Gulf of Naples: Living in the danger zone of one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world

Published on November 2, 2020 by

“I’ve never seen a siren,” says 20 year-old Fabio on the beach in Naples, “but if I do, I won’t be blocking my ears with wax like in the legend.”

The myth of the sirens is still alive in the Gulf of Naples. According to the legend, the singing mermaids wrought their havoc here. No sailor could resist their singing; blinded by lust, they would steer their ships onto the rocks and sink. Only Odysseus was able to outwit the seductive sirens.

On walks along the Gulf of Naples, the film encounters countless witnesses of the seductive power of this arguably most beautiful of Italian coastlines: on the islands of Capri and Ischia, but above all in Naples itself – the great port city at the foot of Vesuvius. After all, the city traces its very founding back to the legend of the sirens: the first settlement bore the name of one of the sirens – Parthenope.

Whether they proudly tattoo their bodies with sirens or just rave about the “amore frizzante”, or “sparkling love”, their region inspires – again and again the film encounters people who are helplessly in love with their Gulf of Naples.

And this despite (or because of?) the fact that the imposing mountain in their midst can erupt at any moment: Vesuvius. The scientists at the volcanic observatory in Naples – the oldest in the world – may assert that they can keep a good eye on the giant’s sleep. But in the film you can see the terror in their faces when, while being filmed during routine duties, the mountain begins to rumble …

Love and death, past and present, myth and reality live cheek by jowl in Naples, making the film an exciting search for the magic of the sirens on the Gulf of Naples. And at the end, we (almost) sight a siren …

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