We arrived in Napoli at 6.00 in the morning. Cars, trucks and people disembarked the ferry. As we walked to where there were many taxis I asked the Italian woman just behand me about the cost of the taxi into the city. She was more than friendly as she said the taxi drivers rip off everyone, but said she was going to the central railway station and we could share the taxi and fare with her. Major problem solved. She negotiated the fare and even than she was not happy with the taxi driver. So what hope would we have had with my minimal tourist Italian?
Our hotel Europa Grand was just around the corner from the station, easily found. We dropped our bags at the hotel and with a map went to explore Naples. We wandered in and out the streets. Of we visited all the major churches and cathedral. We discovered subterranean Naples, Roman archeological remains of a town on which the modern city has been built. In the museum shop we were given a brochure for a recital by a well-known singer of traditional Neapolitan folk songs.
|Seven Works of Mercy- Caravaggio|
We also visited Pio Monte della Misericordia which is famous for its art works especially the wonderful Caravaggio painting of The Seven Works of Mercy.
Unfortunately on our first day walking back to the hotel Alan was unlucky again and had his camera stolen from his backpack, the problem being it was sitting on top of clothing so easily accessible.
On our second day we visited Pompeii, the tourist infrastructure around and in it has certainly changed since my last visit in 1989. It was a great day. I had forgotten how large the site was we walked around for hours. Some areas were fenced off for restorations. One can’t go to Naples without visiting Pompeii!
On our way back on the train was very crowded and at one of our stops it was announced we all had to get off the train which remained at the platform and go across to the next platform. I and everyone else thought there must have been mechanical problems. We all dutifully arrived at said platform and waited for about 5 minutes then another announcement and we all trouped back to the original train on our way back to Naples. Go figure!!
That night we went to the recital of Neapolitan folk songs which was very enjoyable.
Day three we visited the 13th century Castel Nuovo which overlooks the ferry port as well as the Museo Civico within to castle. From there we headed to the palazzo Reale but unfortunately it was closed and we could only view the magnificent Opera House from the outside. After lunch we went to take the funicular but it wasn’t our day as that was not running, closed. Notices gave directions to the metro which we took, but still didn’t make it to the castle on the hill. We walked around the district Leopoldo, but it wasn’t the most productive sightseeing day, although it was interesting to see areas outside the usual tourist places.
Our last day in Naples we woke up to rain, so decided to go to the Archeological Museum. A very long line at the entrance, so quite a wait. We spent hours in there all so very fascinating.
|Magnificent Roman mosaic|
Had lunch just opposite then went to St. Elmo’s Castle which provided a great view of the city. Quite a steep climb from the station.
Naples is a noisy, chaotic and some say dirty city, but I love its vibrancy, the noisiness reminds me of Asian cities. Even the new metro trains are noisy, just prior to the doors automatically opening a sound like a starting gun is heard. In spite of the theft of my husband’s camera (which can happen anywhere), we never really felt unsafe, no more than anywhere else I’ve travelled.
|Naples from St Elmo's castle|
The next day off to a quieter, relaxing two days in Amalfi.