PETER: Good afternoon, guys.
Here, we have beautiful Naples, Italy.
Downtown right there,
Mount Vesuvius, ancient city of Pompeii.
One of the most fascinating places
in Europe and the world.
Some of the best food.
Today we have the great privilege
to meet up with a local
who knows the ins and outs of Naples.
Knows what goes on
beneath the noise on the streets
So we’re gonna meet up with him
and get a better understanding
of this super fascinating city.
Let’s do this.
♪ upbeat jazz ♪
PETER: We have to talk to the old mamas.
GAETANO: They don’t speak Italian.
They speak only Neapolitan dialect so…
-Okay, is that
totally different than Italian?
-And this, you were telling me off-camera,
Naples, I should have known this
but it’s older than Rome.
-Yeah, founded by Greeks.
They came from the other side of the sea
and started this weird situation
we call Napoli. [giggles]
-So you call Napoli
a weird situation?
-[giggling] Yeah, totally.
-It’s full chaos but it works, right?
-Yeah, totally like that.
PETER: Wow, look at this,
I first came here 20 years ago.
-20 years ago?
There were no tourists.
-Pretty much no tourists and everyone
thought is was the most dangerous place.
-And I think it had
cleaned up a lot by that time.
Maybe in the ’90s it was super dangerous.
-In the ’90s, absolutely.
-How about right now?
-Now it’s much more safe.
You can see because there’s always
a lot of people in the streets.
Just there are so many rich persons
and so many poor persons
-There’s not much in the middle here?
-Okay, yeah, right.
Not much in the middle. [giggles]
PETER: And so why…
We’re gonna get into some food
but why do you guys do food,
it seems like so much better
than most parts of Italy?
Coming from Rome, for example, pizza.
There’s no comparison in my mind.
-No, no, they don’t know how.
-It’s only two hours away.
-Yeah, but it’s like a different nation.
Italy is really
a bunch of different nations together.
Little different nations together.
-When did it unify, like 1850?
-In 1860… ’61.
-And then Rome came 10 years after.
-But the mentality stayed of,
“We’re from Naples,
this is sort of our nation.”
“We’re from Rome,
this is sort of our nation.”
-Yeah, yeah, always like that.
-And everyone in the South
doesn’t like Milano?
-That’s universal, right?
-Yeah, everybody hates Milano.
-You know, I say that’s what unify Italy.
The hate for Milano.
-Gaetano, is this about as tight
as the streets get here?
Is this one of the tighter ones?
-One of the tighter, yeah.
-So it always stays dark
on these bottom apartments?
They’re always dark, huh?
When you live in a house like that,
you’re always watching people
in front of you from other houses.
So privacy is big problem in this case.
During the night…
Ah, it’s always a problem.
“Gaetano has a new girlfriend.”
“Did you see her last night?”.
-Yeah, everybody knows that.
-Everybody knows everything?
-Is crime low in places like this
where everyone knows everybody?
-Yeah, strong community
is the reason you have low crime rates.
-Okay, so you can’t be Facebook tough here?
And yell, and then leave?
-That person’s gonna be right there.
In these environments,
are the apartments passed down family,
to kids, to kids, to kids,
so it’s been for centuries?
Here in Naples, when we are young
we are living with our parents
but when we are grown up,
we continue to live with our parents.
-Not always, we go away.
So we just live with these
really big families all together.
What’s the average age, say a man,
moves out of his family’s apartment
-When he get married.
He must be lucky to find the right person.
-That’s the age.
-And then as he gets older
maybe his chances go down?
-Are there any guys that are
like 50 years old that live at home?
-Yeah, sure, sure.
Lot of them, yeah.
But they have life, they go to work.
-It’s not like a stigma.
-There’s not a stigma?
-Okay, so it’s accepted.
-It’s normal, just normal.
-What is this here, a religious shrine?
-Yeah, we call it in Italian,
Just like when you go in church
and you ask for a pleasure from God.
