It’s been 7 years, since I last was in Naples, and the last time I was there , it was only for a night. I didn’t have the best impression of Naples the last time, and I knew that I needed to see her again.
I primarily came to see a dear friend of mine, Marco, a true Napolitano whom I last seen in Paris in 2015.
Naples is the end of my somewhat long 4 week journey through Bella Italia and it was a reminder that the end is near. Sad, yet excited, I couldn’t wait to get to her shores. I’ll have only another short journey here, 2 nights to be exact, but it’s considerably more than my last experience.
Having caught an earlier Ferry from Capri, The Island of Golden Dreams, I arrived off my ferry from a bit past the noon Hour.
Wow Naples really is a huge city. I was watching her come into view from the ocean and never really realized how big it is.
Besides it being the 3rd largest city in Italy, outside of Rome and Milano, Naples has a history like no other. I’m talking 7th Century BC when it was a newly founded Greek city , Napoli ( New City in Greek) which was soon quickly taken over by the Romans. Naples is the capital of the region of Campania, which comes from the name ‘Campania felix’ – latin for “fertile countryside”. Naples city center is the largest in Europe, with 4,200 acres of enclosing land, and 27 centuries of History, which is no wonder that UNESCO listed the entire city as a heritage sight.
Naples was also its own Kingdom, from 1282 – 1816. And was in constant rebellion against Rome and the Papal States.
Besides centuries of amazing history, Naples has also contributed so much Art, Beauty, and important people to the World. And it is evident in the hidden facades on beautiful streets and boulevards, of an era long gone. One very famous beauty is a true Napolitana, Sofia Lauren. And her beauty is undeniable.
….After Right off the port, I walked conveniently to the taxi stand, and although there was a line, in 2 minutes I was sitting in a taxi On my way to Palazzo Alabardieri Hotel ( review here )
It was humid and hazy and the streets for a Sunday , was a madhouse. I couldn’t help but giggle.
I checked in to my hotel and found a lovely gorgeous Junior suite with all the trappings one would desire. AFter unpacking, I went downstairs as my friend Marco was already waiting for me .. oh I was so happy to see my dear friend..
We walked down to the water from Promenade, and went next to the castle down by the water for a quick spritz with Campari. Oh How I’m going to miss this daily refresher.
He then walked me around Centro Storico as we caught up with each other’s lives.
He pointed out Teatro San Carlo and said he couldn’t wait to show me the inside tomorrow night as we have some gala to go to.. ok ,,,
Marco had to part ways with me as he needed to start the prep for a 20 people gathering at his house. In my Honour .. can you believe it ?
I walked around a bit window shopping , but what I really wanted secretly, was a pizza…. As Pizza was founded here in Naples, in the 19th Century. I did manage to find a little hole in the wall and got me a margarita pizza, wrapped in paper and folded and I munched it down just like the locals do. Mmmmmmmmmm
I walked around a bit , peeking into steep alley ways with children playing and clothes hanging to dry. The Spanish quarter is a lovely quarter …
I walked down Via Chiaia window shopping my way back to the hotel for a siesta.
I am gonna miss siestas, maybe I can implement them back home since I’ll still be off for a month ..
After a lovely siesta, I got ready and headed out the door … I wanted a spritz before meeting all his friends. Well when I ordered my spritz at La Bistro Bordeaux on via Chiaia I didn’t know it came with a feast. Good now I won’t over eat.
I walked to my friend’s house which is by Vico Santa Maria Spagnelle. And it was great watching everyone do their passegiata ( evening walk).
I forgot how fabulous his apartment is.. A penthouse overlooking the bay and mountains.. slowly his friends were showing up and busy making fresh pasta. We drank, were Merrie, and ate fabulously . They were doctors, bankers, professors and a fashion house owner… such an interesting mix. We danced and sang and had a blast. Marco wanted to show me the real Napolitano way , he told me. The real life .. I was very grateful for that..
At midnight Someone changed the music to indicate that it’s times to go. How clever.
So all 20 plus of us, rubbed cheeks blew kisses in the air and marched down 5 floors where we all split off in different directions.
Napoli at night is very peaceful and I felt very safe. There is always a police car around , and military police.
It was a good night
Despite getting home at 12:30 am and in bed by 1, I still woke up at 6 am, exhausted, but I refused to waste a day here..
I had a light breakfast at the hotel, and headed out by 8 am.
Children were everywhere by my hotel and on Via Chiaia.. Some in uniform, some running from their mothers. Young ladies being super over dramatic to a young boy, and others in their tightest ensemble talking both in hand language while yelling on their cell phones.
There were gentlemen in their suits, and ladies in heels and skirts heading to office. The stores were dusting off their areas, sweeping last night’s shenanigans to the side and getting ready for the day. ….Life!!!
I decided to slowly walk up to Storico, as I was planning on seeing the archeological museum first thing come 9.
Traffic was insane but by this time having traveled for 4 weeks in Italy, it didn’t surprise me nor bothered me much. I read about people complaining about traffic and the lack of right of way for pedestrians like you find in the states, but there is a synchronized rhythm with being a part of this city.. You have to know how to move and flow, everyone I’ve learned, has a right.. And fortunately, I’m able to maneuver easily through traffic.
Still early, I too needed a rest and a second cappuccino of the day in piazza Dante. Whoa, the coffee is powerful and is probably why the teenagers smoke like chimneys before class .
I will note something though, and it may not be to most people liking, but I’m just a tad bit sad when I see the streets of Naples. I can envision its beauty and grandeur behind the filth. I don’t mind the grit, but I wish they would care a bit more about their beautiful city hidden behind the garbage. I remember thinking the same thing OF Rome the first time but this last trip I was pleasantly surprised to see how clean it was. Naples is beautiful and full of history, time to clean It up a bit and leave a little grit for the ambience.
