Well, they can't all be amazing...

Trip Start Dec 16, 2012
Trip End Mar 18, 2013

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Flag of Italy  , Campania,
Friday, January 4, 2013

Hey everyone, Jessie again, writing to catch you up on our time in Naples, Italy…

Where to even begin….let's just say that each big trip will be plagued with a city that is the least favorite. In our case, this was Naples.  We arrived on a sunny day in mid-afternoon, so we decided to spend what we had left of the day by walking around and seeing the few things there are to see in the city.  While walking around, we found that the streets were not pedestrian friendly, filled with noisy scooters and honking cars, and there was trash and graffiti everywhere.  We were a bit thrown off by this because it just seemed drastically different from the rest of Italy.  After walking for about 2 hours, we realized that we weren’t getting anywhere, and that there was really only one thing to see in the city, Castel dell’ Ovo (Castle of the Egg), and there was no easy way to get there.  We gave up, and because the metro stations were few and far between, we hailed a taxi for the first time on this trip.  By this point we were starving, and even though it was only 4pm, we wanted dinner.  We quickly learned that most everything in Naples closes at 4pm, and doesn’t re-open until around 7:30pm.  After having such a frustrating and long walk, we were very disappointed when all of the recommended places were closed.  Luckily, Matt didn’t give up and kept asking every pizzeria he saw, and we finally found an empty place that was happy to have us!  Here, we each enjoyed our own delicious pizza, 2 bottles of wine, and espresso.  If Naples is good for one thing and one thing only, it’s the pizza! We were there for 3 days, and we each ate our own pizza every day for dinner and were never disappointed.  The best thing about this first pizzeria we went to is that they didn’t even have espresso in the restaurant, but when we ordered it they promptly made a phone call, left the restaurant, and returned with 3 espressos from a nearby café.  If that isn’t excellent service, I don’t know what is!  We ended the evening with a cannoli on the street, another bottle of wine in the hostel, and a good night’s rest.

The next morning we set out for a long day in Pompeii.  This is the main reason we went to Naples at all, so that we could see the famous Pompeii ruins.  The town itself is only 45 minutes outside of Naples on the train, and it was well worth it.  We spent hours in the ruins, seeing literally everything that was on the audio guide.  We felt accomplished after 4 hours of exploring the streets, hanging out on the bed ruins of the many Pompeii brothels, and listening intently to our audio guide teach us everything we needed to know.  This included the busy lifestyle of the old city, its rapid demise, and how they have worked to preserve the ruins since then.  We ended our day in Pompeii eating pizza (of course) and having the famous Naples desert, the Baba.  We learned that a Baba is basically rum soaked sponge cake.  It can have different fillings, such as chocolate or cream, and it is truly delicious!

Because we took so long to explore the ruins in Pompeii, we didn’t have time to go to the top of Mount Vesuvius on the same day, so we spent our 3rd day back in Pompeii, where we got driven to the top of Mount Vesuvius.  We are very glad we did, even though the crazy Italian driver made me a bit car sick.  I can’t complain though, because it was well worth it to see the smoking volcanic crater while looking over the city ruins.  We also finally made it to Castel dell’Ova, and we were glad we did because it was a beautiful sunny day and we actually enjoyed the walk this time around.  Of course we ended this day with another pizza and wine, and went to bed feeling like we made the best out of a city we didn’t really care for.  Although we didn’t love the city, I am glad to say that we still managed to have an excellent time.

The next morning we had to wake up early to catch our train to Bari, where we caught a 16 hour ferry to Greece!  We’ll be back soon with details on our last leg of the Europe adventure, Greece!
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