1. The People: I have travelled the world and the Neapolitan people are the most passionate, intelligent, hilarious, generous and beautiful (inside and out) people I have ever encountered. When I first arrived in Napoli, everyone from my landlord, to my fishmonger, to the little boys who play soccer outside my door to the old women who drink coffee at my café went out of their way to HELP me understand this city and to make sure I was safe, happy and had everything I needed to thrive as a writer, performer and human being. In the last year I have received thousands of messages from Neapolitans thanking me for loving their city. I’ve also received a few calling me an ignorant whore (or tranny-HA!) and telling me to go fuck myself. 🙂 (#vafannculo!) But, all of these emails contained the curiosity, the intelligence, the passion and the humor that is so uniquely Neapolitan.
2. The Colors: Napoli has colors that I have never seen before and that I cannot describe with words. The way the golden sun, the turquoise sea, the multicolored buildings and the blue sky play with each other- JUST GO. Just see for yourself.
3. The Music: Napoli is the most musical city I have ever lived in. There are musicians playing in the streets, in the restaurants, off the balconies and on the beach. The beautiful and haunting Canzoni Napoletane have become an obsession of mine. To learn more about Napoli and it’s amazing music, start with this awesome documentary, Passione, by John Turturro HERE.
4. The Art and The Architecture: Because of it’s fascinating history, Napoli has some of the most beautiful architecture and incredible works of art in the world. Because it is not as overrun by tourists as the other major Italian cities, you can have a direct and personal relationship with the art and architecture that you can’t have in Rome or Florence. One day, I went to see the last painting Caravaggio ever painted and I was the only one there. Just me and the painting, alone together for 2 hours. Napoli also has an incredible archeological museum, considered the best in the world and it’s a must-visit while you’re here.
5. The Sea: The Bay of Napoli is stunningly beautiful, and a gateway to a world of wonder. From the port of Napoli you can hop a boat to Capri, Ischia, Procida, The Amalfi Coast and many other exotic destinations. Or just take a 20 minute bus ride from the city center to the magical swimming spots at Marechiaro or La Gaiola and spend your day in the golden sun, singing, swimming and laughing with the locals. My first day in Marechiaro, there was a family next to me having a birthday party for their 5 year old child. And they invited me-ME- the crazy American sex doctor woman who was taking silly bikini photos on the rocks- to join them for cake, and also to their house for dinner that week. They are still my friends today. Even after the vagina posting 🙂 (#GrazieFabiola!)
6. The Soccer: Football is a religion in Napoli. If you come to Napoli, you MUST go to a game at stadium San Paolo. I’m not gonna ruin it for you by explaining why you have to go or what happens at games. Just go.
7. The Pizza: Yes. It’s fucking amazing. THEY INVENTED IT. You are eating a work of art. I didn’t even LIKE pizza before I went to Napoli and now I eat it every day when I’m here. For less than 5 USD you can have a whole pizza made with the freshest ingredients by a master pizzaiolo. American pizza lovers who are used to shelling out $20 for a mediocre Margherita made by an untrained douchebag will cry of happiness the first time you take a bite of Gino Sorbillo’s or O’ Scugnizzo’s pizza. It’s like an MBO for your mouth. I’ve lived all over Italy, and I can tell you, when it comes to pizza, just like making love- NAPOLI DOES IT BETTER.
I stand by what I said before. Man or woman, young or old, top or bottom— if you want to see beauty, feel magic and know what it means to be truly alive, go to Napoli–
PS. Best coffee in the world.