I must admit I ended up in Naples (aka Napoli in Italian) by complete chance. It was not on our itinerary as we travelled across Italy. We were supposed to visit the ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’, in the town of Pisa- region Tuscana. That never happened and I still have not made a day trip from Bologna (Max, my husband’s hometown) to see this monument since Firenze and Venezia are always calling my name!
Back in 1998 I spent 1.5 weeks in Italy with my friend Lisa, way before I knew I would marry an Italian one day. We took the Eurorail around the country and ultimately made our way to Rome; as the saying goes “All roads lead to Rome”. That is where the itinerary was changed. Instead of heading north we continued on south to Napoli. I knew nothing about this city. Lisa picked it after reading about it in a guidebook. It sounded interesting so we hopped on the train and off we went.
Arriving to the city we picked a cheap hotel that was advertised at the train station and that is when I learned that Neapolitan’s are the craziest drivers that I have ever encountered. The streets were bumper to bumper with cars and no one stopped at the stop lights. It absolutely amazed me and to this day I still recall us both having to just close our eyes and walk across the round-about blindly to make it to the other side. No one hit us and it seriously was the only way to make it across the street.
Other thoughts on Napoli:
Amazing pizza! They really know how to make it here. I know there are many great pizzas across Italy, but something about this style is just incredible. Seriously the best pizza I have ever had was here.
Napoli is a port city with a beautiful coastline with amazing buildings to experience as you explore. We even somehow found ourselves amongst the rocks going down to the water; go figure- youth is what I call it.
Lisa continued her research and we ended up taking a day trip to Sorrento which is south of Napoli and is a charming town also along the Mediterranean Sea. I remember taking in some amazing views as we explored this town. This is where I first learned that Italians put eggs in their pasta! What? They call it carbonara and I tried the eggs with cream sauce dish and loved it! The other thing I was introduced to here was limoncello, an after dinner drink with a lemon base… yummy! I was sold.
I still love carbonara and limoncello and enjoy having both from time to time here in Los Angeles, but I will never forget the first time I was exposed to these items in Italy. I have not visited the region of Campania since that trip I took with Lisa, and look forward to returning one day, this time with my family.
A few more photos: