Italy - a place of longing for Germans: The sea, the sun, the wine and "dolce far niente", the much-praised ease of Italian life, have been luring travelers to "the land where the lemons bloom" for centuries. Among them artists of all stripes: poets, painters and composers.
When they talk about the "Mezzogiorno", they probably have the "Canzone Napoletana" in their ears or think of the "Fishermen of Capri" and Pizza Margherita. In Italy itself, however, it is always associated with the poor south, with its problems and backwardness. "It rains on those who are already wet", as they say in this region.
Vesuvius, the "majestic criminal", as Gerhart Hauptmann called it, also has an almost magical attraction and has already triggered a veritable mountain tourism in history. The excavations in Pompeii have made the volcano even more fascinating since the 18th century. The path to the crater leads over bizarre lava fields. Accounts of the ascent can be found in travelogues by Goethe, Fanny Mendelssohn, Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. The fourteen-year-old Mozart wrote in amazement to his sister from Naples: "Cara sorella mia, heunt raucht der Vesuvius, poz bliz und ka nent aini." Walter Benjamin hoped in vain for an eruption, and Nietzsche even demanded, with the volcano in mind: "Build your cities on Vesuvius!"
In fact, the surrounding area is surprisingly densely populated, despite the constant danger emanating from the mountain. Perhaps this is due to a particular boldness or even trust in the saint San Gennaro, whose blood is kept as a relic in the cathedral of Naples to protect against volcanic eruptions.
The fall of Pompeii is not the only catastrophe to have struck the area around Mount Vesuvius. The power of the Camorra has long shaped people's everyday lives. This refers to the organized crime there, which has its roots in the 16th century, in the then Spanish-occupied Kingdom of Naples. Like the Sicilian mafia, it is still present and integrated in large parts of society. And yet it is repeatedly claimed: "non esiste" - it does not exist.
With the Trio Macchiato, the Neapolitan singer Silvia Aurea de Stefano and the actor Walter Sittler, we immerse ourselves in this southern Italy with its contradictions and contrasts, its beauty, magic and its atmosphere of omnipresent threat. The journey will be accompanied by songs, stories, tales and descriptions from the pens of both local authors and fascinated visitors.
A trip to southern Italy.