Pope Francis is making a visit to the city of Naples, Italy as I write. The city is crowded with tourists and locals both as we all try to get a glimpse of il Papa.
The tour of Naples started off in Pompeii, then moved on to the infamous zone called Scampia. Generally recognized as a dangerous area and the heart of organized crime here in Naples, the Pope was warmly received by inhabitants. He then made his way to the center of Naples where he gave a mass in Piazza del Plebiscito. I was there and couldn’t get anywhere near the square due to the amount of people!
In his discourses, the Pope touched on subjects specific to life here in Naples. The subjects of organized crime and the difficulties in finding work were at the top of the list. He urged Neapolitans not to give in to the temptation of earning easy money by doing dishonest work. For those already involved with the Camorra, the Pope said that it is never too late to convert oneself to making an honest living. Much easier said than done in a city where finding a job is almost impossible. (More about that in the future.)
There was one quote from Pope Francis that I really feel sums up life in Naples:
“La vita a Napoli non è mai stata facile ma non è mai stata triste.”
Life in Naples has never been easy, but it has never been sad.