Hi from Italy! We made it out of Englnd and are enjoying this country for the next week or so. Starting in Naples…After a day of training and airplaning, we arrived in the city around 7 pm on Sunday night. Just in time for an evening stroll and some well-deserved wine. I only drank one (bigger-than-my-face-sized) glass…Plus plenty of fresh seafood! I’ve tried a number of fish I’ve never seen or heard of while I’m here. Drench anything in olive oil and I will eat it.We also shared a melon/prosciutto starter. Sweet but salty!The next morning we were up bright and early to stroll around the city. With a stop for cappuccinos, of course.Naples was bigger and busier than we expected. It’s hard to describe the entire place because we were there for such a short time, but I think if I had to sum up Naples in one word, it’d be gritty. The sidewalks are worn and, honestly, quite littered — we heard that there are some issues with the city trash service. The people seemed tough and hurried, but full of energy. And let’s not talk about the drivers and number of times I was almost run over by moto-bikes 😉But at the same time, Naples surprised us with spots of unexpected charm — like the beautiful Gesu Nuovo cathedral.After our morning walk we set out for a big excursion to Naples’ ancient ruins and epic mountains. Starting in Pompeii: Enormous and impressive. How did they build this all without machines? I can barely make a good pillow fort.We didn’t have time to cover everything, but our tour guide did the best she could to show us some of Pompeii’s most significant spots during the two-hour walk.Does anyone else wonder what the people of 3015 will think of us, people of 2015? Good thing they’ll have this blog to rely on for historical record…After Pompeii, we stopped with the group (I booked our tour through Viator, btw) for pizza, cold beer, and glorious air conditioning. Anthony and I shared a table with another Australian woman who was lovely to chat with!And then we were off for stop #2: Mt. Vesuvius. This active volcano was responsible for ending the population of Pompeii in 79 BC, but luckily it didn’t erupt while we were there The views from the top were amazing. These photos don’t really do it justice — you’ll have to go climb it yourself Just Anthony hanging out on the edge of a 1000-foot crater.The walk back down was steep! I wasn’t expecting this tour to be a workout, but at the end of the day our legs were pretty tired.In fact, I kept my Garmin going for most of the day and was shocked to see we covered more than 9 miles (about 5 miles with the tour and 4 more before and after the outing). With some serious elevation gains, too! Glad we’re working off all of that gelato, pizza, pasta, wine, ricotta, croissants, beer, biscotti, salami, and granita 😉 .
Speaking of which, let’s get back to the food! After such a big day out, we had plans to stop at a casual pizza joint near our hotel. Unfortunately most of the restaurants in our part of town were closed because it was a Monday.
So we ended up cabbing it to a different neighborhood called Chiaia and enjoying an awesome meal at La Cantina de Lazzari. It was a bit of an adventure getting there, but I’m so glad we ended up in this new-to-us neighborhood. We sat outside and enjoyed a nice breeze from the bay and quiet streets while enjoying another mountain of seafood.Our waiter/new best friend Andrea convinced us that we had to try the house-made “baba,” which is a typical Naples pastry soaked in rum. Let me tell you, we needed a lot of convincing indeed. And then the limoncello came out, too.After dinner we took a stroll around the bay, which was absolutely beautiful — kind of reminded me of DC’s Georgetown waterfront! It was nice to see a softer, quieter side of Naples during the last few moments of our stay. Sweet ending to our short trip, for sure.