Well, we arrived in Naples this afternoon around 3:15. We all piled into a taxi van and headed to our Airbnb for the week. Here are some of my first impressions:
- Italian drivers are crazy. The way the roads twist and turn and weave in and out of each other does not help either. There are motorcycles and scooters everywhere and pedestrians are the LAST people on their minds.
- The city is dirty. There’s garbage everywhere and the buildings appear to be falling apart.
- I’m completely out of my comfort zone. Whereas everywhere we went in Holland there seemed to be someone who spoke English, here, I’m finding that not many people do. I found myself getting frustrated because I really wanted to hear what people were saying, and I couldn’t understand much of anything they were saying. We did have a good conversation with the kids about how foreigners must feel in the US when they don’t speak English. It can be a very lonely feeling.
- The people are wonderful. We ate at a small local’s pizzeria and the men who worked there were so accommodating and patient with the language barrier. They basically brought us whatever they thought we wanted and we tried to communicate using lots of hand motions and we even tried Spanish–laughing quite a bit.
I’m reading over my initial assessment of Naples and I realize that it probably sounds really negative. I really had no idea what to expect coming here–but I do know that what I had in mind is not at all what I saw. I really am looking forward to our week here; discovering the hidden gems and archeological sites, meeting more people and enjoying real authentic Italian food–it’s going to be a good stretching week for me!
This week we’re planing on visiting the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, and the Archeological Museum of Naples. I’m excited! We’ll have to take a train to Pompeii and a train and a ferry to the Amalfi Coast. The Archeological Museum of Naples is just down the road from where we’re staying, so we’ll just walk over there tomorrow afternoon.