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A Neapolitan Election

Back in November, a high-profile election had taken place in Naples. The contest had been for the position of mayor and was fought between Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of Benito and former topless model, and a grey-haired Communist Party apparatchik by the name of Antonio Bassolino. Mussolini was a provocative character, fiery and defensive. Bassolino, atContinua a leggere “A Neapolitan Election”

A Difficult But Rewarding Teaching Job

With February safely out the way, my mood, along with that of my colleagues and the Neapolitans in general, seemed to improve almost tangibly. Not that the weather had improved much. It was still raining more often than not, but there was a general feeling that the worst had come and gone. To cheer me upContinua a leggere “A Difficult But Rewarding Teaching Job”

The San Remo Song Festival

San Remo turned out to be a song festival. Not just a song festival, but the song festival. Italian music. Oh dear. If someone were to ask me to list all the things that I hated about 1990s Italy, first place would be a close call between graffiti, litter, the national obsession with motorized vehicles, or theContinua a leggere “The San Remo Song Festival”

A Nightmare of a Carnival

As February wore on, I started to feel lower and lower. The rain was relentless and I had given up any hope of continuing my exploration of the surrounding area. I had even confided in Jeremy, at the end of one dismal, rain-sodden day, that I was considering jacking it all in and returning toContinua a leggere “A Nightmare of a Carnival”

The Island of Procida

Sitting nursing a cappuccino on the ferry the following day, I wondered whether I wouldn’t have been better off having a lie-in. The rain and the stress of recent weeks had been getting to me, and I could feel a headache coming on. But, mindful of the dire climactic conditions that Jeremy had foretold forContinua a leggere “The Island of Procida”

Happy New Year!

Christmas was everything that a good English Christmas should be: friends, family and parties; fairy lights everywhere; santas with crap cotton-wool beards and West Country accents in every shopping precinct; choirs of angelic children massacring carols outside Woolworths; Salvation Army bands; Slade on every shop stereo. It was a false and commercial festival, little moreContinua a leggere “Happy New Year!”

Goodbye to the JWs and Arriverderci to Napoli

I awoke the next morning to find an ever-more corpulent Mrs. Napoletano teetering atop a step ladder in my bedroom, and rummaging around in a cupboard. I felt red hot anger fill my chest. How dare she just come into my room like this, while I was asleep and … “I’m looking for the top sectionContinua a leggere “Goodbye to the JWs and Arriverderci to Napoli”

My First Italian Christmas

“I’ll tell you why you feel homesick here,” said Jeremy one morning at breakfast, as he lit up his fourth cigarette of the morning so far. “It’s partly to do with the weather.” “The weather? But the weather’s great!” I answered in disbelief. “Precisely!” said Jeremy. “Imagine you were back in the UK now. What would it beContinua a leggere “My First Italian Christmas”