London (Elisabetta Fiaschi) – Naples is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. This is what The Sun states in one of the its latest articles. The others? In the top 11 Raqqa, Honduras and Mogadishu.
“The world is a dangerous place”. Nothing could be more true. Nevertheless a famous writer named George Orwell once wrote: “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others“. It was 1945.
After 72 years, could we confirm that all the cities are dangerous but some cities are more dangerous than others? Obviously we can. Let’s just say that Naples is closer to Minimus than to Napoleon.
Let’s know our “characters” better.
Snowball/Raqqa: The Syrian city is the new capital of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Almost the entire city and its monuments have been destroyed by bombardments as Kurdish, European and International forces try to liberate it from the occupation of ISIS.
Squealer/Honduras: This South-American Republic has the highest murder rate in the world (85 for every 100,000 residents). It is the key staging post to the US. The Department of State warns US citizens to consider the risks of travel in that zone.
Napoleon/Mogadishu: The Somali capital has experienced decades of war. Militants al-Shabaab continue to terrorise the city. There is a high danger of suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks carried out by extremists.
And now, just to be clear, let’s examine another “top 11”.
- It is the third-largest municipality in Italy, a European unitary parliamentary Republic that has experienced no war after 1945.
- It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
- It has the fourth-largest urban economy in Italy and it is the world’s 103rd-richest city by purchasing power.
- It also hosts NATO‘s Allied Joint Force Command Naples, the SRM Institution for Economic Research and the OPE Company and Study Centre. The city was named a City of Literature by UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network.
- In 1995, the historic centre of Naples was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site with an outstanding universal value thanks to its setting on the Bay of Naples.
- It is noted for its numerous higher education institutes and research centres. The city hosts University of Naples Federico II, the oldest state university in the world founded in 1224. You can also find the oldest marine zoological study station in the world and the world’s oldest permanent volcano observatory.
- Many films are set in Naples. It is also the backdrop for several movies, TV and Fashion shows (last year D&G chose Naples for their 30 years of career celebration).
- It is the most visited city in Southern Italy and in the last 3 years tourism has doubled.
- Mafia exists like in many other countries in the World which simply use a different name to describe it. Simultaneously there are dozens of associations that, together with the State, struggle every day to defeat it.
- The most common stereotype: Naples is dirty. Maybe some areas in the suburbs. But so are many other big cities in the World. Should we mention that in London pollution will not fall to legal levels until 2025?
- Thanks to centuries of colonization and cultural integration, the Neapolitan population has become one the most welcoming and multi-ethnic communities in Italy.
In a World where missiles are launched every day and walls are built in countries based on melting pot, it’s time to put the old prejudices aside.
The biggest danger in Naples is the fact that, once you have been there, there’s a very good chance you won’t leave it ever again.