Those who travel to Naples, from first-timers to return-visitors, know that indescribable feeling it evokes within you. 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 – and equally so, it is a city of love, tradition and pride for its unique culture. Few people, in fact, can capture her depth, color and beauty – and 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 for its narrow streets, dimly lit bars, and dangling laundry. It is an area that many refer to as being the “heartbeat of Naples,” a place that continues to inspire the young photographer. He was gifted his first camera at age 18 and uses film and imagery to share the sights and sound 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 too are part of the warm and hospitable Neapolitan community. Each photo feels like an invitation to join him and taste the realities of life, as he typically explores and photographs neighborhoods with a stigmatized reputation of being difficult or daunting, while he 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 and collaborated with Dolce&Gabbana on their “Summer in Napoli” campaign. Ciro Pipoli is undoubtedly talented, but what I adore most is his admiration, pride, and, most importantly, a genuine love for his city, culture, and roots. It is a love so strong that it can be felt from a photo or video on a screen without even saying a word.
Mercati di Napoli
Always full of life, color, and people, Ciro finds himself passing through the city’s outdoor markets most mornings to take in the scenes and sounds while encountering new faces and stories to capture.
The adoration of a nonna is everlasting, as she the heart and soul of the Italian family unit. This image photo Ciro captured left him full of emotion, one that makes him reminisce of the memories shared between him and his nonna, too.
One of the many inspiring aspects of the 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 venture on vacation. But he reminds us that “We are so happy, even if we can’t go on vacation.”
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 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.
Panni stesi, or hanging laundry, is a visual that distinguishes Naples and sets it apart. 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, as it’s a place where he and his friends would venture 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 like their second religion. “Maradona has given so much to this city and we Neapolitans will love him forever,” says Ciro.
The view of Mount Vesuvius from the terrace of Sant’Antonio is bound to leave you speechless.
See More: Where To Eat In Naples