Naples: introduction and bassi

I’ve been coming to Naples, on and off, since 1982. I’m neither an ex-pat nor a local (I’m not even Italian), and I have never lived here for more than ten months together. But I’ve lived in different parts of the city, and I have seen Naples change so much; so I think—I hope—this may give me a unique perspective. In a way, I have seen, not one, but several different cities.

There are still many, so very many things I do not understand about Naples. Not speaking Neapolitan is a real drawback. (Incidentally, a friend of ours recently visited Barcelona, and found he could understand Catalan perfectly. That’s how little has changed in four hundred years.) So the point of this blog is, really, to try to get some explanations, from people who know more about Naples, of certain sights and sounds and experiences that have left us baffled. Some of them concern Italy generally; but most are strictly Neapolitan. If you have answers, please, pass them on. Thank you in advance.