-And help, forgiveness and help.
There are saints and Mary of course.
-So people in the community
come down here and pray?
-So this is great,
the mamas come out of the windows,
speak with people on the streets.
Do you think these people living here,
if they had a lot of money,
they’d want to live out of the center
in a bigger apartment or no?
-I think they are…
Yeah, yeah, yeah,
they have enough money.
They work, so they have enough money
outside but they are connected.
So when you go away you have to
say farewell to all your entire life.
-So people don’t want to do that?
-Don’t want to do that, no.
-It’s your life?
-It’s your life.
You have to maintain it like it is.
-So literally living
five kilometers from here
is like living in another country almost?
This woman has her kitchen right here.
So the apartments just come
right out into the streets.
-You just walk across the street
to the barber shop?
You, not me.
On these kind of long streets,
this is one of the main streets on Naples
You always have these palaces
and they are huge.
Then if it’s open, [giggles]
you can see through it.
-And then you have these courtyards.
Can we walk in or is it a…
-Yeah, sure, sure.
-Really Spanish type of architecture.
-And so it just quiets right down.
-And then you have a church up there.
-You can get water if you want.
-Oh, there’s a well from the volcano?
-No, from the mountains
originally your family is from.
-Yeah, hundred years ago
they got on a boat and came here.
They came at 18 years old,
no English language at all.
-Yeah, very poor.
Boat across the Atlantic,
get to New York, Ellis Island,
and then my great-grandmother,
who I never met,
she never even spoke English
in all the years
living in the United States.
Didn’t pick up, “Hello.”, I don’t think.
We used to cook our Sunday sauce
in the pot, in her pasta pot
and my dad took such pride in it, right?
All day stirring the sauce, you know,
he thought he was so old-world
and the sauce was terrible, man.
It was really bad sauce,
nothing like here.
And then my mom, I just asked her
about that pot actually recently
because I’m like, “I want the pot.”
It’s like a very historical thing to have
and she said,
“Well, it’s been leeching metal forever.”
You know, like putting off metal?
So I think that’s why the sauce was bad.
-Here the thing is
the contrast between the two areas
because here on the low side of Naples
you have a rich street, so many rich shops
but on the upper side,
there are Spaniah quarters.
One of the poorest
district areas of Naples.
-It looks good right here
but as you go further it gets…
-Yeah, if you go there it’s because…
Mainly it’s because you are looking for
a drug dealer or for prostitutions.
It’s all mixed.
-Because there is the old mama
outside her home
and there is the drug dealer.
-Do they work together at all?
The mama and the drug dealer?
-Yeah, sometimes they work together.
Sure, because if police
is coming up the street…
-Maybe the old lady
gives a signal, you know?
And they are living together.
It’s a strange way to help each other
if you look at it like that.
-And here’s another one
of these doors, right?
They’re just all over the place.
-And so there’s a whole another world
right inside here?
-Do people have a hard time
listening to Rome, like, the government?
Of how to live, what to do?
-We were an independent nation
for so many centuries
before the Italian unity.
We were Neapolitan with our language,
our traditions, our laws.
we became Italians, so…
-Right, on the grand scheme of things,
like on the timeline,
it was just like… just happened.
-And this is a really old city.
So it’s like it’s organized
as an old idea of what we were
and not what we are now.
So I think it’s normal that we
sense this kind of distance from Rome.
PETER: This is a very nice part of the city
but it seems the city in general,
seems very disorganized and chaotic
but there is an order to it, right?
-It’s like there’s no way
you could control it…
-…but there is a push and pull.
A cycle to everything here.
-And it functions?
You can try to entry this kind
of order or self-organize order of life.
-But you can’t dominate it,
you can’t control it,
you can’t decide what kind of…
What direction it must have.
Just a matter of live with the others.
-Is it fair to say there’s
a little Vesuvius in all of you?
