We left Barcelona overdosed on Spanish history, bizarre structures, tapas, crowds, Gaudi, and Miro. Next stop: Naples.
Over the years we have fallen in love with southern Italy. Life is exuberant and loud. Neapolitans are brash, grabbing life as it comes and squeezing tight, as evidenced by the antics of twosomes on scooters or in passionate embraces whenever the mood strikes. Neapolitans have ruled and been ruled, many times. They know in the course of human events, cultures are fleeting. The sea lies in front of them, with Vesuvius behind.
Men gather to discuss world events, local problems, and familial disputes. Their voices rise, as their hands move up and down in prayer position. Sometimes they squeeze their fingers together, pointing inward, as if they'd burned themselves. For hours they stand there talking and yelling, yet nothing seems to get resolved.
The three-quarter-mile road to our hotel on the island of Ischia was under construction for eighteen months. The hotel owner was in a dispute with his neighbor, who shares the driveway, as to who should pay to fix the road. Meanwhile, guests could either walk up the hairpin turns high over the Bay of Naples or wait at a staging area for the hotel to retrieve them.
Last year, we noticed stones from the wall along the driveway tumbling down the hillside. Walkers could become ghosts, swallowed by gaping voids that delineated the sides of the promontory. "This is a prestigious hotel and I don't understand why the owners can't negotiate a settlement," I said to Charley. "They're a member of a chain that must demand inspections."
"You'd think they'd have paid off the neighbor," Charley, the pragmatist, said.
"There has been a dispute as to who owns the part that needs fixing," the hotel manager told us. "They won't accept our offer."
This year, a new rock wall appeared where the driveway had been disintegrating. The neighbor constructed a ninety-degree angle where the property divided. The walls create such a narrow turn that taxis can't make it through. Unless they're in Lilliputian cars, hotel guests must wait for shuttles to bring them to the hotel. I could hear the neighbor saying, "Gotcha!"
- Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
- Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.