Postcard: Naples

Sure, this port city has serious crime. But the daily infractions are what make its citizens uniquely Neapolitan. Welcome to the town where La Dolce Vita and lawlessness mix

Riccardo Venturi - Contrasto for TIME

A man wearing a helmet rides his scooter through Naples, Italy while holding a young child not wearing a helmet on March 14, 2007.

'I guess you want the folklore now." Municipal police officer Alfonso Celiento has just run down the long list of laws regulating public behavior in Naples, from smoking in bars to scooter riding to selling kitchenware on a street corner. He's right: Neapolitans are famed for breaking picayune laws, but it's the city's major crimes that have been making headlines. Unemployment hovers around 20%, and the murder rate is consistently among the highest in Europe. There were 55 homicides in the first two months of the year--many of them victims of warring factions of the organized-crime syndicate the Camorra. The only...

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