To anyone who has seen the inside of an Italian slum, the Neapolitan Commune of Boscotrecase, on the southern slope of Mt. Vesuvius, breathes organized crime. For years, public services have been, in effect, privatized to the Camorra, who have dumped millions of tons of industrial waste anywhere they could hide it. The road up the slope of the volcano is lined with gaudy, half-built projects that never would have been approved by an un-bribed inspector. In the 2014 garbage strike, pedestrians had to navigate mountains of garbage bags on the principal streets through downtown.

So it wasn’t a complete shock to hear that the communal government has now shut down because over half of its 60 employees have been arrested. The dastardly crime: absenteeism. The evidence: an employee filmed by the Carabinieri standing at a time clock with a cardboard box over his head, clocking in his fellow delinquents.

Not that we entirely blame them. First, there’s that view. Second, the neighborhood serves up some of the best seafood and pasta on the planet. Third, the fabulous local wine boasts a pedigree that reaches back to the Romans. Its name: Lacryma Christi, the Tears of Christ. No one in these parts seems to spend much time crying, and no wonder. How could anyone be expected to go back to work after a meal like that?


Categories: Europe, Italy