As we head out of Naples, I thought I’d share my ending thoughts on what we did and my feelings on where we visited. After spending the week in Naples, I still think it’s dirty. There is garbage everywhere, the garbage bins are overflowing, and it just feels gross. That being said, it’s a very central location to visit some really amazing landmarks and the people are incredible.
We stayed in a small 2-bedroom flat in the middle of the historical center of Naples. This is where apartment buildings stretch high into the sky, divided by roads only wide enough for one car to drive through. The streets are stone blocks, slippery when wet. There are scooters and motorcycles that zoom in and out of people and cars, honking to let you know they want you to move-or they’ll plow right into you (pedestrians definitely don’t have the right of way). It’s quite the experience and not something I think I could ever get used to!
As for location, we were about 2 Kilometers from the Castel Nuovo, about 5 minutes walk to the Metro, and about 15 minutes walk from the true touristy areas. We could tell when we had entered the touristy areas, because there was no language barrier–almost everyone spoke English.
By Metro, we were about 25 minutes from Pompeii, which I would recommend seeing with or without kids. This was an incredible experience. We did not have a tour guide, and between the pamphlets we received when we paid to get in (children 12 and under are free, which was great!) and the internet, we didn’t feel a tour guide was necessary, and I’m glad we didn’t pay for one! We were able to go at our own pace, see the places we wanted to see, and it was definitely an unforgettable experience. Pompeii is a lot bigger than I had imagined, so it took most of the afternoon to walk, see, and explore.
By Metro and then by ferry, we saw the Amalfi Coast. I was a little disappointed when we first arrived, for I feel like pictures you see of the city are a bit doctored up. The buildings aren’t as colorful as pictures on the internet or books show–so I wasn’t blown away upon arrival. When we got off the ferry, we walked toward the main square and that is when the blowing away of me began. We were greeted by a huge staircase that led up to a magnificent church. As we continued our walk through the shop-lined narrow streets and throngs of tourists, I began to notice some colorful buildings. The more we walked, the thinner the crowds became, to which we were thankful for. We continued to climb up into the residential parts of Amalfi and that’s when I realized just how beautiful this city was. The streets were lined with tall multi-colored buildings and sprinkled with lemon tree and grape orchards. It was a hilly city, with the streets weaving in and around the hills. The higher you climbed, the more spectacular the view became. It’s a truly magical city worth seeing. I do wish we had had more time to spend there.
Now we’re off to Krakow, Poland. I’m looking forward to experiencing that city for the first time!