Claudio Velardi, 53, took the job of luring tourists to Italy's dirtiest and most criminal city at a time when Neapolitans are rioting over the mountains of rubbish lying in the streets.The unexpected pleasure of finding beauty and filth crammed together?
The crisis, which arose after the city's dumps became full and collections halted, continues to worsen.
Last week, piles of rubbish reappeared on the streets of the city and the European Commission threatened to take court action against Naples for failing to resolve the matter.
The images of burning rubbish, together with the city's crime problems, have led to a steep drop in tourism, with some hotels reporting a 30 per cent fall in bookings.
Mr Velardi, a public relations expert, has outlined a strategy to sell the city without gloss.
"Naples has never been a clean city," he said. "It has always been a hotbed of viral diseases, of hepatitis. I am better off than many Neapolitans, but even I have a bad liver because I had hepatitis as a child."
Mr Velardi said tourists should love Naples for the unexpected pleasure of finding beauty and filth crammed together.
He added: "If I go to Rio de Janeiro, I know there are favelas (slums). This city is also chaotic, but is beautiful and characterful.
"We have no intention of turning Naples into Frankfurt. What is more, the hoteliers say that no one complains about Naples when they come to leave the city. It provides happy memories.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Love it for the filth?
Via the Telegraph: