Over the centuries, Naples has been under the control of Greeks, Romans, Spanish and French, to name but a few. Two of Italy’s stereotypes hail from Naples, as both pizzas and mandolins originate from that part of the country. Meanwhile, for any history trivia buffs out there, the first railway line in Italy was built in Napoli, despite the Catholic church’s fear “that dark tunnels could pose a threat to morality”.
Neapolitan was so common in the past that it was used in court papers, while in 1799, Eleonora Fonseca Pimentel, a poet and journalist who was destined for the gallows, called for it to be used in speeches: “to spread civic instruction to that section of the population which has no other language”. Through a combination of the strong accents and the use of Neapolitan, everyone around me might as well have been talking in Japanese for all I could understand. A most unusual sensation.