Inside Naples’ gritty underworld where tattooed bruisers and crime ridden streets look exactly like Mafia drama

STUNNING photographs capture the gritty underworld of Naples – Italy’s crime-ridden metropolis which is still dominated by the mafia.

Photographer Sam Gregg said he wanted to delve past the city’s rough image and show the human side to life in the town which regularly tops the European crime index.

Sam Gregg

Photographer Sam Gregg wanted to show the human side to Naples[/caption]

Sam Gregg

An elderly nun walks by a brutal shop in the southern Italian city[/caption]

Sam Gregg

A local gentlemen displays tattoos including Adolf Hitler and Osama Bin Laden[/caption]

Sam Gregg

An elderly man believes that living in the city may be bad for your health[/caption]

Famed for its beautiful coastal landscapes surrounded by the glamour of the Amalfi Coast, Naples is a sprawling urban settlement steeped in a rich Italian history.

However, the mafia-style syndicate the Camorra, depicted in Sky-produced drama Gomorrah, still holds power in the city.

In January, 2017, a ten-year-old girl was shot in the foot during a mafia raid on a group of migrants.

Graffiti and tattoos featured heavily in the photographer’s work along with topless Nepalese sun-worshippers.

Most of the picture subjects are inhabitants of the Spanish Quarter and Rione Sanità, two of the town’s most vibrant areas.

Sam said: “It is a documentation of the spirit and vibrancy of the people who live in these areas, who remain steadfast even in the face of adversity.”

Sam Gregg

A religious resident has tied an electrical cord around the neck of Jesus Christ[/caption]

Sam Gregg

Two women pose for a picture as the sun falls down on the city[/caption]

Sam Gregg

Men on a scooter carry a large cross while travelling through Naples[/caption]

The project was inspired by writer Johann Wolfgang Von Goe’s phrase “See Naples and die” which referred to the beauty of the city.

However, the wording has taken on a new meaning because of its high rates of crime.

The photographer continued: “Although Naples regularly tops the European crime index rankings, the situation in the city’s central areas is steadily improving.

“Unfortunately the media consistently plays a role in glamorising and propagating Naples’ negative image.

“I am not discrediting this issue as it is a real and pressing matter, I am merely highlighting through my photography that the people affected are tangible human beings before they’re political units.”

Sam Gregg

Religious iconography is an ever present in the deeply Catholic city[/caption]

Sam Gregg

Tattoos featured heavily in Sam’s work[/caption]

Sam Gregg

Naples regularly tops the European crime index[/caption]

Sam Gregg

Sunbathers enjoy a day out in Naples[/caption]

Sam Gregg

Life in the city is depicted in the Sky-produced drama Gomorrah[/caption]


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