Naples is a city that leaves an imprint: it makes you feel alive and hungry to discover more. It’s a place that is full of mystery, history, and chaos. At the same time, it is also a city of love, tradition, and pride for its unique culture. Few people can capture her depth, color, and beauty. One of those people is photographer Ciro Pipoli.
Born between Mount Vesuvius and the sea, Ciro grew up in the Quartieri Spagnoli. A neighborhood characterized by its narrow streets, dimly lit bars, and dangling laundry. It is an area that many refer to as being the “heartbeat of Naples.” And it’s a place that continues to inspire the young photographer. He was gifted his first camera at the age of 18 and uses film and imagery to share the sights and sounds of the city with his followers.
The photos and videos Ciro shares on his Instagram profile spark a unique feeling of belongingness. They make us feel like we are part of the warm and hospitable Neapolitan community as well. Each photo feels like an invitation to join him and taste the realities of life. He typically explores and photographs neighborhoods with a stigmatized reputation of being difficult or daunting, but focuses on the beauty hidden within. “Naples is a city that lives on unique moments,” he says.
In addition to his own projects, Ciro was recently featured in Vogue Italia. He also collaborated with Dolce & Gabbana on their “Summer in Napoli” campaign. Ciro Pipoli is undoubtedly talented, but what I adore the most is his admiration, pride, and, most importantly, a genuine love for his city, culture, and roots. It’s a love so strong that it can be felt in a photo or video without saying a word.
The Markets of Naples
The city’s outdoor markets are always full of life, color, and people. Most mornings Ciro finds himself passing through them to take in the different scenes and sounds. All the while encountering new faces and stories to capture.
The adoration of a nonna is everlasting, as she is the heart and soul of the Italian family unit. This photograph that Ciro captured left him full of emotion. It made him reminisce about the shared memories between him and his nonna.
One of the many inspiring aspects of Neapolitan culture is the appreciation and happiness regarding what they have, not what they don’t have or desire. Take summer, for example, a time for many Italians to take some time off and go on vacation. He reminds us, however, that “we are so happy, even if we can’t go on vacation.”
Love at Every Age
Ciro admires photography for its ability to capture raw moments that live on forever, like the exchange of love between these two couples. Naples thrives on spontaneous moments and romantic scenes seem to be around every corner.
Palazzo dello Spagnolo
Located in the heart of Rione Sanità, Palazzo dello Spagnolo is one of the most beautiful and unique buildings in the city. Built in 1738, the palace is noted for its grand staircase and late Baroque style. Many movies are still filmed within the courtyard today.
Growing up in Naples
Naples is a vibrant, yet difficult city, forcing children to grow up fast here. But their unique upbringing makes them resilient, giving them a leg up in their future endeavors.
Hands that Tell Stories
The hands of a man who has dedicated his entire life to his work. His photographs, like the hands of this man, tell the true stories of this beautiful city, and the people within it. If hands could speak, I imagine the stories would be rich and full of life.
Panni stesi, or hanging laundry, is a visual that distinguishes Naples from other cities. Luciano De Crescenzo, an Italian writer, and director said it best, “In my neighborhood, I know everything about it because in Naples, there are ropes stretched from one building to the next to hang the clothes, and on these ropes, the news runs and spreads.”
Piazza del Plebiscito
If you haven’t passed through Piazza del Plebiscito, you haven’t been to Naples. The main piazza in the city is full of nostalgia and memories for Ciro. It’s a place where he and his friends would go to play soccer. Although all grown up, there are tons of other kids who keep the spirit alive and make the piazza a place of their own.
Of the many cultural pillars in Naples, soccer is front and center. The hero, symbolic figure, and persona of soccer player Diego Maradona will forever be worshiped as their second religion. “Maradona has given so much to this city and we Neapolitans will love him forever,” says Ciro.
In the Shadows of Vesuvius
Naples lives in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. While this ancient volcano is best known for the destruction of Pompeii, it is a part of Naples’ visual landscape. Ciro’s photograph has captured the raw beauty of the city, the volcano, and the Bay of Naples. The view of Mount Vesuvius from the terrace of Sant’Antonio is bound to leave you speechless.