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Dream Destinations / Travel Destinations  / Naples, Italy is the Coolest City
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Naples, Italy is the Coolest City

Using its strong community spirit, unsanitised road culture and the crumbling architecture, the craggy southern-Italian town of Naples brings people who wish to observe a raw and untamed side of Italy.

From the 20th century, trailblazing icons like Hemingway, Pablo Neruda and Andy Warhol were seduced by Naples. Now, trendsetting young musicians and authors are attracted here; also, some enticed from the key and uncompromising portrayals of town in Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend and Roberto Saviano’s Gomorrah.

Pubs and gigs for people in the know

On the west side, students gather at Caff√® Dell’Epoca for its famed $2 Aperol spritz, then go to the buzzing Afro-beats nightclub Teranga. People looking for cocktails and live audio locate it in complex pubs around the west side of the square, for example, Nea, which are an art gallery daily, and leafy Intra Moenia, which double as a publishing home.

Elsewhere, impromptu gigs erupt from the Spanish Quarter’s bassos (miniature ground-floor flats ),

and experimental DJ sets lure audiences to Spazio Intolab — an abandoned wool mill close to the channel. Insiders understand that every night of this week brings itself to hanging out on the road outside a pub. On Wednesday the cavernous Buco Pertuso hosts up-and-coming rings and affordable beverages; on Thursday Francesco Sepe retains his household Antica Cantina Sepe open late because of his now notorious’Aperisepe’ evenings, serving $1.50 wine along with his mamma’s aubergine parmigiana; on Friday outside Spiedo D’Oro, well-loved owner Enzo hosts little ramshackle live-music gigs.

Well-heeled Neapolitans head outside because of their aperitivo from the smaller region of Chiaia, close to the beachfront. The narrow roads, called baretti, are punctuated with cocktail bars like Antiquario and Chandelier, in which Negronis are accompanied by a feast of charcuterie and cold salads.

Street artwork that is subversive and galleries

Nestled between romantic scrawl, graffiti tags and demonstration manifestos, road art from local and global artists adorns the fragmented stockades of town. A Banksy — the only one in Italy — could be seen in Piazza dei Girolamini at the historical centre: a Madonna figure stencilled on the wall in blue-grey tones, using a gun over her head at the area of a halo.

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