Leaving Roma behind, we travelled next to Napoli (Naples), again on a fast train; the journey took just over an hour.
We arrived in to Naples and the weather was fine. We were keen to do some exploring. Once we arrived at our accommodation (very nice room):
and settled in, we determined to set out and wander around. Of course, the heavens decided to open up and it rained; proper rain, not just a drizzle or light, bearable rain; this was “prepare to get wet” type of rain. It didn’t stop us though; we just rugged up and put up the brollies.
Trudging around in the rain probably is not the best was to see any city, but I don’t think it added to the appeal of Naples. My main reason for staying in Napoli was as a base to visit Pompeii (I’ll cover that in my next post).
Walking the streets of Naples is definitely an interesting experience – the things you see:
and the washing hanging out to dry:
and some churches and some unexpected frescoes (you never know what you will find when you walk around a city):
Some of the things we did manage to see in Napoli included:
- the medieval fortress, Castel Nuovo (13th century) with its 5 towers located in front of Piazza Municipio and right by the harbourside port.
I really did want to visit catacombs whilst we were in Italy – so we did a guided tour here – and it was fascinating. San Gennaro is the patron saint of Napoli and was at one time buried here. There are no skeletal remains here any more as they were removed during the French occupation and removed outside the city walls. These catacombs date back almost 2 thousand years, exists over several levels. The graves sites were fascinating and the frescoes were in great condition considering their age. If you happen to ever visit Napoli, I would recommend a visit to the catacombs.
- And, finally, but not least – the National archaeological museum
– we did this at the end of a very long day and I can say it was very much worth the 8euro admission price. The museum is open from 9:00am until 7:30pm – and we stayed until closing; there is a lot to see.
Like some very impressive marble statues:
and some impressive mosaics:
The Neapolitans appear to be obsessed with sex and the penis:
Some other highlights from the museum:
There are some interesting aspects to Napoli and plenty to see, but I found this city the least appealing of all the places we visited in Italia. The traffic is exceptionally crazy – worse than anywhere else in Italy; and if you know anything of Italian traffic, you will appreciate my meaning. The city is also dirty, with lots of rubbish about, rather “unclean” there is a lot of graffiti, it’s noisy and I felt just a little uncomfortable – perhaps the time of year and the weather didn’t help, but it was almost like the Napoletano took no pride in their city. I also found eating out a more difficult experience in Napoli and the waiters tend to just take what they think you should give them as a tip – so be aware. At one restaurant we were told they wouldn’t take a card (luckily we had some cash on us), but when the waiter returned with the change he just kept the 4euro in his hand and claimed it as “service”. Of course, not everywhere was like this (we got caught out twice though) and we had an exceptionally nice dinner at Pulcinella Casoria.
Putting this slight inconvenience aside though, we still enjoyed our limited time in Naples.