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The most Italian of cities

Conjure up any image of Italy, and you can find it in Naples, arguably the most Italian of cities. Pizza, sunshine, scooters, football, and some of the world’s greatest art, all in the shadow of Vesuvius, mainland Europe’s only active volcano. Settled by the Greeks around 470 BC, the city has had an often troubled past, and the present is not without its troubles either – however, the infamous rubbish problems have been resolved, crime figures are down, and tourism is on the up.

Pastorelli 2011Umberto Rotundo / CC BY 2.0

San Gregorio Armeno

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San Gregorio Armeno

Christmas all year round

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San Gregorio Armeno ‘Christmas street’, this narrow street in the heart of the Centro Storico displays the famous presepi, the intricate Neapolitan nativity scenes, and their necessary accessories.

The picturesque campanile of the convent of San Gregorio Armeno towers overhead, and in December shoppers throng the streets (it can take ten minutes to walk 100 feet).

Clay models of politicians, actors and football figures share space with the cherubs and shepherds – new arrivals this year included Napoli’s star player Lavezzi and, unsurprisingly, Barack Obama.

San Gregorio Armeno
Via San Gregorio Armeno, Naples, Naples