I arrived in Naples a few days ago.
It’s very, very hot here. I am staying in a beautiful rooftop overlooking the sea on the hills of Posillipo. The name comes from the Greek Pausilypon meaning “pause from pain”, it is the city’s oldest neighborhood. I am surrounded by a lively countryside of green trees, stunning views of the Sorrento Peninsula and a majestic Mount Vesuvius at eye level.
Every morning, the best thing I have to do, is go to the sea that I silently watch every night at sunset from my bedroom. It takes me approximately fifteen to twenty minutes walk through the viewer of my camera and for nothing in this world I want to miss the insights of this hidden Posillipian countryside marvel.
La Repubblica‘s Venerdi insert about the weekend’s cultural events, Kuky Nobel’s suntan creams, my vintage Persol, and old Etro blue and white towel all packed in a straw bag from the nearby Thursday market are my daily companions.
On my way, I stop for my usual fresh Percoche peaches at Salvatore, who every morning tries to sell me watermelon and every morning I explain that it is too heavy to take with me down to the Rocce Verdi. Salvatore resigns, giving me his word of honor that the small green figs I love will be perfect to eat at the beginning of August and that I will be the first client to try them. Like every morning wishes me a “buona giornata signorina” and turns to take care of another customer.
I proceed with my walk, it’s still early but the sun is already high in the sky. The day promises to be as warm as all the others during the two weeks I have been here. But the reward, as I’ve learned from living here, is that the warmer the days, the prettier the sunsets and evening colors. Day after day I have enjoyed watching those pink, orange and blue colors — receiving them as eternal gifts to my soul that is seeking rest from the hectic heatâ€”sometimes reaching 38 degrees Celsius (100 Farenheit)â€”and the noisy sea of the day that just passed by.
It’s a cycle. The cycle of a genuine and simple life starting at 6 .30 in the morning with the freshly squeezed orange juice from the tree property and the aroma of strong burning coffee re-freshened by the good night sleep and a previous great meal.
The entrance gate of the property is large, heavy and made of iron. On the top of the gate is a green and gold sign that says “Villa Fattorusso, terra di rocce e mare” (land of rocks and sea).
This private estate used to belong to a family for three generations. At the beginning of this century, the patriarch, Mr. Bartolini, a wealthy retailer and manufacturer of the prestigious Haute Couture embroidery house, Fratelli Fattorusso, picked the magnificent landscape of rocks over the sea charmed by the beauty and greatness of the region and steadfastly focused on this area of excellence that have made Naples renowned worldwide to build his home and a house that during several years was the mecca of his friends and relatives sea escapes.
It is only about 40 years ago that the children, over-boarded by the continuous movement of guests of guests and relatives that decided to open the once upon a time on an invitation-only paradise into one of the most exclusive lido open now a nearby neighborhood public.
I am now crossing old Roman arches and huge walls made of Tufo. It’s like being in a land where time has no more dimension and the present is presently immaculate.
If you really wish to, you can only tell its passing by blossoms of flamboyant Azaleas bushes, uncontrolled cascades of dark blue wrapping Bindweed flowers, called once by deco artists Belle du jour or Morning glory and explosive pink-purple- pea-like shy and delicate Glycine bushes.
Their intricate and disorganized existence together with numerous oranges left on the ground and small plantations of corn is orchestrated by the intensive heat and owners nonchalance in face of an aggressive superiority of the Mediterranean sun.
Finally after spying with my invading camera lens people’s details of small intimate lives in gardens, small courtyards and inviting shaded terraces I see the small wooden sign Baia Rocce Verdi (Green Rocks Bay) sending me to a steep downhill site. 17 euros is the price of a lettino. (Small bed)s I make my way to what in a few minutes I call paradise. From where I am, a terrace with tech furniture getting ready for tonight’s wedding party I can see already a group of early morning sun seekers giving themselves away on lettinis and materassini (small mats) without remorse to the gentle rising breeze.
First thing I’ll do after picking my own place under the sun is dive into the dephts of the fresh blue waters of the bay of Naples and feel completely re-freshened from the heat. But one must be careful as there is plenty of moss, green slippery moss.
And with this intention, this summer, I will dive between those green rocks by the waves to take a closer look at the Bay of Naples treasures, and to perhaps explore the local history hat has been swallowed up by the deep. The wonders of underwater archaeology,the rusting relics on the sea bed,the abundant marine wildlife,and the colorful caves that have been gouged out the rock.
Together with ‘pearls’ like Capri, Ischia and Sorrento this is the sea of Campania laden with its “catch” of history, culture and traditions. Probably who knows my own, somewhere in time and space during these few long sunny hours and fresh encounters with its clear waters.
The day was great. Insights? Plenty, but now it’s time for the sunset, and the cycle begins again.
Lido delle Rocce Verdi: Via Posillipo, 68, Napoli
For dinners, events and ceremonies reservations at Villa Fattorusso: + 39 081 575 6716 / + 39 081 575 6183