Days in Naples, a series

A rainy mist begins. I buy a two euro umbrella. Outside the store the gentleman who sold the umbrella threw the label to the ground when I asked if he would throw it away.

I pick up the tag and stuff it in my pocket. I have purchased a two euro umbrella.

26 October 2018

Wandering through Vomero in central Naples, both hilly and densely-lined with trees and boutiques where a month before on a visit to Castel Sant’ Elmo I remember seeing the American Hall in my walk-about. What was it, an official American building, a consulate? What was American about it? Italian movie posters adorned the windows and stirred my desire for a good film. Was it a theater or a club?

And then came Carmine. CAR-meen-nay, an elegant grey haired man approached on my left as I peeked in the window. Nonplussed he unlocked the outer doors and invited me in to the darkened rooms. Spouting my standard “parlo un po d’Italiano” he guided me in Napulitano, never once permitting my pathetic Italian to deter his mission. Firmly directing me to the view from the balconies, he opened the door where from this vaulted height Vesuvius lolled gloriously as Naples unfurled in blinding sunshine.

View from the American Hall Theatre, Napoli

Inside Carmine offered me free books on theatre, film and politics, Italian books, that although ever hopeful, I cannot read. He walked me through the smallish theatre, cool and empty, lined in rich wood. I am encouraged to explore, uninhibited. Before I leave Carmine hands me a movie schedule and continues to explain I should join the film club, “certa” I say, “ si, si, capito.” Smitten, I float away.