Like there’s some explosiveness, right?
There’s passion, there’s fire.
-Yeah, we literally live under a volcano.
It’s in our culture, in our songs,
in our literature,
and maybe in our food too,
-Oh yeah, for sure, 100%.
♪ busker playing guitar ♪
-Neapolitan, the language,
do you speak that with your friends
or how does that work?
-It depends on if your family
is well-educated or rich.
-That’s the kind of story.
-The well-educated and rich
speak Italian or Neapolitan?
-No, Italian, Italian.
-Okay, so that’s like a higher-class thing?
-Higher-class language. [chuckles]
-There are even luxury shops here.
That is stunning.
What is this called?
Which is the name of one of
the Italian kings, the first Italian kings.
And the nicest McDonalds
in the world perhaps.
So this wasn’t taken out
in World War II obviously.
Was there much damage
to Napoli in World War Ii?
-It was quite completely destroyed.
-[Peter surprised] Completely?
-Not completely but yeah.
-So they just rebuilt
a lot of these old structures?
-Look at the mosaic.
-The money from the Marshall plan.
-From Marshall Plan, right, right.
-I mean United States just had
a huge advantage at that time, right?
Because we didn’t get destroyed
and Europe was rebuilding.
We had a ton of kids, right?
At that time,
the Boomers they’re called, right?
-And now we have the Millenials
that come from the Boomers
-And Europe doesn’t have that
because you didn’t have
the Boomer generation.
Not everyone was
having kids after the war
’cause they’re dealing with
the aftermath of a war.
-Yeah, sure, sure.
-So it’s interesting how
demographics and birthrates
are being impacted right now
because of that.
-That’s the situation here.
I mean maybe Europe,
but especially in Italy
because we suffered so much for war.
-Yeah, of course.
It was invented there.
-Is it a tourist place
or the locals go here?
-Both tourists, because it’s famous,
for locals too.
-They got the old oven.
So that’s it.
Just very simple ingredients.
-Yeah, very simple.
-In the wood-burning oven.
GAETANO: And this is where
Margherita was invented.
MAN: Margherita was born in 1889.
PETER: How long have you been here?
-My father before me,
and my grandfather before him.
-Has the Margherita changed at all?
-No, no, it’s the same.
It’s very important for us to use
the traditional way to make the margherita.
-The tomatoes from the volcano?
Not, not, not, not.
That is from San Marzano zone.
San Marzano is around Vesuvius
but not Vesuvius.
-It’s just a little bigger.
Just a little bigger than
the cherry tomatoes from (Vesuvius).
PETER: And so how long
does it go in here for?
MAN: Between 60 and 90 second.
PETER: That’s it?
MAN: Yes, that’s it.
PETER: Oh, yeah.
PETER: Very simple,
dough, cheese, basil, sauce.
Little puff in there.
PETER: Okay, show me the proper style.
GAETANO: Let’s see the way
we eating pizza in the original way.
You cut the pizza in four parts.
You must do four triangles.
Just like that, it’s so simple.
Just separate into two parts.
-Turn the plate?
-Turn the plate.
-If someone doesn’t
cut a pizza like this here,
you’ll know they’re not from here?
That’s the only way
you can legitimate eat pizza.
Just go like that.
And you eat it.
It’s the Neapolitan
original way of eating pizza.
-You’re not educated if you use a fork?
You must use hands.
-In Rome, they use a fork.
-In Rome they use a fork.
-All right, so you do
just one big cross-cut.
-Do I look like a local doing this or no?
-My angles? My angle’s okay?
-Throw away your fork and your knife
and use your hands.
There’s another taste, it’s really good.
-That is fantastic.
You like the brown, the burnt
on the bottom, it’s nice, yeah.
-Yeah, for sure.
It’s so important. [giggles]
Gives taste to pizza.
-See, there’s so much competition
in this city with pizza,
Nobody does it wrong.
