Naples: a pandemic of solidarity

The Italians have always been big travelers, explorers, poets, artists, musicians, writers and statesmen.  No other people in the world is surrounded by beauty such as the Italians, both the natural one and that produced the creativity and the mastery of their ancestors, which is proved by the immense artistic heritage of the Country, which ranks 1st in the UNESCO world heritage list. The Italians are also big philosophers, thinkers, creatives and entrepreneurs: even in this moment of global pandemic crisis, the Italian creativity didn’t stop. Sit down for a moment and think of this: are you aware of any another Country where, in times of pandemic, doctors’ coats and protective suits are signed by no less than “King Giorgio”, (Armani, obviously), the best known fashion designer in the world. Prada and Gucci (two more world masters of fashion) have converted their plants to face-mask production. Are you aware of any other Country where breath-supporting fans are engineered by Ferrari? Yes, you read correctly, just that Ferrari !!!

If there is a time when the Italian people know how to give their true best, it is precisely at time of catastrophes. Unfortunately during the past decades disasters have multiplied: the flood of Piedmont in 1994 and 2000, the earthquake of Assisi in 1997 and that of Abruzzo in 2009 as well as many others that it is too painful even to remember. However, it is on these occasions that the Italians open their hearts, their arms and their wallet also, to support each other. Every Italian does his part at times of catastrophes.

However, if there is a place in Italy where solidarity reaches its most poetic and touching forms combined with an extraordinary creativity that has no equal in Italy or in any other Country, this place is certainly Naples.

The third largest city in Italy by population, overlooking a gulf of breathtaking beauty, decorated by the Vesuvius, one of the most dangerous volcanoes on the planet, with which the Neapolitans have lived and coexisted for centuries with a mixture of fear and respect. A city that enters, for better or for worse, in the heart of anyone who spend a visit, so rich in contradictions as to make it a planetary unique. A city of philosophers of lifestyle, who seldom see the glass half empty, who know how to find the most incredible and yet the most obvious solutions to problems for which even the most gifted politicians wrote a river.

Renoir – The bay of Naples

A city that was painted by the most illustrious artists of all times and origins:  just think of Renoir, the king of the Impressionists. In 1881 he reached Naples and painted its bay, creating one of the best known masterpieces of his entire production, or think of Van Wittel, who painted the Bay of Naples in 1699 , joining the infinite group of artists who have been fascinated by the beauty of this city.
Even if the city offers itself to the visits with a multiplicity of attractions such as monuments, palaces, museums and alleys of extraordinary poetics, what makes this city truly unique is its people: the Neapolitans, and their extraordinary generosity.

In these days of global pandemic crisis, which puts the poorest in difficulty, even to buy essential goods such as food, the Neapolitans invented a whole new way of helping each other. A way that only a Neapolitan could create, by making a gesture that suddenly went viral (for once, virality went good), despite its simplicity.

Napels – The mutual support basket

The photo that I post today was taken in an alley in Naples and summarizes all the generosity and know-how of this extraordinary city. Someone living in the alleys of the city center decided to lean from his balcony a simple basket, tied with a string, with a sign: ” Chi può metta, chi non può prenda ” (literally: if you can, put something in it; if you cannot, take whatever you need).

It is as simple as can be: those who have money, are asked to put some food in the basket, (a box of Spagnetti, a cheese, a bag of milk etc…) while those who are facing major lack of money or have lost their job, due to the pandemic, can take what they need from the basket, and they don’t even know who is the generous person who left it in the basket.

This is the pandemic that actually happening in Naples: generosity. This is how the simple initiative of a citizen has turned into a national one thanks to which similar ones multiplied throughout the Country:  it is not uncommon nowadays to find freshly baked bread left unsold outside the bakery with a sign on it: it’s free, take it if you need it.

Soon I will write more about this wonderful city, but today just enjoy this photo and think that one day you might go visit Naples and will be overwhelmed by such extraordinary people.

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