1. You’re coffee ignorant.
You don’t know when to order what, or how and where to drink it. Coffee culture here is strong, just like the espresso. In most places you pay the cashier first and then present your ticket to the barista. Then you shoot the scalding hot liquid down your throat and leave a few cents on the bar for a tip.
Faux pas number one is ordering a cappuccino after lunch, or even after 11:00am. Also, ordering a macchiato (literally espresso “stained” with steamed milk) and hoping for espresso drowned in a cup of extra-hot milk with caramel on top is a sure sign you’re still a tourist…and that you need to end your love affair with Starbucks.
2. You’re terrified to cross the street.
Okay, it’s fine to be a little scared. But acting like it can mean suicide in Naples.
Ironically, the worst thing you can do is try not to get hit. Your job as a pedestrian is to stay your intended path and keep a consistent speed. Crossing with confidence and predictability will allow the cars and scooters to dodge you. It seems counterintuitive, but having faith in the chaos is the only way to survive.
3. You’ve never ridden on a Vespa.
Even dogs and birthday cakes get Vespa rides in Napoli.
4. You choose the month of August to get to know the city.
Finally, you’re ready to get out and do some sightseeing. It’s time to try out the pizzerias and trattorias most frequented by locals.
But alas, there’s something stopping you. It’s called Ferragosto, and it means that Naples closes up shop for a month. The city’s a ghost town, and the only sights to be seen are the confused tourists roaming around. You might as well go spend some time on the nearby island of Ischia. Or, if you’re still a tourist, you’ll go to Capri instead.
5. You get scammed trying to save money shopping black-market style.
To be honest, it’s the only way you could ever afford an iPhone. You managed to bargain a damn good deal from that nice man on the Vespa. When you open up your new box, and realize its nonexistent contents, the man has already sped away with your money and your dignity.
Black-market shopping can be great, but, like in every big city, you’ve got to know how to pick out the con artists. In Naples, such a sly, tricky person is called a furbo.
6. You don’t know at least one guy named Ciro and one guy named Gennaro.
You’re either still a tourist or have been hiding in Mt. Vesuvius’s crater.
7. When you hear the name Totò, the first thing that comes to mind is Dorothy’s dog from The Wizard of Oz.
But everyone knows that besides being short for Antonio, it’s the name of the iconic Neapolitan comic actor from the mid 1900s.
8. You’ve only cried once, and it was when you arrived.
The saying goes “Chi viene a Napoli piange due volte: quando arriva e quando parte.”
In Naples you cry two times: when you arrive and when you leave. Your first impression of the city was probably jarring. But if you’re not crying on your way out, well then, you didn’t stay long enough.
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