Shopping for Ties in Naples

Dear Friends and Followers,

this post would be better located in the lifestyle section, but I am placing it under travels because shopping is a fun sociological experiment and it benefits the economy of the place and the style of the purchaser.  I thought about giving my male readers an equal opportunity at beautification so we will be talking about one thing that Neapolitan men love more than Maradona: Ties.With all due respect for the rest of Italy and even for Italian/French brands which I do love for other reasons, if you want a tie that deserves its name, you need to go to Naples.  Now I am spoiled because 1) I am from the area so they are quite accessible to me and I have an eye for it and 2) I was blessed with a well dresses father and some exceptionally stylish cousins (yes, in case you are wondering they are the rest of the curly-haired pests trio). I suppose the pirate must have been quite intimidated so on the first date he was actually wearing something Italian :-)

But let’s cut to the chase. Forget the garbage crisis and the bad reputation. Naples is a wonderful city and whether you are looking for the best pizza of you life, a sfogliatella OR ties, you are going to score.  First stop should always be the king of ties, Enrico Marinella in Piazza Vittoria on Riviera di Chiaia. There is little to no distribution in the US, so listen to cousin Serena, get yourself a Marinella tie. It is like buying an Hermes Birkin, just MUCH cheaper. The store is the same as in 1914 but the selection of ties is endless and if you ask for advice they point you always in the right direction, calibrating your style, favorite colors and even height. They have the habit of sending a tie, as a present, to every newly elected president so, regardless of your political belief,s you will have something in common with Tony Blair, Sarkozy, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Zapatero (sadly you will also have something in common with Berlusconi, but I forgive you for the sake of fashion)

Second stop is a well kept secret that I had to extract from the member of a famous blue blood Neapolitan family.  There is a small but well stocked tie store in one of the historical buildings of Via della Cavallerizza (again in the Chiaia neighbourhood), called Cappelli.  Usually when I do not find something that strikes my eye at the first stop, I go to this store and talk to its owner Mr. Patrizio who is very knowledgeable and friendly expert. Cappelli does not distribute in the US so if you are looking for something unique this a good place to start.  The benefit of Cappelli is that it has a very charming but amicable environment so you do not feel uncomfortable if you a beginner. They give you great advice and are VERY patient (trust me I know).

After these two stops, with plenty of navy and green bags, you will need a pizza… but this is a topic for the next CityProfile!

Ciao :-)