EXPLORE AND EXPERIENCE NAPLES WITH A PASSIONATE LOVER OF NAPLES
Looking for Lila provides opportunities for the curious traveler to experience the raw and viceral atmosphere of Naples by quickly getting under the skin in under a day. Each tour has been curated with passion and care to bring to life the many aspects of Neapolitan culture past and present in an honest, enthusiastic and unique way.
DISCOVER AND UNDERSTAND THE MAGICAL HISTORIC CENTRE AND ITS HIDDEN GEMS WITH A PASSIONATE LOVER OF THE CITY
Every walk with Looking For Lila will take you on unconventional journey around the Naples old town revealing the city's hidden beauty and crumbling splendor. Follow Sophia's footsteps as she takes you around her beloved city as she regails Neapolitan myths, mafia stories, art history, politics and anecdotes of daily life to give you an understanding of what it means to be Neapolitan. Expect to weave through alleyways laced with laundry, to pop into secret courtyards and through inconspicous doorways and delve into artisan workshops.
Each tour includes tasters along the route of the best street food, pastries, coffees, fresh Vesuvian wine and other impromptu treats in the city. At the end of each walk Sophia invites you to stop for a late lunch where she will talk through the menu and explain the typical dishes, go over the morning, and provide answers to any lingering questions on Neapolitan life as well as give her personal tips and suggestions for the rest of your stay based on your interests.
Private tour €280 (2 pax) - €300 (3 x pax) - €320 (4 x pax)
Tasters, snacks, coffee's included en-route.
Lunch is optional and not included in the price.
List of Looking for Lila restaurant tips and hotel suggestions included upon booking.
On call throughout your stay for restaurant bookings and advice
ELENA FERRANTE'S NAPLES IN FOCUS
After a walk through the old town with Sophia with a Ferrante focus, she will hail a cab and whizz Ferrante lovers down the infamous stradone for lunch in the neighbourhood so vividly depicted in the Neapolitan novels. In the neighbourhood we meet up with Laura, a self proffessed bookworm who grew up in the neighbourhood and feels a strong connection with Lila and Elena's lives. Between extracts read out aloud from My Brilliant Friend, Laura takes her charges on a wander of the neighbourhood through the parish gardens, past the church and into the neighbourhood courtyards and via the local bakery. Like the Ferrante protagonists, laura is passionate about literature so while her mamma cooks up a three course lunch Laura leads a discussion on the books and regails her personal stories of life growing up in the neighbourhood.
Private Tour: €330 (2-5 people, after 2 people its €30 per head extra for lunch)
Price per person: €130 in very small group tour (minimum 3 people max 6 people)
Three-course lunch of typical Neapolitan delicacies, wine, digestive, transport, coffee and pastries all included.
List of Looking for Lila restaurant tips and hotel suggestions included upon booking.
THE LOCATION FIXER, PRODUCTION & CONCIERGE SERVICES
Looking For Lila provides 'location fixing' for documentaries, journalists and film makers. As well as production for photography shoots and events which can include location scouting and casting. (CNN/BBC/KEO PRODUCTIONS/MINI TITLE)
Looking for Lila will also help facilitate your whole stay with one-off recommendations or entire weekend itineraries to suit any age group or budget.
Looking for Lila offers:
- Liscensed guides for Pompeii and Herculaneum
- Production services: Location scout and casting
- Recommendations for the best hotels, guest houses and apartments, eateries, and drinking holes
- Reliable and fairly-priced taxis and transfers (Paestum, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Pozzuoli, Amalfi etc..).
- Anything you want!
EXPERIENCE NAPLES: STAY WITH US
Experience Naples with us. Stay in our unique rooftop studio flat which look out towards the Sorrento Penisula on one side and up to Castel Sant'Elmo on the other. We have furnished the studio uniquely and simply with a simple kitchenette, bathroom, handmade coverings, Italian linen and Amalfi ceramics.
Articles on Naples by Sophia Seymour
Published by Culinary Backstreets on March 16, 2017
The Idler Magazine in the May Issue 2017
While in many parts of Europe consumer capitalism has brought an invasion of chain supermarkets and restaurants, contributing to the extinction of independent family-run grocers, Naples and the small distinct districts of its old town have magically managed to resist.
The neighborhood markets retain a charm that is reminiscent of a by-gone era when Europe’s streets would smoke and hiss and the ground would be covered in cabbage crusts and fish entrails. The city’s cobbled and narrow streets revolve around civic life, which still brims with stalls selling fresh mollusks, sacks of nuts, knots of garlic and onions, rounds of cheese and hanging hams. Ragged trouser traders, howling hawkers and crooks cram into the alleyways where fruit and vegetable stands nestle alongside opportunistic vendors roasting a few foraged ch estnuts or artichoke hearts from smoking iron vessels...
Published by Culinary Backstreets on March 28, 2017
It’s Sunday morning at La Pignasecca market in Naples and time is in flux. Picture a Boccioni painting: movement is blurred, there is an inter-penetration of objects, speeding vehicles and sound – a frenetic moment in the Futurists’ imagination. The city rises as engines splutter, traders hustle, klaxons yelp.
