“There are places that you go to, and once is enough. And then there is Napoli.”
John Turturro said it best in his 2010 documentary Passione (#ad), his quote perfectly encapsulates my enduring sentiments for Napoli. I fell deep and hard for this extraordinary city that I had the privilege to call home for 12 years. My time here was not nearly long enough, a lifetime wouldn’t have been enough, nevertheless, Napoli left an indelible mark on my heart.
My love for the city and the Neapolitan culture led me to found Napoli Unplugged in 2010. The website’s purpose was to both demystify the city for English language visitors and to promote this once much maligned city I had come to love. Armed with my camera and a boundless curiosity, I explored the city, the Province of Naples, the Campania Region and beyond and recorded my discoveries on Napoli Unplugged. I didn’t create all of the content myself. A diverse group of contributors also shared their unique perspectives on the NU pages.
My work on Napoli Unplugged eventually led me to team up with 3 other Napoliphiles, Barbara Zaragoza, freelance writer and author of The Espresso Break: Tours and Nooks of Naples, Italy and Beyond; Penny Ewles-Bergeron, writer and artist extraordinaire; and the über talented graphic designer, Erin Romano. Together we penned the Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples, an award-winning insider’s guide to Naples featuring in-depth coverage and gorgeous illustrations of the city we all came to know and love. It was written for the intrepid traveler seeking an immersive Neapolitan experience and features in-depth coverage of historic and cultural landmarks and over 100 beautifully composed photographs, plein air paintings and hand-painted cartography. Read more about the NU Guide – awards, press, bios and more here.
Today, I am back in the US, and am working on new projects around my unexpected home in the Arkansas Ozarks, but my heart is never far from Napoli. The posts and series below are a small sampling of the work we all did on Napoli Unplugged, a glimpse at a few of my favorite Napoli things.
Visit Naples, Discover Napoli!
Bonnie’s Napoli is a bit of a potpourri of posts I wrote over the years in Naples. I found inspiration and stories in the city’s art, architecture and archeology; it’s history and cultural heritage; the music, food and wine scene; and the many warm, loving and talented Neapolitans I met along the way.
I started the Saturday Stroll series to share the discoveries I was making exploring Napoli, its many neighborhoods, alleys, stairways and hidden corners, not to mention its vast array of cultural sites. While I didn’t quite manage to keep up with the series, I never stopped strolling or exploring Napoli.
For one of my favorite series on Napoli Unplugged, I teamed up with my hairdresser Giuseppe, who was as passionate about cooking as he was about styling hair. One of the owners of Noi Salon, Naples & Rome, his day job kept him pretty busy, but every few weeks we’d meet up in my tiny apartment to whip up one of his favorite Neapolitan recipes. Like Napoli, itself, these recipes never go out of style.