Posted by Barney on November 23, 2003
In Reply to: See Rome and die Posted by on November 23, 2003
: : : A recent radio programme referred to the phrase "See Naples and die" and gave Goethe as the source. But what is the origin of See Rome and die?
: : Somebody misquoting Goethe?
: : There's no such quote as "See Rome and die," unless somebody just blew it. I don't know what Geothe said exactly, but the Italians say "Vedi Napoli e muore." What it means, of course, is that when you've seen Naples you've seen everything, and it's safe to die. Or something pretty close to that.
I lived in Naples for a time and saw little that persuaded me not to look for a better place. I did, however, catch flu in Naples and nearly died - leastwise that's how I felt at the time. I also found it a place of loud car horns, petty thieves, overcrowded streets, and loads of rain in December. I preferred Florence.