The Daily Norm’s Photo of the Week: Quartieri Spagnoli
In last week’s photography post focusing on the deteriorating face of the urban sprawl of Naples, I reflected, not without sadness, upon the degeneration of a city whose streets and houses were once the envy of the Mediterranean, but which today are the sad victim of reckless neglect and intentional vandalism. And in that post I also mused at the possible cause of this generalised decline – whether it be the possible inertia of a local government faced with the impossible scale of its urban problems, or the significant gap between rich and poor which continues to characterise the city today.
Yet while it is almost inevitably the poorer parts of the city which demonstrate the most obvious signs of neglect and deterioration, there can be no doubting that as a subject for photography, these areas are as captivating as the glossier hotel-packed areas of the city’s coastal facade. And this is no more so than in the Quartieri Spagnoli region of the city – a complete ramshackle hodge-bodge of homes and businesses crammed into tiny hilly streets. While tourists are urged to enter the area with caution, the braver amongst them may well be rewarded for their efforts by the interesting photos which result.
While we did not venture very far into the area, I love this photo which I took of the Quartieri Spagnoli so much that I decided to give it a post all of its own. From the little basket of oranges in the immediate foreground and the differently shaped lamps and shop signs framing the scene from the right and left, to the profusion of laundry hanging out to dry and the wires which criss cross the street; this photo, which shows a typical street of the Quartieri Spagnoli, is a perfect representation of the tightly packed highly populated region, and the Napolese character which it exudes.
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