Notes from plane..
Okay, been an amazing few days in Naples, Napoli, Neopolis... From the original Greek name when they founded this amazing city..
Arrived here the day after I had flown into Malága..
And today flying back to Malága prior to my flight to the UK tomorrow to Luton.
What can I say..
Photographs will show you what I saw but not how I felt.. That can't be told or shown here..
The feeling here, what a buzz, like being out in a street party! The atmosphere is totally amazing.. the feel of the place.
It is alive.
I know there is a history of being told to be aware of theives bag snatches pick pockets.. but this can be said of everywhere..
Only two times did it seems a bit edgy.. on disembarking from the airport bus, only a ten minutes ride from the airport.. it seemed to be a strange area; could have been anywhere in the world to be honest.. So a bit disconcerting.
Then one time following a road to it's end and seemed to be in a different country!
But still neither time feeling threatened or worried.. although if it'd been dark that would have been a whole different feeling!!
There are a few symbols of Napoli, a predomanant one is a red phallic symbol, a bit like the ones we wore in the 80's of a horn-like shape in silver, or mine was anyways.
They are everywhere, all sizes from the tiniest to the most massive! In jewelry form, to statues, incorporated into any and everything! Key rings, clothing; just everything!
I went into a shop to ask! Trust me, I had to do it!! I said what's the thing about the red chilli shape everywhere.. He said it symbolises a penis.. lol.. yes I was speachless for a moment and said "okay .." then he added as in fertility.. and abundance.
Not sure who felt more weird for a while, me hearing the word penis said out loud in a shop, or him saying it, maybe he thought it would shock me, I was surprised definitely..
Then there is a figure of a man in clown costume.. the white clothes and then the black eyed mask.. he is also, as above on or in everything.
Then there is the Mbriana... I will link to this here.. she I saw in head form, and not sure yet if it's the same woman's head with what appears to be blindfold over her eyes.. saw this in lots of windows too. Found a link to it here I think...
There were amongst the regular stores, lots of antique type places, a mix of old treasures, some seemed more like junk, but there were treasures in there for sure.. Some spooky types, dolls with scary faces.. carved freaky things.. but all so intriguing!
Pasta pastries more pasta and more pastries! I feel totally carbed out! And already craving a canoli!
So much seen, too much to tell! Streets full of people, streets full of market stalls.. men making nativity scenery, men making the figures and animals and furniture to fill them.
Artisans of so many things, sitting making their wares right there in the streets.. beautiful.
Religious items, wood plaster metals..
Walked down underneath the city, walking where the Greeks first built, then the Romans.. layer upon layer.. amazing..
Walked to an Arab castle out past the port..
Stayed in a small duplex apartment right in the heart of the old city, coming out of a door into a street buzzing with scooters and people!
It was also Black Friday, the few days seemed to be a riot of sales! With Friday being the climax, although last night, Saturday the shops open late and people queuing to enter, with security men on the doors only letting a few in at a time!!
The highlight, not right word.. The absolutely best most wonderful news is visiting my grandparents home town.. Quaglietta.
At last Quaglietta, at last real home ground.. and I stood in the ruins of the medieval castle, where my grandparents must have been to, and stood barefoot to connect and I felt I did, like the hippy girl I am.
Went in a bar for coffee.. (and pastry!) Chatted to the man about who I was looking for, past or present.. Going back to ask about an address of a name I had, from the phone book... (Simples), another man, watching from the piazza said the bar was now closed, for lunch! Well, I suppose such a small village, and the bar served drinks coffees pastries, then I guess it would be quiet over lunch!!
Then started talking to the man.. he remembered Bonelli's.. he'd known them from school, from growing up.. he pointed to two houses they'd lived in... He himself had spent time in New York, Queens especially, staying with family... He spoke of 1911 when a big mass started from the village to America..
Started off the search at the cemetery, as one would.. found a few surnames that are in the family, but not Grasso from grandparents days and no Bonelli's at all..
If it's like Spain, bodies, and therefore names are removed after ten years if no money is paid for them to remain inplace..
There were some older stones and plates, but just about every single one, from old to new has fresh flowers on them, which is so amazing to see, and means those departed have family still who visit regularly.
I was walking amongst the headstones and graves, not as many as the normal way of burial there or here.. photographs of both.
And my foot slipped down on a flagstone.. I fell forward and saved myself, but as I tried to stand.. all in a split second really I guess, as my head came back up I hit it, hard, on a metal cross!
Nope, not funny! One little bit.. Well, okay, maybe just the tiniest little bit!
Had lunch in a restaurant which appeared closed, the chef came down to lead us up to a hotel dining area.. he said no menu and told us he would cook and what he would do..
And then, almost at the last, returning to the piazza taking photographs on the Bonelli's house.. the Bonelli Arch!! Amazing find!
So although no Bonelli's in the cemetery, or talked to, signs and words from someone who knew them there.. amazing.
Was sad leaving the village..
Sad leaving Napoli..
But I love home here in Spain.. and soon I'll be off again to work!