoided grass. But benches, on the other hand, were wet and cold.

This state of general neglect made my friend gave up the original plan to stay in Naples for a week, and the following evening, we embarked for Sicily. As for me, watching the fading city lights, with tears in my eyes, I regretted not buying another pizza.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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