Notebook

The sexual attitudes of Neapolitans never fail to produce new surprises. Today Prince A., now well known to us all and an enthusiastic informant from our first days at the Rivieria di Chiaia, visited us with his sister, whom we met for the first time. The Prince is the absentee landlord of a vast estate in the South, and owns a nearby palace stacked with family portraits and Chinese antiques. He is the head of what is regarded as the second or third noble family of Southern Italy. The Prince is about thirty years of age, and his sister could be twenty-four. Both are remarkably alike in appearance, thin, with extremely pale skin and cold, patrician expressions bordering on severity. The purpose of the visit was to enquire if we could arrange for the sister to enter an army brothel. We explained that there was no such institution in the British Army. “A pity,” the Prince said. Both of them speak excellent English, learned from an English governess.

“Ah well, Luisa,” I suppose if it can’t be, it can’t be.” They thanked us with polite calm, and departed.

Norman Lewis: “Naples ’44: An Intelligence Officer in the Italian Labyrinth”.

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About clivedav184z

Journalist and reviewer for The Times & Sunday Times.
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