Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote that he forgives all the people who lost their senses in Napoli.
The polish writer Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, who dedicated a lot of his work to italian cities, described Napoli as a place where the sun has control on the space and it’s available for the whole day, from the sunlit morning to the incadescent evening. It is like a king – it reflects into the infinity and the lights are like an arrangement of reflective glasses. The arstist was also sure that, to better understand Napoli, it has to be visited twice at least. Once is obvious: the trembling light reflected into the sea cannot be forgotten.
Many writers all over the world tried to “paint” in words a city of endless colours and tones. We are heirs of many masterpieces – diaries of life in Napoli: all of them try to present a place where beauty and uncontrolled chaos live in synchrony. Nevertheless art can just depict this enormous beauty and a personal trip is the only way to feel this unique city.
After seeing Napoli no other place can be comparable. Nobody can describe the atmosphere of streets sinking into the shadow of huge buildings, pistons of tourists and residents and, of course, the azure of the sea watched over by the volcano. You should go there to demythologize Napoli as a city of pizza and criminality, to forget all the stereotypes and all the useless information of guides and to create your own point of view – but always with the eyes of the foreigner.
“From the side of a foreigner” because Napoli lives following its own rhythm and nobody can put this city into a touristic frame. Me, as polish, I have firstly noticed the power of colours and the unforgettable music of the streets, noisy, crowded and alive: this city is not a place for monuments but a place for people. Differently from Roma, for example, completely subordinated to tourists, in Napoli you are a guest who firstly needs to understand how to cross the street! As a guest you can just peek, stay a step back, in order to taste the atmosphere.
Napoli, you can love it or hate it. The one who will be seduced will desire to come back as often as possible. The one who will fall in love will also know that this place is not made to be understood, that no map or guide could show Napoli as it is and that the mosaic of streets and buildings will never be “catched”. Napoli can befuddle you and by looking at the sea you can realize the eternity of time.