August 13, 2009

"La Donna Napoletana"

our house with street festival deco

My neighbour brought me flowers to welcome us as new neighbours in the street.
How nice and thoughtful !
See the flower pots on the balcony above the entrance.

The funny side of the story is that when she brought the flowers and knocked on the door, we were not there. A worker let her in.

And I can imagine her face when she entered the house...

... and saw this welcoming entrance !

I am telling everybody and here on the blog that we started the renovation OUTSIDE.
And that we have NOT finished inside.

The house is not liveable yet.

Really !

I know, it looks so beautiful from the outside, that one cannot imagine that it is still a construction site inside ! Yes it is !!

So I have told my neighbour. But she must have been dazzeled by the beauty, and the fact, that in Calabria usually the houses are finished inside first - if at all. Some have no colour on their outside since 30, 40 years.

But she is not the only neighbour these days thinking we have moved in.
Signore R. wanted to take the balloons off our front door at the night of the street festival. He thought we need to go in and out.

When I answered, no need, we are done for today...
He asked: But are you not sleeping here ?

I laughed and opened the door wide for him to take a look.

"So, your house is like a donna Napoletana - bella di fuori e brutta di dentro ... - beautiful outside and ugly inside !

(Remark: I don't know this saying above about the donna Napoletana, the woman from Napels, maybe it means the city of Napels which is just pretty on the surface. If it means the women, from what I know, the housewifes of the South are cleaning their homes like crazy and leave their garbage on the beaches. So it would be the other way round: clean and pretty inside and dirty outside. - Any suggestions ?)


  1. I know this saying well as my Mom would repeat it to us often - bella di fuori e brutta di dentro. I'm not exactly sure what it is referring to.

  2. Ciao AnnaVallance,
    thanks for your comment.
    First I have to go back to my post and correct my poor Italian...
    and then I would like to ask you in what content your Mom was using it ?
    My Italian family has not heard this saying before.
    But for me it sound like referring to a superficial person, not honest, or something like that.

  3. I would have agreed with your comment -- seems like it may refer to the corruption in Napoli, etc. Pretty people, but not good inside. Obviously that's a big generalization and there are wonderful Napoli-ans.