Naples: It's Not that Cold

Year-long clothes drying...
I came to Naples to escape the winter. After London, Paris, and New York, I felt like I deserved a break. I felt like I deserved to go somewhere without ice and painful winds. Somewhere without hats and gloves and scarves day and night.

When I woke up and saw Mount Vesuvius covered in snow last week, I began to feel like I made the wrong decision. Maybe Naples wasn't the haven I thought it was. Maybe I hadn't escaped the winter. It was February in the Northern Hemisphere. What did I expect?

I made my coffee and opened the window. Italian women were hanging their laundry outside. The air was crisp, but hardly cold. Winter was contained to the top of that volcano. The rest of us were spared. There would be no London winter here.

Vesuvius covered in snow...

I go outside and Italians yell at me.

"Why are you only wearing a tee shirt under your jacket and hoodie?" they ask. Why aren't I in a parka? But I laugh at them. They don't know cold. They haven't ridden a bike across Southwark Bridge, over the Thames, in an ice storm, soaked and chilled to the bone, wondering if their fingers would ever feel again. Here, the biggest concern in winter is getting a pizza back to their home before   it loses its oven-fresh allure.

I'm sure the summer will come and I will complain. I will sweat. I will suffer. But being able to stand at an open window with coffee in the middle of February would make it worth it.

Why would I leave this place? The pizza hasn't gotten old yet. The coffee is still black and strong. I've got some serious thinking to do now.