Did you know Naples is described as a “Beautiful woman with dirty feet,” because of its rough first impression.”? Chaotic and stressful, beautiful and lively, polluted and gritty all describe Naples. Naples is a city, there is nothing quaint about it. Look one way and you are looking out over the beautiful Bay of Naples, turn around and you are looking at urban sprawl.

In the past few decades, Naples has existed as a world of its own - forgotten by many, despised by others, not seeming to care either way. For this reason, next to its sister cities who have sold themselves to tourism, Naples has moved into the realm of traveler appreciation. It’s a city that refuses to sell its soul to tourist traps and overpriced, subpar pasta dishes. Here, culture cannot be bought, sold or seen from the top of a hop-on-hop-off bus. The Neapolitan way of life is ingrained in every facet of the city and its people, from the thick slurry dialect and uncompromisingly perfect margherita pizza to its perpetually broken stop lights.

Everything here is alive. People are everywhere, flooding the city’s narrow streets. Look up from wherever you are, and you can watch mothers hanging their family’s laundry on balcony clotheslines. Songs played on instruments, on the radio and sung out loud for the sake of noise itself echo simultaneously through the corridors surrounding Spaccanapoli, the street that splits the old city center. Vespas wizz through the masses with uncontested conviction, pedestrian fatalities be damned. There are so many smells, sights, and sounds bombarding the senses.