Ginevra and I flew to Naples via Frankfurt in mid November. Naples was almost warm when we arrived at 11 a.m. We were met by two burly men in the arrivals area. And wouldn’t you know one of the men was that heavily tattooed man with a scar on his face and Iroquois haircut that had been watching us in New York. We were whisked way in a huge black Mercedes. There was a car behind ours and another one in front. Our driver had a pistol lying on this front seat. What did I get myself into! Not much to see on the drive but Mount Vesuvius in the distance was impressive if not a bit chilling.
We pulled into the family compound and six heavily armed men stood in front with their hands folded This is the business model for a cocaine king? Don Lupara gave an enormous hug to Ginerva and to me a handshake accompanied by glowering eyes. Like it was I am gonna kill you for violating my daughter you swine was the stare I endured.
Her mother Malvagia was far more welcoming and effusive. She gave a look to her daughter as if she was expecting some momentous news.
Man what a mansion but the furniture was exceedingly gaudy. Leopard patterned furniture and television sets hanging on the wall encased in gaudy golden frames. Camorra decorative brilliance?
After a nap, in separate rooms we headed down to a “small family dinner” of 30 or so relatives. I can’t recall who all these people were but Ginevra seemed to know them all calling them “aunt” and “uncle”. They were a jovial bunch and many wanted to know me better. What a feast although served in very ornate vessels. The wine glasses had bands of gold around them. The food was delicious entirely seafood. A huge welcome home cake.
After cake and coffee Ginevra and I let it fly. We announced our engagement. There was stunned silence and the relatives all focused on Daddy who suddenly flashed a huge smile and ordered champagne be opened for a celebratory toast. I had the feeling of relief sweep over me. I would rather be saluted by a Don Lupara toast than be toast. The relatives thundered cheers and applause. Could Don Lupara (aka The Fat Fox) be a decent fellow?