Naples Day 1: Our One and ONLY Day
Trip Start Jul 07, 2010
35Trip End Aug 09, 2010
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We arrived to Garibaldi Station in Naples to a much different scene than we had encountered on Thursday. One third the number of people and virtually zero hustle and bustle. We made our way into the main Centrale Station and with the help from a very nice old couple and our limited but growing Italian language skills bought our tickets for tomorrow's trip to Rome
The funny part of this experience is that we are in the dirtiest most dangerous city in Italy staying at our nicest hotel. It is a four star hotel that could easily be somewhere in Hollywood or Las Vegas. Imagine the movie The Wizard of Oz, stepping out of our black and white house (Garibaldi Square) and into a full color world (Una Hotel Napoli). As we were checking in, the person at the desk informed us that the man standing behind us was the most famous television personality in Italy. It was great, he got very nervous, and hurried us on our way so that he could help this guy as soon as possible. So L.A.
We settled into our oasis, dropped off our bag in our room and were set to venture out into Naples for some famous pizza at Pizzeria Trianon. As we were walking, ENJOYING the city for its architecture and people watching, we passed our turn for the pizza place by 5 blocks. We stopped to ask a local woman for directions and she was more than happy to assist. After was hurdled the language barrier and got our directions, she gave us a big smile and a classic Italian hand gesture of a fist with pointer finger into her check indicating that the food was excellent.
We continued on our walk through small streets with laundry hung over head. As we came across a new square or church, we would admire both the impressive age and scale of the buildings combined with the trash and filth that covered everything. We stopped into a gelateria for a refreshing treat and continued on our way to the National Archeological Museum. The exhibits that we really wanted to see were closed for the summer for restoration and upkeep, but we did get to enhance our Pompeii experience with statues and artifacts from the site.
To get home we hopped the Napolitano metro system back to the hotel, and settled in for the hot, late afternoon for some rest and A/C. We are really amazed by the filth of this city. Every planter is stuffed with trash, every trash can is overflowing, every street lined with debris, and nobody seems to think anything of it. Our hotel, as an ideal oasis, has proven a great way to experience this chaotic city.
Dinner was had on our hotel's roof-top restaurant/bar area. It was quite lovely as Casey had her first Italian pasta dish and Dan had chicken and potatoes. What? No pizza? It was delicious and a welcomed change from the last four days of literally pizza at every meal
In trying to gain perspective through our travels, we can now safely say that our fear and paranoia of this old and gritty city was on the extreme side. As we have mentioned before, fear of the unknown causes one to think in ways that stereotype and keeps you locked into the familiar. It is wise to always be vigilant, to do your research, and to know what you are getting into, but it is even better to allow yourself to experience the journey for what it is, and not for what you fear it is or what it might be. Had we not ventured into the heart of Naples, we would have missed the local elder who gave us the finger- in-cheek or the older couple on the Metro who helped us find our correct train platform. Napolitanos do not cater to tourists and it is quite obvious that they have no intention of doing so anytime soon…we believe it shouldn’t be any other way.
We are off to Rome tomorrow.
Casey and Dan