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Naples, Italy in Review


Naples could use some work… some oversight… maybe a good scrubbing with lots of bleach. I was told by a colleague that it’s “not a place you would want to visit until your fourth or fifth, maybe even sixth time in Italy.” Now that I’ve seen it, I get it, but it was convenient to explore, being on the road to Pompeii.


The streets in “Napoli” are filthy. Trash is strewn about, there are many pungent odors wafting in the air, and the dogs randomly run the streets.


A nice, classic Italian scene, but notice all the garbage on the stairs…


Many of the locals seem a bit on the rough side, though just as anywhere, some genuinely pleasant people can be found. My wife and I stopped at a random dessert bar on the way back to the train station. The bar was clean and inviting, like a diamond in the rough, and the bartender was really pleasant and nice. The limoncellos we tried were super-sweet but good. We had been to other dessert bars, always keeping an eye open for a bottle of the aforementioned drink but, when we finally asked about it, we discovered they keep it chilled in a fridge.


Unfortunately for us, the town’s/society’s siesta schedule caused us to miss out on trying the Margherita pizza from the restaurant Brandi, which is where that particular offering was invented in 1889. Hungry, we wandered around that part of town until we found a pizzeria open at 5 PM (most places are closed from 4-7), up a random side-street. The Margherita pizza there was great! It seems like Naples is the only place that keeps it authentically simple, with basil leaves that you can actually see. The Margherita pizza we tried in all the other towns looked just like cheap, American-style cheese pizza. The other pizza ordered – the “Pizza Bolognese” – wasn’t so good. There is something about hamburger meat, resting atop a pool of olive oil, that is really unappetizing.



Although Naples is an old-school, too-rustic-for-its-own-good kind of town, one thing super helpful is the occasional street map posted throughout the city – something we didn’t see in Rome a single time.


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