The next stop on our whirlwind tour through Italy was Napoli, Naples to those of us who speak English. Everything we’d heard about Naples seemed to indicate that we’d be robbed, mugged, sent to sleep with the fishes and otherwise shown a terrible time. Now, to be honest, after our four days in Rome we were kinda tightly wound.
We arrived in Naples after almost missing our train at Roma Tiburtina station, dropped off our bags at the hotel, and needed to wait a while to check in. We had lunch at a street-side cafe, amazed at how cheap and good our sandwiches were, bought our train tickets to Bari for a few days later, and finally returned to the hotel to unpack, take a shower, and relax a bit. Then we headed out to take in the town.
Our stops included the waterfront, a castle on the waterfront, waterfront areas with stunning views of Mt. Vesuvius, and a spot on the waterfront where we watched scuba steve plucking sea urchins off the jetties for dinner. I bet he ate well that night. And no, “waterfront” is not one of the key words being used in the SEO of this post. That would be douchey, and cheating…but kinda hilarious.
After our evening on the waterfront we decided to cash in early and head off in the morning either to Capri or Pompeii, depending on the weather, what time we would wake up, and blah blah blah. This is where things went awry. The map provided by the tourist bureau and the different map provided by the hotel were missing important bits of information…like street names, whole sections of the city, you know, inconsequential stuff like that. We got lost. We wandered through the old city, the Gothic quarter, I’m pretty sure the Jewish quarter, the pornographic quarter. Finally we found a street that WAS listed on the map and followed it back towards our hotel, picked up a pizza, and decided that the rest of our time in Campania would be spent outside of Naples. Why? Was it a fear of crime? Giant piles of garbage? NO. Actually it was the hellish whirlwind of Vespas and Fiats that seem to aim for you. I’d love to go back to Naples one day. When I’m rich, and I can afford to stay somewhere really nice. It’s a beautiful city, and I think arriving there fresh and not-so-tightly-wound would really let you get to know it without being overwhelmed. That said, we wouldn’t trade the way we saw it for the world!