Ahhhh the archeological museum. What a fantastic museum. The Farnese collection is beyond beautiful. And the collection of art from Pompei and Herculanium… Wow such beautiful art well-preserved for thousands of years. I of course ventured into the secret chamber. How sensually fun.
After a few hours soaking up the museum, I walked around and got lost… On purpose. The city is full of life. What wonderful people. So nice and kind…
I did try my luck at a few “gaming halls”, as I do everywhere I go… Darn was hoping to fund a new Gucci bag from my winnings. Lol
I passed through a huge avenue on my way back to my hotel filled with stores and it was fun to window shop.
exhausted, tired, and very hungry, I stopped by a small Pizzeria, and downed a huge pizza on my own. I didn’t feel too bad, as the lady next to me who was thinner than a pin, was doing the same thing. I knew I had to eat as much pizza as I can, as nobody makes pizza like the Napolitanos do.
I washed it all down with what may be my final Spritz of this trip 😭😭😭
After attempting a siesta, massive toss and turning, I slowly started getting ready for tonight, and packing my bags for the final hall..
After a not so fabulous siesta and running on fumes, I got ready and headed out the door..
I stopped by Le Bistrot Bordeaux for my VERY LAST APPEROL SPRITZ 😭😭
I had 20 minutes to meet my friend Marco in Piazza Pueblecita before continuing on to San Carlo for an awards performance.
That was the best last drink ever .
After meeting up with Marco, we walked to meet his friends that I had met last night.. They including Marco, were all in suits and beautiful outfits. Ugh why didn’t I pack a gown? Lol
The awards ceremony was a who’s who event. It was thrown by a newspaper in remembrance of the brilliant writer Matilde Serao with honored guest Azar Nafisi… Wow really? What a treat. I had no idea what I was in store for.
The theater San Carlo is a dream, so beautiful, opulent and stunning. There were camera crews everywhere taking photos of who knows who but it was fun. I can’t believe I’m spending my last moments in Naples and Italy in Beauty, hearing beauty, Seeing beauty and to hear an amazingly inspirational woman who speaks for women’s rights was the pinnacle of my Italian existence.
When the chorus started to play, and the sheer magnificence of the San Carlo I could not hold back my tears.
How happy I have been for the past 4 weeks, what a wonderful journey. I couldn’t help but flash back from the moment of touch down in Venice and my entire journey through Italy.
How blessed and lucky I am, well all are to visit here .
There were 3 opera sopranos singing popular arias from the greats and it was so beautiful
Azar Nafisi Finally spoke and it was powerful.
But the lasting memory of her speech was to Italy herself. ” most countries export fish, industrial supplies, technology, etc, but you Italy export Beauty. And it is your duty to keep Beauty alive”
Wow absolutely true. Her words are a direct reflection of Italy herself.
Truly a remarkable send off for me and I am so full of happiness and gratitude.
After the performance and awards, there was a huge gala in the Foyer of the Opera House. How Fabulous. Awesome wine and finger foods, cigar bar and grappa station. Marco and his friends Wanted to ditch the gala and go for some real Napolitano eating… PIZZA. Yes sir!!! I want to eat as much pizza as possible before I leave.
Of course I went for the classic margarita pizza.. Divine.
Sadly it was midnight and I have to be up in 3 1/2 hours. 😑
Yes 3 1/2 hours…
Saying goodbye was horrible.. How can I say goodbye to a dear friend I see every few years?
Too many goodbyes today. Goodbye pizza, goodbye Apperol Spritz,….. Goodbye Marco and friends…
Back at the Hotel room, I finished packing, Washed up and let the frank Zappa story of him finding his Sicilian routes put me to sleep. It was my last night in Italy 😭😭😭
As Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played in my head I sadly got dressed, grabbed my two ton bags, and checked out.
The taxi was waiting for me, and for a flat fee of 25€ plus 1,50€ telephone charge, I was at the Airport in 10 very speedy and bumpy gut clenching minutes.
The streets are so amazing empty. The quiet of the night/early morning allowed me to enjoy a glimpse into Naples naked, without a soul around… Granted at 60 mph
The airport, at 4:25 was busy, and check in lines for certain flights were open, including mine.
Very east check in..
Love the fast track line for security, even though the other line was not so busy either. The guard at screening was so nice to me, I saw him scan other people’s tickets but and just handed it back while they ignored him.. I gave him a Buongiorno and a graszie, and he returned my ticket with a my gate number (not posted yet) and directions. You have to give Aloha to get Aloha!
The VIP lounge wasn’t open for a few more minutes, so I decided to head down to the smoking lounge and enjoy the last freedoms of not looking like a pariah for enjoying a smoke like I do in the USA, every time I smoke someone munching on their McDonalds gives me a dirty stare. I think im going to give people dirty looks whenever they eat fast food as I dragon lady the smoke out
The VIP lounge was finally open and fortunately one door down from gate C 17, my gate.
Priority Pass members use this lounge as well as other airlines.
There is even a shower in there
But what I did love was someone making me a cappucino while I filled a shot glass full of cold lemoncello. I just had to…
Naples Airport is really beautiful. So modern and chic.
Boarding started 15 minutes before take off and I guess you could come a bit later. But I wouldn’t 🙂
And now, sitting in my seat on the plane writing this to you all, I come to the end of my story.. The end of my journey…
As sadness fills my heart I know I will return.. How can you not.
Next time minimum 1 week in Naples.
Bella Italia Grazie Mille!