Goodbye Rome! Hello Naples!
Although I’ve been told by a few people that coming here was a waste of time I decided to head over here anyway for a few reasons: Mt Vesuvius and Pompeii, the island of Capri, and the Almalfi coast.
In fact there wasn’t I planned on seeing in Naples aside from a couple restaurants that were recommended to me. The whole time I was here would be as home base for my day trips.
Jaimie and I both arrived via rail here around noon. She was heading to Sorrento a little further down while I was staying here. We actually plan to meet for our Mt Vesuvius/Pompeii excursion tomorrow and then the following day I’m switching hostels to her hostel in Sorrento and then we’re hitting the island of Capri together.
This actually works out well because while we’ll see the sights together we’ll still have our alone time in the evenings to do other things and meet other people.
So, anyway, we arrived around noon and before we headed to our respective hostels we went for lunch down the street from the rail station. As we walked down the street we instantly saw why people say to not bother with Naples. It was old and dirty and didn’t look very inviting. I was actually regretting my decision to stay here and not continue straight on to Sorrento with her.
After lunch (pizza, of course) we left each other to go to our hostels. After settling in at my hostel I decided I would trek out in the afternoon just to explore Naples as tonight and tomorrow night were really my only chances to see what the city had to offer.
Boy am I glad I decided to wander. My hostel is by the port. A couple blocks away there are actually cruise ships docked up. My walk took me past the cruise ships and along the water front. The old, dirty area I had encountered when I first arrived was now replaced with a scenic, clean waterfront area complete with castle to wander into.
I love the fact that even though I was in something momentous as a castle (even a little one) that I wasn’t swarmed by tourists as I had been the last couple of weeks. It was actually very peaceful just wandering around an almost empty castle taking in the breathtaking images.
A little walk more and I came upon a huge open plaza and then yet another castle along amoungst the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolitan city.
To think, if I hadn’t gone out that door to explore I would have only seen the crappy Naples and I would have passed the torch of people saying “don’t bother with Naples”
At 8pm I left to find a restaurant recommended to me: Pizzeria Brandi. This restaurant invented the Margherita pizza years and years ago. In fact this place has existed since 1780 – yes, 1780! I walked in and sat down at a table for one and did a little people watching as I saw families together enjoying their meals. As I saw plate after plate of food being delivered to them I got more and more excited to get mine.
It didn’t disappoint. I had a plate of bruschetta done four ways followed by, of course, a Margherita pizza. That along with a 1/2 bottle of wine and I was smiling all through the meal. Honestly one of the best meals I’ve ever had and that’s saying alot.
So the city actually turned out alright for me and while it may not have seemed so at the start – sometimes you just have to search for it…