A bit of a holiday

I’ve just come back from spending a week in Naples, somewhere that’s been on the bucket list for quite a while, and it was fantastic. I realised that I actually can speak reasonable Italian to make myself understood and also to mock my long-suffering and kind husband with hotel staff. We realised that we enjoy walking about everywhere and are genuinely rubbish at sitting still for more than about 2 minutes (maybe that’s me and Andy just goes with it!). We saw Vesuvius, Herculaneum, Sorrento and Amalfi and realised how incredibly lucky we are for that.

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However, some of the most interesting aspects of the trip for me were where I started to draw up a few links between dots relating to Italy and Latin America. I will caveat this post by saying that this is purely my own thoughts, which are utterly unresearched and based on my own gut feelings, rather than anything more. I will gladly be corrected, quizzed or critiqued if I have got something wrong at all!

I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited Cuba, Argentina, Uruguay and other parts of Latin America over the years. I also worked for a couple of summers in Italy (Tuscany and Venice), during my summers at University and I did notice that there were lots of similarities in culture between Argentina and Italy. However, on visiting Naples, I was struck immediately by the resemblance that Buenos Aires bears to Naples in terms of buildings and the overall feeling of the city, albeit that Naples is a significantly smaller place. The sound of Neapolitan Italian is dramatic and emphatic, singing along as people express themselves; it was music to my ears and I loved the sounds it made! To me, the sound made me think of Rio-Platense Spanish, which is the Spanish I learnt many years ago and would sell my soul to hear every day. There was a kind of frantic-calmness about the city; things were done in their own time, but enthusiastically and with real gusto. A week in Italy for me helped me to better understand some of the aspects of Argentine culture I didn’t quite follow and made me thirsty to learn more about southern Italy, and to get myself actually able to speak ‘proper’ Italian, rather than trying to make it up as I go along!

Whether I’m right or not with my thoughts on Naples and Argentina, I don’t know, but I am sure that I found a greater love for both places after a week in Naples and feel very lucky to have experienced the two places!

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