Naples stands for the mystery of life, the merging of good and evil’ maintained Lucio Dalla who had a deep love of the city. The writer Diego De Silva says that ‘Naples is always one step ahead of what one reads about it […] and there is no analysis, no journalistic or judicial investigation or work of art that is really able to interpret it, just as there is no crime that does not deeply corrupt it. Its beauty, perhaps, lies precisely in its capacity to preserve its identity, in always being somewhere else than where one would expect to find it’.

I invite you on a journey through the lesser known, perhaps forgotten, stories of over two thousand five hundred years lived out in the shadow of Vesuvius. A journey that encounters the ancient religious cults and the atavistic beliefs of the paganism that has never left the very Catholic city of Naples. And I will tell you about overlooked stories which act like salt in the city’s immense culture – short but meaningful stories that ‘add zest’ to each era and help us to understand better the official history of this extraordinary metropolis.

A little question for you: why have I attached a picture of the famous count Dracula?