Tuesday October 3rd 2006 -10.90 miles on foot.
Arriving in Naples, we went directly to the information desk. As usual we received advice as to the cheapest hotel and then headed in that direction stopping at every other hotel to check prices and facilities. Lyn and I split up to check two hotels that were across from one another. I got a rate and went to find Lyn. Along the way I met two Australian girls (Melanie and Sheridyn) they seemed to be at wits end. They said they were trying to find an Internet point to search for a hotel as nothing here was cheap. We told them what we had found (Turns out there was a bit of confusion. They thought it was 40 each. Not 40 Euro for the room). We dropped our bags and knocked on their door to see if they were interested in checking out the city, but apparently they just got off a rough ferry ride from Greece and needed time to recuperate
. Lyn and I found Piazza Garibaldi, the bus we needed and the Tobachi for tickets. Smooth sailing. I had heard stories about how rough Naples could be. So I put my money (about 30 Euros) in my left cargo pocket which has Velcro closures and my important papers and camera in my right pocket and kept my hand on them at all times. The bus was extremely crowded and people did not hold back from shoving and pushing. We left the train station and went directly to the port area near the castle where the hop on/hop off bus starts. We got off the bus and I was instantly nervous. I felt my pockets and could not find my money! Somehow one of those SOB's was able to separate me from my money. I felt sick and very mad. I was in a state of disbelief... how could someone take advantage of me like this! We immediately put our things into the two money belts we had in the backpack. We made our way to where the buses run and waited for the next one. Once it arrived, they told us this was the first day of their 'new' schedule and that was the end of the last run of the day. I was beginning to hate Naples. We walked around a bit and hopped back on the bus. As soon as I reached for the bar I realized how 'wide-open' I was for the pickpockets. The only thing I had left in my pockets was small map of Pescara. So I let that in my right pocket and grabbed the overhead bar with my both hands. A few minutes later there was this little old man next to me. He was very polite and smiled a lot. He kept bumping me with the messenger bag he had over his shoulder. It seemed he was pinching what was in my pocket between the bag and his hip and pulling it away from my body. The bus jerked a lot and it was pretty obvious (This guy was a terrible pickpocket). He was not really looking at me so I lowered my left hand and slid it across my stomach under my shirt. I was going to cover my pocket w/my hand so when he reached for the goods, he would grab my hand. But to my surprise, when my have reached the pocket, his hand was already there! I grabbed his fingers and he pulled away, pulling me into him. He yelled at me and gave me a sort of confused look. I started yelling back at him to keep his hand out of my pockets and that he is lucky I don't break his fingers. He replied no,no. So I yelled LADRO! (thief) a few times and pointed at him. He called to someone in the back of the bus 'Maria' and hopped off at the next stop. We made it back to the hotel and ran into the Australian girls who were heading out. We shared our story and they offered to share some Vodka. We declined and went to the grocery store and walked around a bit and even called home. We found a pizza shop a couple of blocks from the hotel that had the authentic wood ovens. We went in to check the menu. They had two sets of prices. The higher price if you sat and ate or a lower price for take-out (asporto). Lyn ordered a margherita pizza for 4 euro and I ordered the Capricciosa (Italian for Chefs choice; artichoke, prosciutto, olives, mushrooms and more for 6 Euro. You order and pay for the pizza and then take a slip to the back of the restaurant. Here as you wait in line, you get to watch them make your pizza. One guy takes the slip of what you ordered and make the pizza on the piel. Then another guy takes it from there, putting the pizza in the wood fired oven and turns it a few times. The pizza is done in just a few minutes. We headed back to the hotel and offered to trade some pizza for some vodka. They said they had already eaten, but could use some vodka as well. We sat and drank and ate (apparently our pizzas were twice the size for the same price as what they had). Then Lyn and I ate our limit and the girls had a slice or two each and we still had just shy of a whole pie left!) It was really nice to sit and socialize and share stories. They had just come from Greece where they were stuck for a hotel and slept in questionable dormitory style room followed by a rough ferry ride to Naples. It ended up being a pretty good night.
Travel Tips Accommodations and the best pizza in Napoli:
Hotel Speranza - Via Palermo, 31 80142 Napoli - Just a turn left out of the train station and it's a few blocks down. Good section, just to be close to train to leave.www.hotelsperanza.it
or e-mail email@example.com
Good rates 40 Euro for a double with private bath, TV and A/C
Best Pizza - Pizzeria Pellone at Via Nazionale, 93 and corner of Via Bari, 91-92-93, Napoli, just a few blocks from the Station Central and Hotel Speranza - Great Pizza, Great prices ( take out is always cheaper), great food on the cart outside.