January 2023 Meeting speaker recap
Il cuore di Napoli Beats in its Vibrant Streets
by Lisa Robbins
‘New York on amphetamines’, that’s what they say of Naples, a tough, frenzied, metropolis, full of flashy determination. WIN’s January speaker Alexandra Lawrence provided a perfect kick to launch the new year as she revealed the street art of this ‘city of extremes, ancient and contemporary, sacred and profane, sublime’ and sometimes, down-right kitsch.
With a background in Journalism, International Education, Italian Cultural Studies and work as a bespoke tour guide, Alexandra co-founded a cultural tour company, ‘All Street Napoli, during the pandemic with Rome-based friend Annie Ojile (of ‘Scooteroma’). Their riveting tours have garnered reviews in Conde Nast and Forbes Magazine, to name a few appreciative glossies, plus high profile clients including Britain’s royal family.
Alexandra fell in love with Naples seven or eight years ago on a first-ever visit with her Vesuvius-obsessed partner. Her love affair with the city has withstood the test of time, (not so, the tryst with her callow sidekick), to become the focus of three-day small scale tours showcasing contemporary culture against a historical backdrop. Florence-based Alexandra and her partner Annie offer real-time immersion in one of Europe’s most populated cities. Her WIN presentation exhibited socially-conscious art that pays homage to the city’s patron saint San Gennaro by contemporary local artists (Jorit and Roxy in the Box), and drew parallels between their work and that of Baroque artists like Caravaggio and Jusepe de Ribera, who also used their medium for social commentary. But wait! Naples worships three saints in all: soccer legend and bad boy Diego Maradona and the famed actor and comedian, locally-born Totò, are every bit as sacred as San Gennaro. Proof is everywhere, on the walls and in the famous presepe (Christmas creche tableau). The message is clear: the heart of Naples beats loudest in its teaming streets.
Annie and Alexandra will be running a three-day “All Street Napoli” from April 27-29. There were still eight spots at press time. WIN members and friends will receive a special discount. For the brochure and to book your spot, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Italy resident for 25 years, Alexandra also offers online Italian art and culture courses.
Read about Alexandra Lawrence