As the old saying goes, March came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. In between there was lots of rain and wind and many cold, damp days, but March also gave us a few beautiful, sunny days to wander the city and breath in its splendour. Marzo è Pazzo – March is Crazy or so they say, let’s just hope April brings back the sanity and more importantly, the sun.

The big news for March was the Pope’s visit to Napoli. In (non) Neapolitan fashion, the crowds were super organised, everyone was on their best behaviour and the entire day went off without a hitch. Georgie Knaggs captured the essence of the day in her post My day in Naples with Pope Francis and Tim TenClay captured some great images during an “ecumenical and interfaith meet and greet”. Apparently, a photo of Tim with the Pope was snapped too!

During the last weekend in March, FAI days drew in the crowds and we celebrated Earthour and set our clocks back one hour… hmm, maybe that defeated the purpose of Earthhour??? Holly cut off her hair for her birthday, but really for charity and we celebrated the long awaited return of Giuseppe who joined us this month to whip up a bountiful batch of Sartù di Riso Napoletano. Oh, and there was a solar eclipse too!!!

Meanwhile, Ann and I attended John Hooper’s presentation of his latest book, The Italians and we had the great pleasure of speaking about the NU Guide to Naples and Ann’s Tweeting DaVinci to two local groups, the American International Women’s Club(AIWC) Naples and the Naples Commonwealth Ladies Club. We were also thrilled to receive a very nice quote from Professor Mary Beard, eminent historian and renowned expert on Pompeii who said:

This looks like all you need to know to get the most out of a visit to Naples… one of my favourite cities.

It was a very busy month indeed.

We’ve been at this website/blog thing for a little while now. As I said back in January, I didn’t even realise it had been five years until Holly brought it to my attention. Time flies when you’re doing the work you love. From the start, our goal with NU has been to promote the city of Naples – its cultural treasures and natural resources. We have never wavered from that pursuit. Our Facebook, TwitterFlickr and Instagram pages paint a stunning portrait of Napoli and our NU Guide to Naples is an homage to the city we so love.

The feedback we’ve received, especially in the last two years has been overwhelming and overwhelmingly positive, and it has led me to believe that NU and the many other initiatives around the city like ours have helped to change the conversation. Film crews have sojourned here, several major news organisations have written positive articles about the city, I see more and more positive blog posts, and I get more and more requests for information from travelers who say had it not been for NU, they would have been scared off coming to Naples. Meanwhile, I’ve continued to do what I’ve always done…

…fill my pages with stories about the history and archaeology I get to wander around in, the breathtaking seascapes and landscapes I soak in everyday, or about the warm, generous and kind people I call my friends.

…and somewhere along this journey, I began to forget that the negative stereotypes still exist. A recent encounter with a woman at a business function reminded me otherwise. An anglo expat living “somewhere north of Naples”,  shall we say, her crass remarks and blatant bigotry reminded me we must remain diligent. In all fairness however, she was only one in a number of people I met that day, and all others I met genuinely had nothing but the kindest words to say about Napoli. Maybe, just maybe, things are changing after all!!!

In the News

Naples on the Blogs

Naples in Video

Napoli, Festival del Bacio 2015 #cuoredinapoli

The Month Ahead

The Special Superintendent for Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabia announced summer hours for the Vesuvian Excavations: Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabia, Oplontis and Boscoreale. The sites will be open daily 08.30 – 19.30 (last entrance at 18.00) April 1st through October 31st. Additionally, all of these sites will be open on Easter, and as Easter coincides with the first Sunday of the month, entry will be free thanks to the initiative Domenica al Museo. These sites will also be open regular hours Easter Monday – regular entry fees apply.

Speaking of Easter, Good Friday is celebrated by solemn processions, both on Procida and in Sorrento and for Easter day, here’s Giuseppe’s Menù di Pasqua a Napoli.

Antipasti
‘A Fellata and Casatiello

Primo Piatto
Minestra Maritata

Secondo Piatto
Capretto al Forno con Patate

Dolce
Pastiera

London Book Fair – we will be taking the NU Guide to the London Book Fair April 14 – 16th. If you are in London during those days, drop me a line, I would love to say hello.

Save the date: We’ve been so busy we neither have the venue nor the trimmings organised, but we are planning a big celebration of the NU Guide for the evening of May 14th.

There is still time to register for the CILS exam – Certification di Italiano come Lingua Straineri. The exam will be on June 11th at Centro Italiano Napoli and you can register until the 17th of April. Contact Centro Italiano for more info.

A Few Special Events for April in Napoli Town – Fiera del baratto e dell’usato – Second hand and exchange fair returns to Mostra d’Oltremare April 18th and Quattro zampe in fiera – Four paws at the fair is back for its second edition the same weekend. The last day of the month is the first day of Napoli Comicon, the annual International Exhibition of Comics, one of the most important comic festivals in Europe.

For the Napoli Expat – Catch up with old friends and meet new ones at the monthly Naples International Happy Hour, tonight, April 1st. Christ Church Naples offers weekly services every Sunday in English and this month they will host a Fish and Chip Supper. Don’t miss the AIWC’s monthly meeting on April 11th and Cinema in Original Language at the Cinema Academy Astra (presented by  CLA – Centro Linguistico di Ateneo) and at Multicinema Modernissimo. Find all of Naples English Speaking events.

Buona Pasqua a Tutti and have an amazing April!!!