Book worm book count: 23
So our last day on board was Naples and although we had grand plans to do Capri for the day – we decided to instead stay closer to home.
Which meant we were under prepared, but Charlotte was tired and both Simon and I had stayed on Capri for several days a few years ago and what we loved most about it was how it felt after all the cruise passengers went home at 3pm. The peace descended and the locals came out to play. The thought of being part of what made Capri chaotic didn’t appeal. We’d been through Naples several times to do the Amalfi coast – seen Pompeii and Herculaneum but had never explored the city, so we decided that we should head there today instead. Naturally it didn’t take much (read anything) to persuade Charlotte to have a shorten sightseeing day.
So having had a lovely early breakfast on the deck, we wandered into the city of Naples and just kind of got lost. Apparently that is exactly what you should do.
Naples was clearly once a beautiful city. Its narrow streets and majestic buildings show huge promise. Unfortunately, the city is covered in graffiti and rubbish which is really disappointing. However there are some jewels to be found and we did mange to stumble on them without really trying. And to be fair some of the graffiti was pretty cool.
We were told to try the local pastry treat, sfogliatella ( sometimes called a lobster tail in English). Apparently Pasquale Pintauro, a pastry chef from Naples, acquired the original recipe and began selling the pastries in his shop in 1818. So we stopped at little square and indulged in some coffee, sfogliatella and people watching. It was stunning.
Once again – because we were early, the city was waking up. For once it didn’t pay off as the rubbish trucks and street cleaners hadn’t cleaned up from the Saturday night chaos. It was cooler than the 34 degrees that we got to mid afternoon, but that was, for once the only advantage.
We, quite accidentally, stumbled on a little square with a strange church hiding behind a rather odd facade just about the right time for a Sunday service. Turns out it was Gesù Nuovo and behind its strange exterior opened up a magical ornate interior. The art work on the ceiling and the interior in general was amazing – and of course, completely lost on Charlotte.
We also wandered around Castle dell’Ovo and Teatro di San Carlo and explored the old town. It was all easy to navigate and even easier to stumble across.
Naples is worth a look and we spent 3 hours wandering around the narrow lanes and alleyways. I think if we had been better prepared we could have done and seen more. Having said that, with the Amalfi Coast and Capri beckoning, if you are tight on time – head out of town and don’t look back.
But now we are headed to Rome and then off the boat and onto our next adventure – its certainly been a great cruise. Next stop Malta.
Highlights from small heights
Mum gives Naples too much credit.
There were two places that I thought were actually kinda worth seeing. A cafe called San Dominico Cafe and the church place Mum talked about. Otherwise nada. Everything’s all dirty, cigerette -covered streets with lovely freaky graffiti floating around. There was one cool graffiti which Mum showed you in the photo, otherwise welcome to trash town. That may just be because I live in NZ though.
Fun rating: 4 out of 10.
Improvement tip: Add more interesting sights and for goodness sake clean up!
Charlotte’s two top tips: Don’t go there and if you must, close your eyes so you don’t see anything.