Like everyone has good pizza, right?
They’re not gonna survive a day
if they make it bad here.
Just like that,
at least 20 or 30 restaurants
where you can eat a perfect pizza.
Everyone does it in a particular way.
So you have 20 or 30
ways of doing pizza in a perfect way.
That’s the… the climax of a free market.
-Mario, thank you.
-Thank you, pleasure to meet you.
-No, our pleasure.
So Mario’s moving to Orlando, Florida.
That’s the goal?
-I will leave in January and I will work
at the Epcot Buon Appetito restaurant.
-So Italian restaurant at Epcot?
Yeah, in Epcot of the the Disneyland.
-Okay, we’ll see you there.
And I just want to complement you
on your mustache.
It’s one of the nicer ones
I’ve ever seen in my life.
-You’re pulling it off.
Mario, thank you, great place.
Okay, so you were saying that’s
a classic story here in Napoli right now.
The young guys,
20 to 25 or whatever, leaving.
-You can’t find your future here.
So that’s the other…
A classic story of Naples.
-So it’s not a new story there
because that’s the story of my ancestors.
-It’s literally the same thing, yeah.
And it’s dramatic because,
“What kind of person remains here?”.
That’s the problem.
-You’re a good guy though yeah?
You said you’re not going, you’re staying.
-I don’t know.
-So how do you change that?
You need more industry,
more jobs, more economy?
-Yeah, sure… A vision.
-A vision, and there’s no one
providing that vision right now?
-No, no, no, that’s the problem.
-And us, as a generation, we go away.
We don’t stay here and fight.
So maybe that’s a problem too.
So much of the shops and restaurant
you can see on the streets
Must pay money to Camorra.
-Camorra, the mafia?
-The mafia, the local mafia.
It’s not always like that.
Sometimes they are
a sort of business men.
You make money from drugs
then you recycle them, investing…
-Okay, money laundering.
-Money laundering, money laundering.
-And the police
don’t have any control over it?
-No, totally not.
-They just can’t go through…
There is only one religion in Naples
and that is football.
PETER: So during the pandemic,
I have a hard time seeing
people being locked down here.
I don’t think they take orders too well
and everyone’s living on top of each other
and I thought Naples would have gotten
hammered with COVID because of that
but it really happened in Lombardy, right?
The worst of it?
-If you look at the streets
you can understand
a police car can never get up there freely.
It’s all narrow streets so they can move.
So you can’t really control the streets.
You can close a community inside here
and then don’t let (them) move around
and go outside.
-That was what happened…
…during the pandemic.
-They were like…
…Really blocking off parts of the city?
GAETANO: Here was so much
more calm, the situation.
I thought it was like that
because we are well-organized.
[scooter speeds past and woman yelling]
The lady wants you.
-What’s she saying?
-“Come here.” [chuckles]
Just… we’ll see.
[woman speaking Italian]
You want to drink water?
-Si, Grazie. (Yes, thank you.)
PETER: So you guys,
you’re not speaking Italian?
This moment, no.
GAETANO: She is talking Neapolitan.
She knows how to speak Italian too.
GAETANO: “Speak Italian”
[child speaking Italian]
PETER: How do they like
living in the neighborhood?
GAETANO: “Do you like it here?”
PETER: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
PETER: It’s the water guy.
GAETANO: She wants to go in USA.
[woman speaking Italian]
PETER: Let me see the muscles, buddy.
Let me see.
GAETANO: Altar dedicated to Maradona.
PETER: An altar dedicated to Maradona?
People celebrate this all the time?
And Napoli just win a match, so…
-Oh, there he is.
How long ago was it that Maradona played?
It’s like 20 years ago or something?
-Yeah, it was from 1984 to ’93.
-Do you have a passionate feeling
-Sure I do.
-Everyone here does, huh?
It’s just a religious cult, Maradona.
-It’s beyond love?
