What better way to kick off the holidays than with a trip to the oldest continuously run Opera house in the world? So far my experience of Naples has been pretty limited, as I’ve been staying with my family at the American Naval Base outside of the city. One of the two tours we’ve taken thus far brought us to downtown Naples, for a modern rendition of Carmen. Feelings about the opera are usually divided between absolute love and hate. Feelings about Naples generally run in the same tenor. Southern Italy has a rich and interesting history. Neapolitans are fiercely proud of their city, one of the oldest in the world. One can see vestiges of its Ancient Greek, Etruscan, and Roman lineage in both the people and the architecture. While I haven’t spent much time exploring the city of Naples itself, the downtown area was stunningly beautiful. The Castel Nuovo sits hauntingly on the waterfront, reminding passersby that Naples was once an illustrious kingdom unto itself. Having been to an opera when I studied abroad in Florence, I already knew that I fell squarely into the category of Opera lovers. The question was whether my mother, sister, and father were all going to feel the same. It’s safe to say, we all had the time of our lives. I turned to see my dad humming along to the famous tunes, and gleefully taking pictures of the cast as they took their bows. The sets were minimal, but striking, with latticed arches and intricate screens to represent the architecture of Spain. In each of the four acts the costumes changed from vibrant ochre and marigold, to creamy white, then black, and finally glorious red. I cannot wait to explore the Opera house and downtown Naples in the light of day, and hopefully catch another Opera during my travels through Europe.