The city of imminent doom: why the coolest, edgiest TV shows and books are set in Naples

Sep 27, 2023 1034

BY: Tobias Jones

It’s sometimes the fate of a single city to epitomise an era: Berlin in the 1920s, perhaps, or London in the 1960s. So which one would represent our own period of ecological anxiety, true crime and fake news? I’d wager it’s one you might not suspect: Naples.

In terms of cultural clout, the place is booming. The city’s famous bay, flanked by Mount Vesuvius, is on every TV schedule and streaming platform: from Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God, an autobiographical movie about parental loss, to Ultras, which documents the warring factions of a Neapolitan hooligan crew, via Mare Fuori (RAI’s cult TV series about a youth detention centre in the city) and Mixed by Erry, this year’s Netflix hit about music bootleggers in the 1980s.

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