Napoli: An Utter Wasteland
Naples is a foul city and after the Amalfi utopia and then John leaving, I can’t stand a single part of it. Trash covers the streets and blows around your legs as you try to make your way through millions of loud and dirty Italian men. Graffiti covers the walls everywhere; places are boarded up and abandoned; horns and sirens ring ceaselessly throughout every street. And even after 15 showers, it is impossible to feel clean when it seems contracting aids is inevitable if you fancy breathing.
Men shout, honk, and stare at you like some sort of alien creature and whole rooms go silent when a woman walks into a shop or bar full of old greasy Italian men, briefly before erupting again in jeers and propositions. There has to be a ratio of at least 9:1, men to women in this place and it’s not a wonder why they all left.
I tell myself it’s okay because I am locking myself in my room for 4 days to do nothing but write, but I cannot get over how ugly the place is. It has no right to be in Italy and is an utter disgrace to everything Italy is. It feels as if everyone who cared anything about beauty at all fled long ago, leaving the city slickers to waste away in their own filth. And that is exactly what they are doing, over crowding the grime covered streets and eroding buildings, mixing in with the trash around them.
After a strike in 2008 where municipal workers refused to pick up trash or keep the streets clean any longer and certain landfills overflowed and subsequently shut down, smart citizens of the city did leave. But further research shows that this trash filled city (and the later strike) stems back to the 1980’s when a particular branch of Italian mafia, the Cammora, realized just how lucrative waste management could be. They sent hundreds of trucks to illegally dump trash throughout the city, hiding some and dispersing others – vast mountains of toxic waste endlessly showing up all over the city. (No wonder the workers all went on strike). Some suspect that the mafia is still dispersing trash and other forms of toxic waste to this day. The crisis has yet to be resolved, leaving this once glorious and third largest Italian city in an apocalyptic and filth ridden desecration.
(In all fairness to Napoli, I did end up finding some nice areas, such as Amadeo. However, if you do venture to this war zone, do not for any reason stay in Garibauldi or Gianturco)