As I shared in my previous post, I halted at Naples to go to Pompeii (If You haven’t read about it you can go through my post here). But I had so much in the town of Naples that I decided to dedicate a seperate post all together. Naples is nearly 5 hours by train from Rome. I boarded a one way ticket via Italo trains and lodged myself up in a cosy apartment via Airbnb. The first sight you will be greeted in Naples is the Mount Vesuvius in the background and the amazing coastline. But it is also famous for one of the most famed dish of all time-the home of Neapolitan cuisine and the famed Pizza.
Although Naples has been misfamed for petty thefts and not being safe for tourists I however had no such experience. However I would suggest it is always better to stay within the city centre. The first view of Naples that attracted me was the Gothic look which was quite in trend among the masses. Black was the predominant colour and girls and boys strutted around in leather skirts and jackets and tight fitting pants with metallic work.
Although the weather was preferably cold for me, I dumped my luggage into the cosy apartment by Air Bnb and strolled off to the famous Naples beach. Although the weather was chilly still I padded myself up in layers and took a walk along the coastline. The dormant Mount Vesuvius was surrounded by clouds but it was nice to walk with a hot Corn on the Cob as people sat near the bistros. The weather gave a feeling of eerie and mystery and I simply loved it. There are regular ferries from the Port of Naples to Sicily, Sardinia and other places. Coming back I took a stroll in the famous squares of Naples Piazza del Plebisctito. On one side there were shopping arcades and street food on the other side the famous Basilica reale pontificia San Francesco di Paola with its splendid columns. This church bears resemblance to the Pantheon of Rome.
After retiring early for the day the next day I went for a city tour starting with the famed Royal Palace. The Palace was home to the Bourbon kings who ruled Naples. The Palace had a line of statues of the Kings who ruled it and was rich with furnishings and rich paintings. Many of it is still retained as it was during the days of yore. Spread over five floors and more than 1200 rooms which I did not have the patience and energy to explore all you must need at least a day if you really wish to savour the history. The Palace bear resemblance to the Versailles palace in France most probably due to the connection with Marie Antoinette (her sister was Queen Consort of Naples). But what I found interesting was the Rooms dedicated to the Queens were more grandeur than those of their husbands.
The National Library is also inside the Palace complex. The library dates back to 18th century and consists of a treasure trove of various manuscripts and documents from various religious institution. In the evening I went for street shopping in Naples and believe me its a haven for affordable quality shopping for pure Italian leather be it shoes, clothes and gloves.Piazza Garibaldi is also a good jaunt for shopping
And last but not the least how can I end my trip without the awesome food of Neapolitan culture. So I gorged down on the wonderful array of food. But the best food I liked are the desserts. Dunk it down with an espresso or latte and its divine. I also had to have the famed Neapolitan Pizza with four cheese layers and top it out with wine.. Some of the best wines can be found here. I will make a separate post on the food trail in Italy.
So here are the takeaways
- First thing is Safety. Always try to stay near City Centre and avoid shaded streets in night time. Also its better to carry a sling bag or put your backpack in front.
- Naples is quite cheap compared to the Northern side of Italy.
- Food is delicious and affordable.
- I found the people quite helpful but do your homework in advance.
- From Naples you can plan a day trip to Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri and Amalfi