-He was so much representative of
Neapolitan desires, common desires.
Like he spoke to the…
He’s from Argentina
but he spoke to the people here?
-It’s always this kind of behavior
Say, “Now okay, I’m one of you.”
“I’m like… In my country, I’m like you.”
-There’s a Maradona fan in the making.
[Gaetano speaking Italian]
PETER: What would you say Italians
from outside of Napoli
don’t understand about you guys?
Like what do they not
know about you or understand?
-A lot of prejudice.
-Because the media
and the public discourse in Italy
is a part of the country that doesn’t work.
-And slow the other part
of the country, the rich one.
-So I think it’s a political thing too.
The relations between us
when we meet someone from the North
that’s not like that.
This street and then the Spanish Quarters.
It’s all together.
It’s a commission of things together.
-And these guys selling all the
knock-off brands purses and whatnot,
what’s their story?
-They are organized in groups.
-They have deposit in the suburbs of Naples
and they organize
together themselves to sell this.
I think quite often the things they sell
is from what we call in Napoli, the system.
The name for a lot of mafia or Camorra.
So the Camorra controls all of that stuff?
-At the end of the day, yes.
-It’s complicated because it’s like,
“Okay, I give to you
the things you have to sell…”
-If you go to someone else, somewhere else
you have to pay consequences for that.
they get physical with them?
-Yeah, yeah, sure.
-So those guys selling the purses
and all the things on the streets,
in a way, they’re held hostage.
They have to buy from the Camorra
or they’re gonna have problems.
-Yeah, sure… yeah, yeah.
-And what other…
But can’t they just work
at a store like this or no?
They’re not legal.
If you do things in illegal way
then there is another state,
the System, Camorra.
An alternative Italian Republic.
-So you have two systems at play here.
Almost two governments
operating in parallel.
And then we have this.
-And then we have this. [giggles]
-And that’s Naples for you.
The most extreme of everything.
You were saying
things fall a lot from above.
-That’s how you get things upstairs, huh?
-Just pull it up.
-Sometimes things are going up,
sometimes things are going down.
-So you were saying
this is one of the best bakeries in Naples.
-Yeah, yeah one of the best.
Sure, one of the best.
You’re worried about living near this?
-Yeah, because you can get fat
in two seconds if you don’t stay careful.
-But when you’re a tourist
you’re not doing that.
Sort of chastity you have to maintain
If you want to be thin. [giggles]
-Oh my God.
Just like tightly woven crust, right?
What is this called?
Wow, what is this?
With chocolate inside.
There’s some alcohol in it, right? Brandy?
Is that what it is, brandy?
-Rum, yeah, okay, yeah.
-With pistachio and Nutella.
PETER: Oh, Marta.
Marta and I are going on a date.
Take Marta out for some pizza.
GAETANO: It sucks.
PETER: The castle up there
we were talking about.
There’s a neighborhood…
It’s a neighborhood, castle is beautiful
but the neighborhood is really rich.
It’s like being in Milano
in the North of Italy.
-So you must love it.
I think that sucks.
-Feels totally different?
-Feels totally different.
[scooters speeding by]
It was builded in the ’60s.
So it’s all new at least for our standards.
People don’t feel comfortable
around all the cleanliness up there.
-Not me, the walls are all clean,
there are not signs and…
What’s at the end of this street?
The building where the community
which I’m part of.
-Did you start this community?
-Yeah, together with other people.
-So this is lower class, middle class?
-This is lower and middle class.
So there is
a little middle class in Napoli?
-A little middle class.
-It’s like being
in an amusement park in a way.
I love these little doors here.
This little door…
…is the one we are looking for.
This is your place?
-[Peter amazed] Wow.
-It’s not mine, it’s ours.
-So who owns it?
You all own it together?
But managed by the local community.
So is it free housing?
Now it’s free housing
only for people who are in need.
-Oh, this is interesting,
so you have a whole cafeteria and bar.
