It took less than 24 hours for Nic and I realize we did not like Naples. Sorry. It is just not the city for us, and apparently there are a bunch of people who agree – thanks for not warning us before we booked the trip.
I’m not bitter.
Okay, positives: We stayed at the Holiday Inn and it has air conditioning and is super comfortable. Plus, it has a legit breakfast.
On our first first day, we did walk into the city, and we were completely overwhelmed. It is dirty and there are so many people; I basically wanted to magically transport back to the hotel in less than 15 minutes after leaving it.
We toured Napoli Sotterranea, which is a labyrinth of underground tunnels dating back to the ancient Roman Era. It is sort of like the heart of where Naples began. The tunnels were used to build the city, as an aqueduct, and even a place for people to go during bomb raids in WWII. It was pretty interesting to learn about, and since we were underground, it was nice and cool. We could even see our breath.
We also walked through the Naples Cathedral, which was gorgeous and peaceful. Then we got yelled at for trying to walk through a castle. Oops. We did eat some good street food – and for only €3!! After which, Nic and I both realized there isn’t really any food regulation throughout these streets. Without speaking to each other, we silently prayed we hadn’t eaten anything that had been sitting out in the sun for 48 hour straight. After a few hours, we decided we were on overload and just needed to get back to the hotel.
We cooled down for a whole in our room and then decided to go for a drink at the hotel bar. Instead of ordering wine, like most people probably do in Italy, I ordered a martini and Nic ordered a whiskey sour. Both of these drinks were on the menu, but the bartender knew how to make neither of them. It was entertaining to watch as two people tried to figure it out together. After about 10 minutes, we had our drinks, roughly made, but satisfying just the same. They also gave us a bunch of free snacks. Woot!
We decided to walk around outside for a bit again, but everything had closed down for the afternoon, so there wasn’t much to look at. Nic and I went back to the hotel to hang until supper time. For convenience, we decided to have dinner at the hotel, but it wasn’t going to be served until 7:30pm. I guess that’s Europe for ya!
Okay, on a very serious note… dinner was super good. We had a two course meal that completely hit the spot, was really well made, and we enjoyed it thoroughly. I had the gnocchi and then beef with vegetables and Nic had pasta with mussels and then fish. We shared a small bottle of wine, and even though we were at our hotel, I felt very fancy and the food was very good.
What we have noticed in our first day in Italy, is that the Italians do not seem to be very tolerant of us Americans. This is just what we have observed, I don’t know what other people have experienced. I try to speak the small amount of Italian I know, and I’m not sure if it helps or not. It just seems like a real inconvenience if we ever have a question about something.
Alas, day two, we headed off to Pompeii. This was a half day trip which left from the main train station, about a 25 minute walk from our hotel. We took a bus around the city, picking people up, before heading toward our final destination. This was nice, because we were able to see more of the city and take a few pictures. Pompeii was very interesting; we were so glad we had a tour group because trying to navigate the place individually would be difficult, especially for people like me, who aren’t exactly experts when it comes to the history of the place. There were a ton of people everywhere, so having someone to lead us was a benefit. When we got back to Naples, we walked back to our hotel and relaxed before getting some gelato for dinner.
The next day, we had a trip to Capri. This was the day we were most looking forward to and it did not disappoint. We took a bus toward a dock where we would board a boat that would take us around the island. Eventually, we would all have a chance to get off the board and wander the island for a while. The boat ride and Capri were both awesome, but what made this trip so much fun was the fact that it was a small group (there were 12 of is), and we immediately connected with a couple from California.
The water was this incredible blue, and we were able to swim in it – SO much fun! Our skipper also stopped at various locations around the island for us to check out, the white grotto, blue grotto, tunnel of love, etc. We had four hours in the island and, with the couple we met, we walked around for a while – actually we wandered down the other side of the island which required us to walk 350 steps back up. The four of us grabbed dunch (it was 4pm, so that is definitely lunch/dinner) and then made our way back to the boat. We all bought some limoncello, of course!
It was dark by the time we made it back to the city, and with another 25 minute walk back to the hotel, Nic and I booked it. When we got back to the hotel, we were coated with salt – and sweat. We each took a showered and had some leftover pizza from our dunch earlier. The next day we were heading toward Roma – our final destination!