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Napoli

Napoli keeps me waiting, and keeps me coming back. Buses can be late, the metro has unexpected emergency stops, but somehow equilibrium (if chaos has equilibrium) is restored.

In Napoli, shop employees are more likely to look up from their phones when you enter than in any other major city.

Sweets are sweeter, coffee is stronger, servings are larger, voices are louder.

By blind luck, I found a Strega store (Strega is a liqueur made in Benevento) at the underground mall at the train station, just below the ongoing construction in Piazza Garibaldi. My B&B (Sweet Sleep, about €45/single with breakfast) is a few blocks away, a walk through what many would describe as a gritty area. The B&B is an oasis, once you find .10€ for the elevator. More about that. The breakfast is immense, homemade sweets, eggs, wurstel, omelettes and veggie-filled phyllo pastries, portioned so you can sample many. Fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, milk, juice, made-to-order coffee, bread and jam. Some specialties are rotated throughout the week, it's never exactly the same buffet twice. A metaphor for Napoli.

EDIT: pay elevators were common in residential buildings at least from the sixties, some still have them. Storekeepers are very understanding when you ask for your change to consist of as many .10€ pieces as they can spare, they know what it's for.

Rooms are spacious, with a/c and fridges. I usually turn off the a/c during the night and open the windows. The traffic rhythm puts me to sleep. On the opposite side of the rooftop breakfast room is a seating area with daybeds, chairs, a jacuzzi and a sauna. Yes, a sauna. On the roof. In Napoli. For less than €50.

Yesterday I went to Santa Chiara, San Domenico, and the Capella San Severo. The much-touted sculpture of the veiled Christ was underwhelming, more a sophisticated exercise in carving and polishing techniques. Still, there was a line of people gazing at it (including me), many clearly in awe (not me).

I smile to myself as I realize that I still haven't seen all of Napoli, and I have to return.

Posted by
715 posts

Zoe, I agree. I adore Napoli. I stay at a small B & B with a rooftop garden near Piazza Dante, B & B Vicoletti Napoli. A place that most people would describe as gritty, esp the entrance way and the climb up (no elevators) but once inside it is lovely. A decent breakfast and the Cafe Mexico around the corner on the Piazza for a great espresso. And let us not forget pizza and a beer for €6

Posted by
11658 posts

O Zoe, you've made me so hungry for an adventure in a city we've only passed through. There is a prince where too many have only seen the frog? We will have a chat when I have plane tickets...hopefully sooner rather than later!

PS: a huge score on that B&B!

Posted by
11613 posts

Kathy, I look forward to chatting with you soon!

Oh, I forgot - the sfogliatelle! My all-time favorite pastry!

Posted by
11658 posts

LOL. Sfoh-leh-eh-TELL-eh.

'Lobster tails' is easier to pronounce but not as much fun.

Posted by
1854 posts

Zoe, like you, I loved Naples even though I only spent a few days there. Oh, the coffee! I will return one day soon. In my opinion, the National Archaeological Museum is among the best museums in the world. I loved all the sculptures in Capella San Severo but I must admit a particular admiration for "Release from Deception", (sorry, can't remember it's name in Italian) by Francesco Queirolo. For me, it was truly awesome.

Posted by
629 posts

I was just thinking about adding a couple of days in Naples to my upcoming Itinerary. Thank you for the suggestions. I may stay in one of them while we explore Pompeii, Herculeum, Mount Vesuvius and the Archaeological Museum. I didn't want to rush my days with these sites, so I thought I may want to stay near them (instead of Sorrento). I think we may do Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius one day and Herculeum and the Museum on the second day. Or do you think there would be a better scenario?

Posted by
11613 posts

Pilgrim, Vesuvius and Pompeii in one day would be a long trip, I don't know what your transportation will be, but the Archeological Museum and Pompeii would be more manageable in one day, I think.

To get to the B&B I mentioned, walk from the train station to the end of Piazza Garibaldi, via Alessandro Poerio is a very slight turn to the right. It is at No. 14, don't forget the 10-centessimi coin for the elevator.

Posted by
629 posts

Pilgrim, Vesuvius and Pompeii in one day would be a long trip, I don't
know what your transportation will be, but the Archeological Museum
and Pompeii would be more manageable in one day, I think.

Thanks, Zoe, I'll adjust my itinerary. We probably won't have time for the trek up to the top of Vesuvius. Maybe we'll do Pompeii and Museum in one day and then Herculaneum the next day. I do think it will be easier for us to stay in Naples or Pompeii than to take the train back and forth to Sorrento.

Posted by
715 posts

Even Pompeii and the museum sounds a bit much. I spent six hours at Pompeii in the hot sun, all I could manage after that was a granita and dinner.

Posted by
629 posts

Thanks, JKC. We will be traveling in October, so I'm hoping it won't be too hot. I'm also thinking about changing my itinerary to only Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Rome. I was going to add Venice, but I think it will be too much for our allotted time. I think I'll take your advice and only do Pompeii by itself in a day.

Posted by
11613 posts

Pilgrim, great idea to stay on the Amalfi Coast. I really like La Maurella in Praiano, parking is available and all rooms (only five) face the sea.

Posted by
629 posts

Thanks, Zoe! I'll check it out that hotel. We won't have a car, so we'll just be using buses, ferries and private drivers. I hope the ferries will be running in mid-October. I've read it could be hit or miss depending on the weather.

Posted by
11613 posts

I don't think the ferry stops in Praiano, but there is a bus.