|Photo: Cars travel between parked cars on a crowded Naples street. Four-story residential buildings line the street.|
|Photo: A bus and a van navigate the streets, while motorcycles are parked nearby.|
|Photo: Pedestrians walk on the street, dodging a steady stream of traffic|
As I reviewed my photos from Naples, I realized that I didn't have any really good photos of the traffic on the narrowest streets, and any photos I had of traffic at all were taken while I was a passenger on a bus. That might be an indication of how vigilant I was as a pedestrian!
Naples is much more than just traffic, though. The pulse of the city is not so much of tourists (at least not in January), but of locals. Friends meet together to visit, shop, and dine. Small shops fill the narrow alleyways.
An entire street is dedicated to stores that sell nativities, or presepe. The thing that makes the Italian presepe stand out from other nativities I have seen is that not only do they show the traditional manger scene, but also common people going about their lives. The scenes sometimes require ignoring time, as some nativities include figures from current events--politicians, sports heroes, or other celebrities. I'm not so keen on displaying figures of people from current events on my mantle at Christmastime, but I do like the more traditional examples of the presepe that are found in the churches in Naples.
|Photo: The traditional manger scene is surrounded by figurines of "regular" townsfolk: women carrying water buckets, men conversing together, and a man playing a musical instrument|
|Photo: The interior of the cathedral, with arched columns and an ornate ceiling|
|Photo: The chapel where the miracle of the blood occurs|
|Photo: A street mural provides a modern-day interpretation of San Gennaro|
|Photo: A personal pizza larger than a plate|