From the Publisher
This is a social history written around the experiences of the author during the time he was working in Italy in the 1950's and 60's , since when he has seen considerable changes. The bustling seaport of the ancient city of Naples was a recovering from the Second Great War (WW2) devastation.
You were told "See Naples and die!" - because of the many plagues of cholera, syphilis and other diseases that had caused so much suffering since earliest times. The post-war drug trafficking had begun in earnest. Some of these criminals had the reputation of helping the poor, but all were involved in smuggling, prostitution and misappropriation of funds and medical supplies from relief agencies. Murders were a daily happening perpetrated by the gangs at warfare with each other, and each anxious to exploit the spoils of War and Peace.
High rise flats and offices replace the bombed sites of the days when this story unfolds. Local officials, often blackmailed and corrupt, took every advantage of international aid. To combat communism the US employed the particular brand of Mafia and smugglers, commonly known as the Camorra. .
Churches lit by home-made candles fashioned with prayer were always open; on Sundays and Feast days congregations overflowed, the men escaping from the rear pews to smoke their cigarettes on the portico while the sermon admonished their women folk or bore their children. Nowadays churches are mostly closed for lack of that religious Faith for which Neapolitans were renowned in ardor and song. Candles are factory made