April was such an incredibly busy month, I hardly know where to start. The beginning of the month brought us to Sorrento where we spent Easter weekend at one of our favourite hotels, the Grand Hotel de la Ville. Located just on the outskirts of town, it is a relaxing oasis set away from the fray, but close enough to enjoy all of the action.
Arriving there on Friday afternoon, we missed the first of two Good Friday processions in Sorrento – Processioni del Venerdì Santo a Sorrento – the White Procession that starts at 03:00 am and runs until dawn (maybe next year). We did however get to see the Black Procession that evening. It was a somber, yet stunning affair that hushed the crowds lining both sides of Corso Italia and the many streets throughout the town along which the procession runs.
The end of the month brought the start of the visitor season. Author Susan Van Allen – 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go and friend, blogger and food lover, Kathy Ayer – aka Food Lover’s Odyssey both came to town and there were several long lunches on the Lungomare. Both ladies are in the area leading small group tours, Susan, her Golden Week in Southern Italy and Kathy, her Amalfi Coast Culinary Vacation.
And in between, we took the NU Guide to Naples to the London Book Fair. We met some wonderful people, made some great contacts and learned heaps. All in all, the event was a great success and we couldn’t be happier, but the highlight of the entire trip happened not at the event, but at my hotel. The first person I met when I arrived was the receptionist at the hotel, a very lovely young woman named Tijuana. I filled out the registration form, handed it back to her and Tijuana did a double take when she saw my address. “Napoli, you live in Napoli???” Cue switching languages here…
Wouldn’t you know it. It was fate. The only person who could have possibly checked me into my London hotel had to be Napoletana from Fuorigrotta!!! Later that day I showed her the book. Just seeing the cover triggered an intense wave of emotion and brought tears to her eyes and I was quickly reminded why I love doing what I do. I sent her a copy after I got back home. Her “thank-you” text brought tears to my eyes.
Buongiorno! Stamattina me è arrivato un pacco a casa, quando l’ho aperto mi sono sceso delle lacrime di felicità.. grazie grazie davvero per il libro!!!!! Lo terrò con cura non vedo l’ora di leggerlo.
Napoli is just that kind of place. For every Neapolitan far from home, the city remains ever present in their hearts and in their minds. And for those of us who have ever spent any amount of time here, the city just gets under your skin. There are few other places in the world that evoke such an emotional reaction. The latest video from Comune di Napoli, Napoli, non un luogo comune, shows off just a few of the reasons why.
In the News
- Naples: Passion and death in Italy’s underrated gem – Stanley Stewart falls in love with Naples
- McDonald’s told Italians that burgers beat pizza. That didn’t go over so well – Local reaction to McDonald’s recent “Italian children prefer burgers and fries to pizza” ad
- High School students from “Federigo Enriques” in Portici, Naples visit JFC Naples HQ – Part of the NATO Base’s efforts to strength relations with the local community
Naples on the Blogs
- One of my favourite wines – Taurasi Wine – Campania’s Crowning Glory
- Georgie Knaggs takes us into the Campania – The horse that followed me to Benevento
- Discovering Pompeii connection to Rome for Rome’s 2768th birthday – Pompeii and Rome
Naples in Video
The Month Ahead
May is shaping up to be a very busy month in deed, with heritage, food and wine taking centre stage. And… there is no shortage of Special Events for May in Napoli Town.
Every weekend in May, Naples will celebrate its cultural heritage during the 21st annual Maggio dei Monumenti – May of the Monuments. The theme this year is ‘O core ‘e Napule – Cori, cuori e colori di Napoli’ – an ode to Naples diverse music and in particular its “cori” (“choirs”). There will also be special events to pay tribute to Pino Daniele. Now in its eighth year, Wine and the City runs 6 – 20 May – “15 days, 200 events and more than 100 wines to taste.” Thirsty for more? At the end of the month, the 11th annual celebration of Italian wines, Vitigno Italia will be at Castel dell’Ovo 24 – 26 May. Meanwhile, we’ll post more information soon about the Gelato Festival set for 14 – 17 May and the Napoli Strit Food Festival set for 15 – 17 May.
One of the most important comic festivals in Europe, Napoli Comicon opened on April 30th and runs through May 3rd while the annual Tattoo Festival runs 22 -24 May. The city is also gearing up for Expo Milano 2015, the next world’s fair, which opens May 1. The theme of the fair is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” and the city has plans to lure Expo visitors down to Naples while they are attending the festival. Check out the new Napoli Per Expo website.
For the Napoli Expat – Catch up with old friends and meet new ones at the monthly Naples International Happy Hour, Wednesday, May 6th. Christ Church Naples offers weekly services every Sunday in English and don’t miss the AIWC’s monthly meeting on Saturday, May 9th. There is also 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.
And in other news… we will be taking the NU Guide to Naples to NY’s Javits centre for BookExpo America May 27th – 29th and BookCon May 30th – 31st. If you are in New York during those days, please come out and say hello!!! Books will be on sale to the public during BookCon and we will be making a very special announcement soon about one of the events going on during BookExpo!!!
Happy May Day, Labour Day, Star Wars Day, Cinco de Mayo, National Teacher’s Day, Mother’s Day, VE Day, Armed Forces Day, Victoria Day, and Memorial Day a Tutti and have a fun-filled May!!!