Tango Cherries – Wonder Tango 2014, Naples, Italy

I’ve been looking forward very much to go to Naples, to give tango in italy another chance in my tango-life. so far I have been at zucca tango festival in Milano in 2012, and I did not like it at all (when I remember the 30-45 minutes speeches at every night milonga, for sure only in Italian language, because it’s an “international” tango festival … I feel bored to death again), and to rosso e ovest marathon in Verona in 2013, which was so icy cold in all rooms – when we were enough dancers at the dance floor to heat the room up to an almost cosy level, they switched on powerful aircons blowing directly on our naked shoulders while dancing – that I can feel the bad cold I got after it in my nose again. As well the food situation and the other infrastructure (e.g. the bar etc.) were so bad that I decided to never come back.

Naples surprised us with a sunny and warm weather when we arrived. The weather forecast said it would be could and rainy, but it was warm and sunny. And the first coffee at the airport cafe was so delicious!

The way from the airport into town was somehow typically “south”: the airport shuttle did not come – people were queuing in a long line for at least an hour, and the bus, which is supposed to go every 20 minutes, just did not appear. We met some other tango friends and decided to go by taxi. There should be a fixed taxi fare – 19 euro or something like this, independent of how many passengers are in the car (that is what the municipal website tells …) – but every driver we asked told us 40, 42, 45 euros, because we are 5 people. Ee ended up with 35, and it was a funny ride.

After some nice pasta for a late lunch we went to the afternoon milonga. The place was big, stone floor, and cold. The building was nice and impressing, an old church, but with a difficult seating situation, very hard to mirada somebody. The dancing level was quite low, which requires more attention from followers, whom to dance. Usually in a marathon I would more or less accept any cabeceo because the chances to get good tandas are very high with whomever u dance. Here it was about choosing, watching the dancers to make sure it would be pleasurable. For me the most impressing tanda was one with a beginner who danced only 3 months, but was very brave, enthusiastic and had a beautiful feeling for the music.

What I did not like beside the cold air flow – there were so many more women than men …

For dinner we had some nice food just around the corner of our B&B, and some tasty wine, and knowing that the evening milonga would be in the same place like the afternoon, we felt so tired, that we straight went to bed.

Yesterday in the morning we did a nice walk along the sea-side of the city, where the street is closed for traffic until noon, so you can walk very relaxed, and we ended up with some of the best coffees I’ve ever had in a very traditional italian cafe.

The afternoon milonga was crowded, with a nice wooden floor, but somehow again many more women than men, and it seems that the italian dancers mostly dance with other italian dancers. There were quite a lot of tango travelers and a lot of my friends among them I really enjoyed dancing with, but I had only one tanda with a leader I did not know before. So the 2 groups (italians and tourists) did not mix very well, what I regret very much.

In the evening I started to feel sick, and I did not go out at night, I felt I need to lay down on my bed and stay there. I did not even want to check FB for news, my friends, so you know how low I felt.

My flatmate told me that it was crowded in the milonga, but as well the italians sat in one area, and the tourists in another, and it was cold again and too many followers for too few leaders. Now she is fighting a cold, and I am quite happy that I stayed in my bed.

Our B&B is very noisy, you hear every step of the neighbors, every word which is spoken in the kitchen, you have all the restaurants downstairs, the vespas running by, the aircons vibrating. And since I don’t feel well I decided to leave Naples today. I booked myself a flight for the evening, so we will go out and have some nice latte macchiato again, see the sun and I say good-bye to Naples.

It seems that Italy and me in tango will not be closed friends soon. There are so many cosy feel-good-marathons around europe that I will focus on these ones. But the coffee and the food is worth all the travels down here.

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