-It’s all self-organized.
-How many people live here?
We are waiting for
a restoration on the place
and we won a project this year.
We start in 2024.
-What was this?
-A jail for minors.
-This is what Italian jail looks like?
You’re part of this?
-I’m part of this.
-You’re helping its development…
My role is making decisions
during discussions, during meetings.
-Looks at this is an old prison cell, huh?
-Yeah, the original.
We must maintain it closed
because people are strange sometimes.
-People are strange, yeah.
-And this is a celebration.
People from Sri Lanka, let me show you.
-Hi, how do you do?
Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
PETER: Sir, I see you’ve
taken on the Italian style.
You pop the collar now.
-Ah, yes, yes.
-They don’t do that in Sri Lanka do they?
-Wait, wait, wait, I found Milano
has the nicest people in Italy, no?
-No, in Italy there are nice people
but down to Rome…
-It’s a joke. [chuckling]
-Outside Italy, or in Italy, or anything.
-How is it different?
You are worker,
he’s the (owner of) the job.
So they sell like that.
-In Italy, no.
You’re like a friend.
-In Napoli, like friends?
-Yes, in Napoli I work.
-Okay, so up there it’s more like,
“I’m the master, you’re the slave.”
“Get to work.”
Something like that?
-Yes, a bit like that.
I can’t tell 100% like that
but similar like that.
PETER: So these are all former cells?
GAETANO: Former cells, yeah.
-Is the law hard on kids in Italy?
If a kid commits a crime
they have their own jail cell?
-Not anymore nowadays but in the…
When I was young it was still yes, sure.
-This is Nightmare Before Christmas,
I don’t remember the name or the…
-These are the kids that were here?
-Yeah, the list of names.
-Bit of a heavy feel in here, huh?
-A lot’s happened in here.
-Someone tells that there is
even a ghost here.
I’m sorry for the news but… [laughs]
-I don’t doubt it.
I’m sure when it gets dark
and in the winter when it’s cold in here.
-Yeah sure, and the door sound.
-And one day in the ’80s
there was a revolt of children here.
They revolt against the guards
and closed all the guards somewhere
and then they took control of the jail.
So special forces arrived in a helicopter.
And they just beated everyone they met.
-The kids took complete control
of this place?
-In the ’80s.
-How old were the kids that were here?
-From 13 years old to 18 years old.
-A lot of mafia kids?
-A lot of mafia kids.
The ones who take the first step
in the process of become…
-Oh, this is a little more destroyed, huh?
-This is really creepy but…
Ah, ciao Napoli.
-And the sea.
-Wow, it’s so beautiful.
-It’s really beautiful, I love it.
-Gaetano, [hands slap] thank you.
Thanks for bringing us in.
-It was a pleasure meeting you.
-It’s a unique view of Napoli
that I don’t think has been seen
by too many foreigners.
Didn’t think I’d end up here
but that’s my style of video.
So thank you.
All right, guys.
True adventure today,
I want to finish with a few thoughts
about this wonderful city.
I did give you
an unorthodox tour of Napoli.
It is really a special place.
It’s got a bit of everything.
It’s got a lot of extreme, lot of edge
but really it’s the food
that holds this place together.
The food is some of the best in the world
and even if you don’t like busy streets,
or chaos, or horns,
it’d be worth it
just to come here for the food.
You know, this is one angle in.
There are very wealthy neighborhoods.
There are places on the scene
where I’m staying
that are totally different than this
but the goal is
always to present you that…
You know, that authentic,
on the street look at a place.
And lastly, these videos, what?
20, 30, 40 minutes usually
are a big part of what I do
but not everything.
So I don’t want you to miss out
on future events or content.
So join the mailing list we have.
Link is down below.
Big event coming up in New York
in November I’d love you to be a part of.
There’ll be a digital version too.
Thanks for coming along.
Until the next one.
♪ mellow electronica ♪