Saturday, May 24, 2008
Alright.....so yes, Napoli. Naples was a lot of very different things; scary at first, robust, passionate, and YUMMY! After we survived our third trip on the Circumvesuviana we had arrived in Naples again. But this time it wasn't just a stop while in transit...we were going to actually stay there for two days.
If you had asked me while in the States what part of the trip I was most excited about I would of course talk about the wedding first but I was really really excited to see and experience Naples. We'd heard that while it's one of the most challenging cities in all of Europe to travel within that it's also filled with so many rewarding features. Like.....HELLO, the birthplace of pizza (the margherita to be more exact), passionate, beautiful people, tons of history, and the beautiful Bay of Naples. However, once in Italy we were hearing people speak so terribly of Naples, "don't wear any jewelry," "my passport was stolen there," "there is trash EVERYWHERE!" I started to become a little weary...as did Alex!
But c'mon don't you have to have your wits about you in most larger cities in Italy? Aren't there pickpocketers all over Europe? And to be fair...the city center has been clear of trash for probably a few months. However, unfortunately, the outskirts were still piled high with trash in a lot of places (as we saw from the train).
We were told by an information desk at the train station that we could use our Circumvesuviana tickets for the tram that would take us to a piazza close to the Hotel Vesuvio which is right on the bay. "Ok, great we thought"....until we got outside and were met with heat, hoards of people, crazy traffic, and dozens of trams (none with our destination displayed on them). So we just grabbed a cab. I noticed that the driver was really driving EXTRA slow.....trying to milk us for all we were worth. Then once we got off he swindled us for an extra 3 euro because he said he helped us with our bags. Um What? He was old and couldn't lift any of it so Alex did all of that. And I hate when you have no small change, so when you hand them 30 euro because the meter says 26.84 euro you end up getting no change back. UGH.
But now we were at the hotel and it was divine on the inside. There were many many pictures of the royalty, celebrities, and politicians that have stayed there over the years! We cleaned ourselves up and headed out to Brandi. A pizzeria about half a mile from the hotel that claims to have the best Margherita in the city, they should though, they were the first pizzeria to ever make it in 1889 for Queen Margherita! We found it not too far after we set out and enjoyed ourselves at an outdoor table.....just watching the Neopolitans walk by. I even had my picture taken with the pizza maker :-) Now we ate more pizza in the South of Italy than we've ever eaten before, they were all great.....but this was even better! I can't even describe why it was THE BEST, it just was! We really enjoyed the meal. Afterwards we walked back towards the hotel and meandered around Piazza di Plebiscito (my fav piazza in Naples) the church at the one end was just so grand and majestic!
We also realized that the pastries here in Naples appeared to be on par if not better than the ones in Positano and Sorrento. It really was like the city of sfogliatella and nutella. Both amazing things. While in Piazza Plebscito I enjoyed an enormous Bomba con Nutella. I ate the one in the back right :-) And after the lady heated it up in the microwave it was molten paradise!
That night we enjoyed Turkish food, the concierge told us about. The place was soo close to the hotel and it was ultra chic on the outside and inside. We had a little trouble with the menu. I do well with Italian menus in Italian restaurants because I know the majority of the dishes. However, when a menu is in Italian describing Turkish food (the other half was in Turkish) I have a few problems. The waitor was really nice and while he only spoke Italian we were able to figure most everything out. I think I enjoyed the food a little more than Alex did but we both walked out full and satisfied!
Stayed tuned for our last day in Naples and our three day trip to Roma!