Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Naples (2008)

We returned in 2008 to experience the Amalfi region in person. Naples is a large city at the gateway to the Amalfi region, so we found ourselves returning to the huge city - one of the most populous in all of Europe.

We had walked past Castel Nuovo in '06 and this year, we ventured inside. It was really interesting and you can certainly spend 1-2 hours walking the halls, galleries and taking in the rooftop views of the bay and greater Naples, including views of Vesuvius. There's even a room with an expansive see-thru floor that reveals human remains (bones) underneath. There's definitely a wide-range of things to see here. Plan for 2-3 hours to experience the Castel.

Where We Stayed:

Hotel Una. This hotel had a trendy rooftop bar and the staff was helpful. The hotel was conveniently located near main the train station (a 5 minute walk away).

This hotel, however, was also located in an undesirable part
of town if you're wanting a hotel with a view. There are lots of street vendors hocking socks, DVDs and the like and the area felt more cheesy flea market rather than European market.

And trash? It was everywhere. Apparently there was some issues with trash pick-up as you'd see it all over the ground and stacked-up high. I joked that the cleanest part of the area was the sidewalk directly in front of our hotel. The trash situation was not something unique to Naples as Herculaneum also had trash piled 5' high, but it was manifested here in Naples in a not-so-becoming way.

And in one of those unforgettable life moments, we encountered a celebration to the trash Gods on the island of Procida. Visit my Procida post and enjoy the video footage authenticating the experience I nicknamed "TrashFest 2008!"

Area Eatery:

We also spent about an hour on foot and funicular venturing back to Pizzeria Eduardo, where we got darn good pizza in '06. We were glad to find it was still there and enjoyed pizza from the inside tables. No macaroni balls this year, though; probably due to something lost in translation.

Read the '06 post details about Eduardo here.

We walked near and far from Hotel Una hoping for that special find and after two days, our bellies landed us at L'Antica Pizzeria 'Da Michele. This popular pizzeria was very good and even though Rick Steves ate here and the movie "Eat, Pray, Love" filmed here, our stomachs still voted Eduardo's tops!

Travel+Leisure gives Pizzeria Di Matteo (94 Via dei Tribunali) high props for its delicious potato croquettes and deep-fried Neapolitan pizza fritta. A take-out window *and* fried food? Yes, please!

When it came time to leave Naples, I have to admit that I was eager to go.

Ahead of us would be two days on a yacht (a yacht!) shared with friends floating around Capri and surrounding islands and then a week exploring the Amalfi Coast in detail.

Can you feel it?

for the love of : italy

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