You either love it or hate it. Garbage pizza — so packed with flavor that it demands the most vague and threatening term in culinary vocabulary. Garbage — an amorphous field of calories, loosely identifiable as meats, cheeses, and veggies. It makes life worth living, even while threatening to cut it short.
Similar words might be used to describe the city of Naples, where the ingredients for civilization (the good, bad, beautiful, and smelly) have been heaped together in what can only be described as a charming mess.
Some visitors find the grunge and disorder of Naples repulsive. Italians from other regions mock it as a lawless state where most rules are considered mere “suggestions”. It is a peculiar place and an intimidating one, but I’d like to think it’s taste can be acquired. The people of Naples are a proud and spirited bunch. They might grumble about the mafia-imposed trash strikes or the struggling economy but they genuinely want you to enjoy their city as much as they do.
There are many cool things about Naples that I cannot necessarily name or place; the constant barrage of fireworks, late night pizzetta, and grass-sprouting facades are a few things that come to mind. There are others that no visitor can afford to miss; the San Severo chapel and the archaeological museum are my top recommendations. Personally, I am still in awe of the little “porcellino” pig that has survived more than two millennia of ware. One has got to marvel at a society that can posess such treasures while still struggling to take out the trash.