Naples, Italy, city of popular songs, bright colours, luxury hotels overlooking the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius beyond.
Naples, Italy, city of popular songs, bright colours, luxury hotels overlooking the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius beyond. Sounds and sights for the tourist...
In the heart of them: Gabello Vechia - a slum area of huts with tin roofs, laundry billowing in dirty alleys and washing up on dusty pavements. Children abound, laughing, crying. Up to the age of ten or eleven, the experts say, housing conditions do not affect children - unless the conditions affect the parents. Slum mentality is an evil of all countries.
Old Naples is bawdy, pitiless and busy. An armless beggar can only watch the scene: big women built of macaroni and vermicelli labouring with the weekly wash to dry, pretty girls with an eye for the fashion magazines, the orange sellers crying out their lungs...
Naples means the New City - Neapoles, the Greek builders called it. The old parts today look as old as Vesuvius and poverty seems older. For the poor, there is no escape in this life - they are like the pet mice that are on sale in the street markets, staring in their cages, helpless to force the bars.
Helpless to break the bars of poverty, the poor remain poor; perhaps, if there is a way out past the modern shops and buildings of the tourist quarters to some New Land it is on the back of the timeless hearse that collects its charges in the slums and bears them off.
Gabello Vechia is the largest slum area of the city. Lying near the port of Naples, it received heavy damage in the Second World War. On the bomb sites, new buildings rise...a hospital, apartment blocks.
Our cameraman reported: "The huts the poor live in are small. In fact, they are too small to live in for the whole family. Household chores are done outside. Anyway, there is no running water inside. The men have no fixed work, the children grow up in dirt, many of them are sick, yet many huts have television."
"There are people there who have money enough to change for a better home but they prefer to stay here because in this place nobody asks for rent." That is the slum mentality and it is rife.
"Many children are well trained - but in the wrong way. To look out for tourists and beg for gifts from them." As many as forty children at a time besieged the cameraman for money.