Ferrante fever: how to discover Naples through “My brilliant friend” eyes

Finally the television version of the famous novel written by Elena Ferrante first book, “My Brilliant Friend”, directed by Saverio Costanzo: before will be screened in movie theaters (October 1st, 2nd and 3rd) then in 8 episodes (starting from November 27th on the Italian Channel Rai 1), in order to tell through frames a novel that has become a global publishing phenomenon. The plot is about a friendship between Lenù and Lila who, from Naples 50’s, goes through time and Italy until nowadays, but leaving as privileged background the city of Naples. Even if not everyone likes “My Brilliant Friend” novels, they gave to Naples a new touristic charm making it an all year destinations. What a fan of the novels can see in our vibrant city?

In order to discover the famous places of My Brilliant Friend and follow in the footsteps of the protagonists, Elena and Lila, you need to start from Rione Luzzati, on the east side of the city: a typical working-class neighborhood where in the middle it is located the Sacra Famiglia church that you can see through the short buildings  next to the school and railway until Corso Umberto I, the main arterial road called “Rettifilo” from Neapolitans, where Lila buys her wedding dress.

From here, going through via Gianturco, you arrive to piazza Municipio, the political and historical heart of the city, where Elena’s father works, until arriving to Port’Alba, where the booksellers stands, Elena’s favorite ones, are timeless. A can’t-miss place is the historical Gran Caffè Gambrinus with its fin de siècle atmosphere and Art Nouveau interiors, a real temple of literary great suggestions and a perfect place where you can sip a coffee before reaching via Chiaia, the shopping and rich Neapolitan bourgeoisie area next to Piazza dei Martiri where, as mentioned in the book, there was Stefano and Lila’s shoe shop.

From here the picture of the city is perfect, with or without Elena Ferrante.


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