The arrival to Naploli from Roma was eye opening. There is a big difference between these two cities.
Sam & I left the termini, and waited in the fast moving line for a taxi to our airbnb. The line of taxis was at least 60 cars deep. Insane. A small Italian man came up to us & grabbed our luggage, and somehow managed to shove all 3 pieces into the back of his tiny trunk. After getting into the taxi, he asked us where we were heading-in which I handed him the address. He had no idea how to get there! He stepped out of the taxi, and began speaking very fast Italian with two guys he called over to help him with directions. He came back in, and we zoomed off. During the ride, he tried to sale us on booking him for a taxi ride tomorrow to Sorrento- but we are taking a reccomendation from a woman in Rome…to take the Circumvesuvian train for €5/each. After researching it, it seems as though it has high crime rate for pick pocketing, and the train isn’t very comfortable or up-to-date. It also makes lots of stops, which takes longer to arrive in Sorrento. We’ll see what we decide tomorrow at Napoli Centrale.
Today’s experience in Napoli was a bit overwhemling for Sam. The good thing about our relationship is …when one of us is having a tough time, the other one is strong like a rock. That was today. It was a bit of a shock coming from Rome to Naples. Sam didn’t even want to stay after the taxi ride – which was insane. I’ve never seen driving like I have seen here. Then, when the driver finally found our place, it looked like something out of the movie Hostel on the outside. Anxiety was running a bit high for Sam at this point. Upon walking in, a man from behind a plexiglass desk handed us 10 cents-and proceeded to say that was what we needed to use to take the elevator up to the 6th floor. We looked at each other, then looked at the elevator door. When it opened, we thought it was a joke. Again, our stomachs sank. The elevator was so tiny, that we had to stand side by side & stack our bags on top of one another. If you have the slightest bit of claustrophobia, this was not the place for you. Needless to say, it was the longest elevator ride, ever.
We finally reached the floor, and were still sketchy about the place- but upon meeting our hosts, Farbrizio + his bf , they made us feel a bit more relaxed. Then, he opened our door to the flat, called “Ischia” (one of three islands in Gulf), and there was a huge sense of relief that set in. The place was adorable. Beautiful balcony with a view of the port, and everything we needed for a day/night spent in Naples.
I decided to map out where we were going to eat, and what we could possibly explore. Sam took a nap, while I plotted all of this out. We head out, unlocking all 3 doors that we had to get through to get out, and paying the 10 centi to take the elevator down! When we got outside, it was raining- so we had to do that all over again, to grab umbrellas!
On the start to our walk, we now believed that Napoli is seriously the dirty city. There was dog pooh on nearly every sidewalk, graffiti on every building, and trash everywhere. The rain just intensified this smell. The gps got us lost, and we ended up in back alley dead ends of extremely old apartments- that had laundry hanging on strings, and shuttered windows that swung all the way open. At this point, we were a bit nervous- so no photos. But looking back, I should have taken some!
We finally got back to a main road, and Sam was just not feelin’ it. She wanted to leave. The sidewalks were narrow and overcrowded with tons of people, which always seemed to be walking the opposite direction of us. And remember, it’s raining, so we’re getting hit with umbrellas! I calmed Sam down, and convinced her to check out a famous pizza place, “Decumani”, and hopefully see a bit of the infamous historic district. We made it there, passing through some pretty rough looking alleys that I would never walk alone at night.
Interesting how other people live with so much less than we do.
The pizza was perfect. The wine was ok- and then Sam even had a beer following the wine. I think she needed it!
We walked the historic center, “storico antico”, for a bit, and just took all of it in! We also managed to try the famous Napoli sweet layered pastry- sfogliatella. It was worth a try, but neither of our favorites! I guess I’m just not a fan of sweet ricotta!
We decided to head back to our flat- but first took some more photos! There were a lot less people at 3:30 then at 12:30. The different times of day are crucial here! Words of advice- don’t try and sit down for a nice dinner between 5-7- nothing is open!
We made our way to espresso, at the well known, “Caffe’ Mexico”, which didn’t compare to our favorite in Rome right near the Pantheon/our flat! Then, we decided to grab wine, cheese, prosciutto parma, and kinder from the popular grocery that is a stone throw away from our place– “grangusto”. It was pretty neat. I’ve never seen so much cheese and meat!! It was like the Italian version of Whole Foods- with two levels and an escalator!
We had a good night of staying in our flat- a bit too sketchy to walk outside here at night. Early morning tomorrow, and we’ll decide what train to take to SORRENTO! Amanda’s wedding is almost here!!!