Santa Maria di Montesanto spews punters out into the marketplace after mass; men peel off, heading home to check on the simmering ragù; groomed teenagers peacock on mopeds as groups of women push in line to pick up their last-minute order of fresh pasta, charcuterie and squid. The church bells chime: it’s lunchtime. Anticipation is in the air....
Published by Culinary Backstreets on August 9, 2017
La pizzaiola, played by Sophia Loren, peddles pizza from a counter on the doorstep of her street level apartment. She kneads dough while crying out for custom in a thick dialect and as clouds of flour fall to the cobbled Neapolitan street. The black and white shots fill the screen with classic southern beauty: Loren’s dark hair and features, soft and full like the rounds of dough in her hands; the deteriorating baroque palazzo; and a narrow street punctuated by stalls decorated with produce and wares.
This scene comes from one of the great cinematic homages to a city: Di Sica’s L’Oro di Napoli (“The Gold of Naples”), a 1954 a film that grapples with the bittersweet tastes of comedy, tragedy, hustling and the art of making do. There’s nowhere better to see Naples in all its “golden” glory than in the very neighborhood in which the film’s star, the inimitable Totó, grew up and where parts of the film are set: La Sanità...
Published by The Guardian on 7th November 2017
Elena Ferrante Photo Essay
Lenù and Lila, the fictional protagonists of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, forge their friendship in a deprived area of Naples, just east of the cacophonous central station. The books follow the girls’ fraught relationship as they navigate the distinct social and economic divides of the city, both railing against and succumbing to the expectations of women as they struggle to be defined by something other than the violence and poverty of their post-war upbringing.
Ferrante maps out in vivid detail every corner of the unnamed “neighbourhood” where they grow up, yet when the characters move into the rest of the city she is meticulous in naming each street and square, allowing Naples to take centre stage as the stories develop. In this way, the success of the novels has seen an unprecedented number of readers from across the world make a pilgrimage to Naples, in search of the raw and gritty side of the city that has traditionally kept visitors away.......
Published by The Guardian on 2nd January 2018
Right to dunk: the children of African immigrants who fought the law to play basketball
“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride,” says Patrick Edomwaddoba, barely audible over the racket of the Tam Tam basketball team warming up for their fourth match of the season. The Pentecostal pastor watches proudly as the players take part in an exercise drill, neatly passing the ball between themselves in a tight lattice before raining a quick succession of shots towards the hoop. Originally from Nigeria, Edomwaddoba is on the sidelines to watch his two sons, Victor and King, compete against the league leaders in an eagerly anticipated encounter. But the outcome of the game seems of little importance when taking into account the struggles the team has been through in order to participate at all. If anyone understands the notion of having to work hard to be a part of something, it would be Edomwaddoba, who, together with the other parents of the team and the rest of the forgotten community of immigrants who live in the Caserta area of Campania, just north of Naples.
When a former Italian basketball champion, Massimo Antonelli, decided to start the team in the area, he had no idea that within a year they would inadvertently find themselves at the centre of a fierce political debate on what it means to be Italian. Until a month ago, the teenage players of the Tam Tam squad had been denied the right to compete against other teams in the regional league because their parents were immigrants and, as such, considered foreigners in the eyes of the law. In their endeavour to contest the decision to bar them a media storm erupted, disrupting practice and shining a light on Italian attitudes towards immigration and integration.
Published by The Guardian on 12th January 2018
Naples’ Fontanelle cemetery: skulls and silence beneath the busy city streets
Given the choice, most people would not enter a shadowy underground chamber stacked high with human skeletons. However, with an understanding of the Neapolitan fetish for skull iconography, a visit to Cimitero delle Fontanelle provides an unlikely calming and reflective antidote to Naples’ frenzied street life. The vast cemetery, dug deep into soft tufo stone, intersects with Neapolitan traditions of religion, folklore and pagan ritual – and is indicative of the many strata of the city’s history. The former quarry became a makeshift burial site in 1656 when a plague reduced the population from 400,000 to 150,000. According to tradition, being buried away from the consecrated soil of their parish church rendered the souls unable to reach heaven. Eternally dislocated from the afterlife, the chamber appears to embody the earthly manifestation of purgatory.
Published in The New Internationalist on January 8th 2018
Kids at work: a migrant in Italy
‘People are talking about me in Gambia,’ Musa Fata says, as he takes money on the door of a basement bar in Naples, where he is putting on his first club night.
It’s true: boys back home are eager to know what life is like in Europe. They tune in to the 24-year-old Afrobeat DJ and promoter’s regular Facebook Live soliloquies on music and fashion, where he shows off his box-fresh sneakers, pristinely ironed clothes and sharply cornrowed hair.
Musa arrived in Italy as part of the great wave of migration that Europe has experienced in recent years. He crossed the perilous desert into Libya where he washed car windows in Tripoli to raise 500 dinar ($360) to pay a smuggler to cross the Mediterranean. In August 2015, as his dinghy drifted off in the wrong direction, he was intercepted by the Italian coast guard and made landfall in Europe.