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Dirty old Ho

Naples that is.

A city with a monument, fountain or palazzo quite literally at every turn, and almost all of them defaced by rather crap graffiti. But enter one of the mainly plain-faced churches, and you find your jaw dropping at the unimaginable splendour. Gilt dripping from every orifice, hand painted murals on domed ceilings, altars Liberace would climb over his own moth to own......Naples has them aplenty. They love a good luck charm here, but claim not to be superstitious with the disclaimer "I don't believe it, but I know it's true".

And the pizzerias (they invented them) and gelaterias and the cake shops and....oh my, such a feast for the eyes! But don't linger too long, or you'll get ploughed down by the swarm of scooters or compact cars, that shoot crazily around the city's medina-esque narrow alleyways. You can hear the constant toot of angry horns over the excitable shout-talking, loud football on the TV and even the birdsong is livelier here I swear.

I declare myself to love Naples as much as Garda, Sardinia or Sicily, and I've only been here five minutes.

Our first night was spent very lazily drinking 1 euro wine, and plenty pf it, whilst having a roof terrace jacuzzi, and feasting on Italian ham, cheese and bread. Even that was better, the ham was of course proscuitto, carved by hand in the shop, the cheese similarly, and bread so fresh from the baker it was still warm when I unwrapped it from the yellowy paper it came in.

Yesterday, we did the obligatory sightseeing tour of all the city centre icons, had lunch in a tiny pizza place in a back street, and then did the costal tour in the afternoon. The scenery is stunning. Tiny houses alongside gargantuan palaces, on or in the craggy cliffs, all festooned with dazzlingly displays of colourful flowers. It is EXACTLY like you see it in books, and does not disappoint.

Rebecca pitched up in the early evening, and we ate in the small restaurant next door to the apartment, which the owner had told us was the best locally. It was ok, but we have better plans tonight.

My foot is agony, I am limping at a snail's pace, and that in turn, is affecting my back pretty badly. I took the decision this morning to tell Rebecca and boo to do Pompeii and Vesuvius without me. I am gutted, but it means I have to come back one day.

I've spent the day reading in the glorious sunshine, just taking a short trip out for provisions. And a detour to Kiko, where I brought myself some make-up I really don't need, but coveted. The four flights of stairs each way are a nightmare. But at least I got out. I do truly feel that I have spoiled this holiday with my stooopid foot. But nothing I can do about it, the doc says 2-3 weeks before it heals.

I have read Jodie Picault's Great Small Things as a chance grab at the airport. It grabs you by the balls I have to say. Racism is a filthy thing. I was going to say I'm going to tuck in to my serious reading now, but that almost belittles a very well written, difficult subject, which it transpires, was based on a true case.


Call me Madam

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