Elena Ferrante's novels: around Naples on the steps of Lenù and Lila

The novels of Elena Ferrante have had a great success in many countries of the world. Currently, it is the most translated saga abroad! The story is that of two Neapolitan girls Elena (Lenù) and Raffaella (Lila) born after the war. The novels tell almost 60 years of history and they are a strong portrait of Italian Twentieth century society.  

If you are waiting for the TV series produced by RAI and HBO, you have to read the article and discover with us the places of Lenù and Lila.

Gianturco: the area where Lenù and Lila were born

The Rione Luzzatti di Gianturco is the area where the protagonists were born and where most of the plot takes place. The area is situaded in the eastern suburbs and in the 50s (when the story begins) it was close to an area called "the ponds".  

Here, it is still visible the parish of the Holy Family, mentioned several times in the novels, the elementary school of the two girls, the local library and the tunnel that leads from Gianturco "to the sea".  

The Rione Luzzatti is just a few steps from the Gianturco Metro Line 2 stop. In the area there is also one of Naples's biggest neighborhood markets, the Poggioreale market, known for selling low-cost brand shoes.

The places of Naples of the novels of Elena Ferrante

Now we move to the center of Naples. First stop is Corso Umberto I, called by the Neapolitans "rettifilo". Here Lila buys her wedding dress.  

We move towards Port'Alba, where Lenù used to go and buy books. Lenù loved to walk among the book stalls and spend her free time in this way. Even today there are numerous stalls and bookshops and you can breathe intellectual air!  

Another fundamental place is Piazza dei Martiri, where Lila and Stefano had the shoe store. Piazza dei Martiri is one of the most beautiful squares in Naples and is located in the area of Chiaia.  

Another stop is Via Caracciolo, the seafront. Here you can admire the greatness of Vesuvius, as little Lenù did with his father.  

We then move on to Via Orazio (Posillipo) where Lila and Stefano celebrated their wedding. Once you have admired the gulf from above, you have to go to the Sea Garden, where Lenù accompanied the daughter of the stationer to the sea.

Last stop, Ischia. Island very dear to Lenù, where she goes on vacation alone for the first time, a guest of Nella.

"In front of us, across the road a hole all the way along the ponds that ran along the ponds. To the right lay the thread of a countryside without trees under a huge sky. On the left there was a tunnel with three mouths, but if you climbed up to the railroad tracks, on nice days you could see, beyond certain low houses and walls of tufa and dense vegetation, a celestial mountain with a lower peak and a higher one, which is called Vesuvio".
Elena Ferrante