I’d like to introduce you to Tina Carignani from Discover Napoli Destinations. As some of you may or may not know, Tina wrote the foreword for Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, which is now in the hands of the printer, with a release date near the end of May.
I am honored that she agreed to write it, because Tina is the person who opened my eyes and my heart to Napoli. It is because of the five days I spent in Naples with Tina acting as my guide, that I really experienced what Naples is all about…from the eyes of a local. So thank you Tina.
These are her words…
I am really a totally half & half Italo-American! My American father and Italian mother who came to spend a one-year sabbatical in Napoli, where my mother’s family had a home, … ended up staying for 36 years!! (Ahhh, the charm and fascination of Napoli!!!)
I grew up in a totally bilingual and bi-cultural environment, attending American schools for “military brats” (intramural sports, pep rallies, proms, etc) in the morning, whereas in the afternoon, I would see and spend time with my Italian friends. Summers were spent either touring the States by car, driving from NYC all the way to Texas after the Atlantic crossing by ship (this took place once every 2-3 years), or touring Europe by car and spending a lot of time in my mother’s family home on Capri, where my parents had met during WWII. I guess you could say I have a true split personality!!!
While I was in college, studying Art History, I met my husband, settled in Napoli and had 4 “Neapolitan” children. During many years, I enjoyed showing my American friends who came to visit, some of whom had been in high school with me, the beauties of Naples and the surrounding area. I guess that my enthusiasm was contagious, because by word of mouth, more and more people started asking me to guide them around when they came! This is how and why DND – discovernapolidestinations was born!
Napoli has gotten, and keeps on getting, a lot of bad press, and its image has been tarnished by inaccurate and biased news stories which dwell only on negative aspects which are common to any large city, so, my moment of “triumph” invariably comes when my friends and clients tell me with delighted surprise “we had no idea there was so much to see and do… It’s such an amazing city!!!” …and they all become “Napolilovers”!!!
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And now, I can say that I am one of the Napoli lovers too! I understand the phrase “See Naples and Die.” Now I am not afraid to go to Naples, and I hope to encourage and inspire anyone who is making travel plans for Italy to put Naples on your agenda. It certainly is worth it.
Have you been to Naples? What is your best memory from Napoli? Please leave a comment. Grazie.