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Italy: Naples Streets

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Naples Streets > Italy > Europe

[Visited: April 2003]

Naples is a clear reminder of Italy's past as a collection of city states. It is definitely different from other cities in the country. Colourful houses along narrow, high alleys, people selling almost anything in the streets, a distinct Napolitan dialect, laundry hanging high above the streets... People are actors in a life-size non-stop theatre even more so than in other parts of Italy. With all the chaos around, the city is also an lively and unique destination in Europe with more than a touch of exotism.

Picture of Naples Streets (Italy): Church in Naples

While you walk through the historic centre, you come across small street markets where you can buy anything from vegetables to videocameras with dubious origin. You can see old people slowly walking to their daily visit of a bar or friends. You have to be careful not to be hit by one of the cars or vespas driving anywhere. You might even see two guys trying to break into a secured window of a closed shop. At all times, you will come across a church, a small square, an old bar, a shop with delicious fresh produce.

Picture of Naples Streets (Italy): Alley with nun in Naples

Anarchy reigns in Naples. The only law to which everyone seems to stick is that no law should be obeyed. Parking signs are ignored, traffic lights have no value, pedestrians just have to be fast to survive. The most striking fact is that the police do not act when confronted with the eternal disrespect for rules. It makes visiting this city an adventure, and sometimes makes you wonder whether you are really in Europe at all. But it is when you stay in a small square, when you walk along the seaside, when you look down on the city with its hundreds of domes above the skyline, and the panorama of the Bay of Naples and the Vesuvius that the city calls again, like a magnet.

Picture of Naples Streets (Italy): Narrow alley in Naples
Picture of Naples Streets (Italy): Small street temple in Naples
Picture of Naples Streets (Italy): Church integrated in house, Naples

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