Day 1: Rome to Naples

Naples Travel Blog

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A narrow street in Naples.

Brian:  "I feel like that Pour Some Sugar on Me song."

Candy:  "Because you're so hot and sticky sweet, from your head to your feet?"

Brian:  (Pause) "Yes." 


And it was hot when we arrived in Rome this morning, sticky sweet hot.  Plus it had been more than 24 hours since our last shower and there was the whole drama of transatlantic flying.  But we had arrived and our adventure was underway.  From the airport, we needed to get to Naples.  This required us getting on not one, but two different trains.  And that required us patiently sitting in train stations for a bit(while listening to Sara Barelleille's Love Song play on repeat in the terminal--the humanity!).

Me posing with a statue in the Archaeology Museum. When I say they are big statues, I mean big.

Once we finally boarded the train to Naples, we connected with another American couple sitting in our car.  They were older, from Michigan and had been in Italy for a while.  They were eager to supply us with helpful traveling advice ("The Egg McMuffins in Rome taste just like the Egg McMuffins in Detroit."  "Be careful when buying Murano glass in Venice.  It's easy to get carried away."  "Always carry toilet paper in your purse.  The bathrooms here rarely carry it."). 

We parted ways with these friendly folks at the Naples station and proceeded to walk the 200 meters and "just steps from the train station (Expedia's words, not mine)" to our hotel.  What Expedia failed to mention is that this city is a zoo with streets coming and going in all directions.

Vespas are the main mode of transportation here.
  Our hotel was not at all easy to spot in the confusion of panhandlers, racing cars and street vendors.  On top of that, we had been told (by our friendly Michigan friends) to watch out for pickpockets here.  So with bags clutched closely and sweat dripping profusely, we wandered the streets of Naples looking for our hotel.  After 20 minutes and 2 calls to the hotel, we finally found it.  By this point we were exhausted so we promptly cranked up the AC, plopped into bed and fell into a deeop slumber. 

Three hours later and with the city somewhat cooled off, we woke up and were ready to explore Naples.  Using Rick Steves' Italy 2006 book as our guide, we walked for 15 minutes until we reached the Archaeology Museum (as must-see according to Rick).  This museum houses most of the treasures of the Pompei excavation including the largest statue from antiquity.

Brian sampling one of the local specialties--pizza!
  When Pompei was first uncovered in the nineteenth century, Naples' Bourbon King declared he wanted the best stuff brought to him and now it all sits in this museum.  We saw LOTS of Grecco-Roman statues dating to the 3rd and 4th centuries BCE--Some were more than 9 feet tall.  One had been refurbished by Michaelangelo and some were from the personal collection of Julius Caesar's father-in-law.  By far the most memorable stop, however, was the "Secret Room," a collection of Pompei's erotica, including various phallic statues, mosaics of couples having sex, a marble statue of a man having intercourse with a goat.  

After our visit to the museum was completed, we did Rick Steves' Slice of Neopolitan Life--miles of self-guided walking through the heart of the city.  Steves loves Naples (the birthplace of pizza and Sophia Loren) and we saw its charm, but also noticed its overcrowded, garbage-filled streets (trash hasn't been picked up in months--that's another story).  We finished our walk with dinner at a recommended pizzeria.  For 8.50 Euros, we split a margarhita pizza, had two drinks and left a tip.  The pizza was delicious too--warm, soft and oozing with flavor.  It was a great way to end a long and busy day. 

alyssa_ob says:
I didn't have time to stop at this museum but it sounds like it would be worth it to fully understand Pompeii. We also had the trash in the streets...Gross! And that was in March! I thought they would have sorted that out by now!
Posted on: Jul 18, 2008
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A narrow street in Naples.
A narrow street in Naples.
Me posing with a statue in the Arc…
Me posing with a statue in the Ar…
Vespas are the main mode of transp…
Vespas are the main mode of trans…
Brian sampling one of the local sp…
Brian sampling one of the local s…
photo by: Joost1976