First you have to plunge into a labyrinth of scrawny streets, encrusted with ancient buildings, from whose windows hang sheets, shirts and panties without any blush. Vespas go up the hill at combi speed, dodging tourists distracted by the swings of Google Maps. Built in the 16th century to house Spanish soldiers, the neighborhood was home to Roberto Saviano, the journalist who has been on the run for 16 years from the mafia he exposed in “Gomorrah.” There, Totó is venerated, the comedian who ignited Neapolitan pride and made Pasolini and Umberto Eco laugh. On its walls there are graffiti next to virgins, as well as multicolored lights and flags. In that wonderful and indecipherable chaos, is the sanctuary of D10S.
Tourist guides recommend walking carefully. They warn that thieves abound on the lookout for clueless people with exposed wallets and exposed jewelry. There are suspicious looks, but what I see that sunny day when I hurry up the hill with 90 kilos on top, is that uncomfortable feeling of feeling invaded by strangers whose only aspiration is a selfie to instagram.
Travel blogs recommend stopping by Bar Nilo first, a tiny café located fifteen minutes’ walk away, on San Biagio dei Librai street, where its owners have built a small altar that keeps a priceless treasure: a lock of the hair of the ‘ 10’.
The head of the ‘Ten’
A few cokes and an empanada, for me and my wife, allow me to dribble away the obligation to consume a coffee in order to take pictures. The owner, Bruno Alcidi, once commented that he got the lock when he coincided on a plane with the Argentine. As he got off, he saw that he had left hair on the back of his seat and grabbed it immediately. In the glass altarpiece that presides over his premises, a sheet of paper with faded letters warns visitors of the value of the relic: it is Maradona’s miraculous hair.
The sanctuary of the Argentine idol is located in a lot with green carpet on Via Emanuele de Dio, intersection with Concordia. There the images of Diego they overwhelm Smiling with the World Cup in his hands, distracted with Barza’s, triumphant with Boca’s, dislocated after his goal against the Greeks. Or towering over Shilton to put the hand of God. He is also seen wearing a cigar and a Castro hat. There are banners, t-shirts and hats. Countless light blue Naples scarves and the gigantic figure of him, upholstering the wall of a building, running with the light blue one for which he is idolized. There are portraits of Che, gigantographs and small tables that can only be used by those who consume in a neighboring bar, conveniently baptized: “La Bodega de Dios”. Tourists arrive in groups. There are round mouths of disbelief that turn into smiles. Click, click. Time for selfies and videos. Shopping for “gamarra style” t-shirts.
Perhaps contradictory is one of the most used words to define Maradona, a genius with the ball who blurred his figure with his many ravings. But idolatry is indestructible. “Argentina-England in 1986 was the sanctification of Maradona,” Andrés Burgo, author of “El Partido,” said recently. For the Neapolitans, that moment occurred two years earlier, when the ‘Pelusa’ arrived from Barcelona and revived a city that was drowning in poverty and the violence of the Camorra. She became his pride. Nonetheless.