My passion for tailoring started in Naples: all my clothes are by De Cesare. The nice thing about certain Neapolitan tailors is that the craftsmanship is there to be seen: Neapolitan tailors still sew with needle and thread, and any tiny defects are considered valuable. My first ties came from Marinella: you never forget your first love, in terms of ties. Nor can you forget your origins, no way.
Take the Gran Caffè Gambrinus for example – for generations of Neapolitans it was the café. My grandmother’s great grandmother, Mariasole Giovene di Girasole, went there; she was one of the most beautiful women in Naples, and everyone went there to see her. I also go for the hand-crafted quality of the food. When it comes to food, for me the only mozzarella is by Caseificio Fierro – there is no other. Every time I go to Milan from Naples, I bring at least a kilo for friends. I often get people asking me where the best pizza can be had, and my answer is always the same – da Michele. Don’t expect anything too smart though. They serve pizza on a sheet of paper, and there are only two types: napoletana and marinara. Well actually, there’s also a version of the napoletana with a double portion of mozzarella.
Moving on to the cultural scene, I’d direct the potential tourist to the beating heart of Naples, the Teatro San Carlo. This is where the real Neapolitan music comes from, music that, unlike the more recent neomelodic trend, is the finest expression of the passionate voice of ordinary people. I still remember when I saw a spectacular musical there called Scugnizzi. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (former president of the Italian Republic) was at the same performance.