Famous as the setting for the hit Italian film and TV series Gomorrah, the towers of Le Vele became synonymous with poverty and organised crime until residents took charge
When I think of my life in Le Vele, my skin crawls with rage, says Omero Benfenati.
He looks out from a dark, narrow passageway framed by suspended steel stairways that block the natural light and lead up to abandoned apartments. Most of the windows are bricked up, and liquid leaks from split pipes on to the sewage and refuse-strewn asphalt several storeys below.
We used to play down there, says Benfenati, now a housing activist. The uncollected rubbish bags make ideal goalposts for five-a-side football.
Just a few years ago, Le Vele a sprawling housing estate in Scampia, on the outskirts of Naples was both the fictional location for the hit crime film and Italian TV series Gomorrah and the real-life location for the biggest international drugs and arms supermarket in western Europe.
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