Naples is not for everyone. If the Italian cities were a family, Milan would be the aloof business woman. Florence, the elegant aunt; Rome the smart Mamma. And Naples would be the aunt who comes to Christmas dinner in hot pants and an old sweater and asks Aunt Florence’s boyfriend if he’d like a quick tumble.
The place has some great assets, a world-class archeological museum, Herculaneum, Castel Nuovo, Santa Chiara, and pizza. But you wonder what could be done if there was less graffiti and more money. This is urban Italy with all the heart of the south and all the crazy.
We spent an afternoon wandering around the historical center of the city, the area just up the hill from the cruise ship dock. Here are some of the images I got.
I’m not sure what we’re protesting here but whatever it is, it’s eclectic.
We wandered past the Piazza del Gesu and found an outdoor cafe that was OK. But our lukewarm feeling might be partly because we were ordering blind — neither the menu or the wait person knew English. One thing we discovered though was that they have sardine pizza and it’s intense. The interior of the cafe was a classic — straight out of a 1950s Italian movie including pictures of the old movie stars:
Further on, we discovered that the Sant’ Angelo church was closed but the high school kids on the steps were definitely open.
And a street performer:
Naples is the starting point when you’re going to Sorrento, Capri or the Amalfi Coast. And it’s worth a day if you have time. Naples is definitely the real Italy.