The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Day 1 (Napoli)

My first introduction to Italia was Napoli. Napoli is a graffitti-covered, urine-smelling city with roads that sit under a blanket of litter. If you think that sounds bad, double it. The people have a fashion sense stuck in 1982 and display more affection in public than I do in private. The very narrow cobblestone roads play host to a transportation throwdown as the tiny bubble cars take on the scooters who take on the pedestrians. Ah si, Napoli. I must admit that this dirt-poor port city of Napoli with its view of Vesuvio and lack of tourists was surprisingly charming. I did love having Pizza and vino for lunch. I admired how the shops of the city shut down for three hours so the workers can enjoy pizza and vino for lunch as well. I enjoyed walking past shops where the workers stood outside smoking their cigarettes and playfully yelling across the roads at each other. I watched in silence as a funeral passed by; the car slowly driving the casket down the street as the family, draped in black, walked arm in arm behind their loved one. There is something to be said about experiencing true Italian culture in a place that lacks many tourists. I quickly realized that Napoli is a city about the people. The careless and poor, yet very proud and charming people.

I wrapped up day one with a home cooked meal with mi familia Italiana.

Luccia, Diana, Grandma, Carlo, Gabriella, and Maria

We arrived back at Diana's around midnight and I was utterly exhausted and half-drunk on vino and Lemoncello. I am truly surprised I lasted that long considering I did not sleep on the flight over because some French woman next to me had some sort of difficulty breathing/panic attack. I am pretty sure I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow at Diana's house.