Bella Napoli (that’s Beautiful Naples in English)

Naples is truly one of the most fascinating cities in the world, as this CNN article so well describes. The author, Rick Steves, really knows what he’s talking about. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Naples several times. Preceding one of my first trips, I’d been hearing a joke on TV. It said that in Napoli the drivers stop on the green light and go on the red. Everyone laughed; I figured it was an acknowledgment of the anarchy which is so prevalent in Italy, but which among the Neapolitans has become an art form.

Once there, I found myself competing on the streets with the local drivers. It was incredibly intense, but I was handling it. At the first intersection I came to, I began to understand. The light was green, but I could see that the intersecting cars approaching their red light were whizzing right through it. Naturally I stopped to let them go before proceeding. This happened a couple of times in succession. Then I came to another green light, and even when no cars were crossing in front of me, I stopped knowing that if any were approaching, they would run the red light. A little while later, approaching a red light, the cars in front of me were running it and the guy in my rear view mirror seemed ready to, so what could I do? I went through it as if it were green.

In Naples, they stop on the green and go on the red. I love it.

I agree totally with the assessment of Rick Steves, that Naples although a city of contrasts has a great charm and fascination. Nevertheless, there are serious problems. The garbage strikes have been in the news so much lately that everyone’s sick of it. But, what happened the other day due to poorly planned renovations is just frightening.

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