Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I don’t know why, but Tripbase’s My 7 Links Project makes me think of this 1954 musical film that I think spawned a TV series.

Clearly, it’s something completely different.

I wasn’t sure I got it at first. Maybe I still don’t. But when Kathy at Food Lover’s Odyssey, aka @foodloverkathy nominated me for the My 7 Links Project, I thought it sounded interesting, so why not?

The idea is to write a post about 7 posts you’ve written. Each one is related to a specific theme, i.e. the most beautiful, the most popular, you get the idea. Then you nominate 5 bloggers of any kind – not just travel, to do the same thing and the 7 Links mania spreads. Want to know how much? After a quick look at the My 7 Links: Bloggers Nominated, my guess is there are some 4000 blogs on the list already, and it is growing by the day.

Last step, keep your eyes on #my7links on twitter. Hopefully you’ll come across some new blogs to follow, find some great posts that had been buried in the bowels of the blogosphere and learn from what other people have learned along the way.

I know I already did.

I guess I do understand it after all and since I’m out-of-town at the moment, there’s no better time for a Napoli Unplugged retrospective. So without further ado, here are my 7 links.

Most Beautiful Post

Wow – right out of the gate, the first pick is a tough one. With glimpses short and long of Bella Napoli, all of my Saturday Strolls could probably fit the bill. Or perhaps it should just go to one or all of the images of Naples on my Napoli Unplugged Photoblog? But after careful consideration, I’m going to have to pick Le Scale di Napoli – Calata San Franceso, the first and only post so far in a new series, The Stairways of Naples.

Usually steep and narrow. Sometimes stepped, sometimes not. Le Scale di Napoli are the ancient footpaths that once connected Naples hill districts – città alta, with its coastal districts – città bassa. I find them to be one of the most beautiful and enchanting parts of the city and its history.

Most Popular Post

And the award goes to…

I’d love to take credit for this, but my most popular post by far, or I should say series of posts are not my own. They are Giuseppe’s, as in Cooking with Giuseppe. Well actually, it is a joint venture. We started this series back in March with Giuseppe’s recipe for Paccheri alla Genovese after a conversation we had about a recipe for the dish I learned at a cooking class (10 Students, 6 Teachers, 3 Sauces and a Glass of Wine) I took at Città del Gusto with Kathy from Food Lover’s Odyssey.

I knew anything food related, especially recipes would be popular, but food blogging presented a long list of challenges for me. First off, I would have to cook and anyone who knows me knows that what I mostly make in my brand new Scavolini Kitchen is caffè. And while I’m not all thumbs in the kitchen, I make a much better sous-chef than chef. My son is the real cook in the family and while he’s trained me well, I could never cook to his exacting standards.

The second challenge is food photography. It is quite different from the photography I typically do. I’m still learning, experimenting and hopefully improving along the way, but each recipe we do presents its own set of challenges.

Thirdly, there are the ingredients. A tomato is not just a tomato and not all pancetta is created equal. The ingredients we get here can vary widely from what is available outside of Naples and finding proper substitutes can be a tricky business.

The list goes on, but the bottom line is that I really wanted to shine a light on Neapolitan cuisine, and thanks to Giuseppe, I’m getting the opportunity to do that. We are only seven recipes in and already his series has become the most popular thing on the blog. We have a lot of great recipes planned when Giuseppe returns in September and maybe even a few surprises too. Stay tuned…

Most Controversial Post

I rarely write controversial posts, though maybe it is something I should do more often. Lord knows, there is plenty of controversy about Napoli to go around. But since day one, my goal for Napoli Unplugged has been to promote this much maligned, highly misunderstood city. I got so tired of hearing all of the negativity about Naples that I decided the best thing I could do was to try to add some balance to the reporting and shine a positive light on the city I have come to love.

But I would eventually end up writing two “controversial” posts about the “Naples Trash Crises.” A highly controversial issue, neither post deals directly with the controversy. As I said in both posts, I don’t consider myself “expert” enough (a claim I am getting very tired of hearing bantered about in the twittersphere and the subject for a really controversial post someday) to weigh in on the issue.

Neither post is overly controversial either as my issue wasn’t about the trash, but what people were saying about it. The endless tweeting and retweeting of sensationalized sound bytes and misinformation. Most of these, and if I use the 80% rule, all of these came from people who don’t live here, have never been here and have no knowledge of the complexity of the politics or issues here. In fact, what was being reported on twitter bore little resemblance to what those of us living in Napoli were seeing on a daily basis.

So I wrote Bad News Travels Fast, and hoped that would be the end of it. As I said in the post, “I will go back to doing what I do best, writing about all of the wonderful things that make Napoli, La città piu bella del mondo.” But the trash crisis reared its ugly head again and again twitter got my ire up and I wrote Due Diligence.

After writing both posts, I sat back and waited for the negative comments to pile in. Both times I was surprised by the positive feedback I got back and the show of support.

I hope I won’t have to write about this issue again, but chances are better than not that I will. I just hope I get that post about what it means to be an “expert” done before then.

Most Helpful Post

The most helpful information I have is not a blog post but Getting Around Naples, a guide to the Naples Transportation System on the website. However, I do hope my Saturday Strolls Series are helpful and give visitors a unique way to explore the city and some of its better known and lesser known neighborhoods. The most helpful among them are Saturday Stroll – The Classic Tour of Centro Storico (Part 1) and The Classic Tour of Centro Storico (Part 2).

A Post Whose Success Surprised Me

Again, this is not a specific post but rather a series. A series I did not anticipate writing. I thought I’d write one or two posts maybe, but not nine posts. And I certainly didn’t expect it to be so successful. But our “simple” Move from Posillipo to Chiaia that turned into a convoluted mess made great fodder for the blog and turned out to be a lot of fun for me.

Since I didn’t write the posts until after we were moved in, there were a lot of missed opportunities along the way. Pictures I should have taken, like the boxes stacked to the ceiling in our new apartment. Details I should have remembered that seemed so clear at the time but somehow faded as time passed.

Once you become a blogger, which never in a million years would I have expected I would, your life becomes a bit of a reality show really. Of course you get to pick and choose what you share and don’t. But what I learned from this process is that if you are willing to let people into your lives you will be richly rewarded for it.

A Post That Didn’t Get the Attention it Deserved

I chose a post about one of my favorite neighborhoods in Napoli, Rione Sanita. Saturday Stroll – Through the Valley of the Dead is a stroll through one of Naples poorest neighborhoods economically and richest culturally.

I didn’t necessarily choose it because it didn’t get the attention it deserved, but rather as one of my older posts, I thought it deserved a second run. Add to that the recent Stateside release of  John Turturro’s Passione which shot several numbers in this neighborhood, and it like seemed a good time to pull it out of the moth balls.

The Post I’m Most Proud Of

Okay, so this is not a post, but it probably should have been and I may just move it to the blog at some point. I buried it on the website, making it the “About Us” section and I really should change this. Since it is on the website, there is no way to comment on it and so other than hits, I have no real gauge on how it was received. Called Harmony in Motion , it is an ode to my Bella Napoli.

And now it’s my turn to pass the reigns to:
Kitchen and Residential Design
Italy North to South
Escape Artists