So at this point in our stay we had ventured into Naples only to visit the train station and the surrounding area and quite frankly it didn’t give me much anticipation for our day in Naples. However it was a major city and I felt we should at least give it a try!
We awoke to heavy showers, we got up and dressed and looked outside the window wondering when it would stop. The trains from Pollena to Naples were every hour, at half past. At 9.20am it was still pouring it down but by 9.25am it had cleared and we made a run for it to the station.
My first impressions of Naples weren’t fantastic. Whilst I had spent most of the holiday looking around and about in Naples I only looked down. The amount of broken glass, dog shit and in today’s case puddles on the floor was crazy. You know sometimes when you’re lost in an unknown place and you wander down a street and think, ‘This is really rough, I’ve obviously taken a wrong turn here’. Well we spent the whole first half of the day feeling like that.
On top of that a lot of the places I wanted to visit were closed, mostly due to building work. It was quite disappointing. There was a place called ‘The Church of Purgatory’ which sounded especially amazing, due to its human skull decorations. Unfortunately that was closed!
Just as we were thinking we would just give up and go back to the hotel the day took a turn. We discovered something that Naples does amazingly…food. We walked past a place that specialised in Baba cakes and decided to indulge. It was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had and it cost next to nothing!
From that point the day improved. We seemed to come to a more touristy area, the streets widened, the sun started to shine and suddenly everything looked friendlier. We walked along the shops lining the street and couldn’t believe how cheap everything was. We got some handmade Christmas decorations for our tree, only a euro each, and I got a cameo bracelet and brooch for 20 euros.
We then found ourselves at the marina, which we walked along and spent some time watching the boats. Afterwards we went to the Santa Chiara which was a wonderful religious complex. It contained a church, a monastery, tombs and an archaelogical museum. There was an entry fee but it was a lovely oasis of calm in the middle of the bustling city. It also shielded us from some showers that had started up again. It had some beautiful gardens, it was very tranquil. My only criticism was none of the items in the museum were explained in English.
After this we decided it was certainly time for lunch. We knew we wanted pizza and happened across the ‘Rossopomodoro Napoli Centro’. It was quite busy but was over 2 floors so they managed to find a space for us. Unfortunately it was right in front of the air conditioning unit and I had to swap seats with Adam before my arm froze off. Adam and I both enjoyed our pizzas though, they were absolutely delicious. I also got the biggest glass of prosecco I’ve ever had for only 3 euros. The service was quite slow, we waited about 20 minutes for our bill after asking about 3 times but overall it wasn’t a bad meal.
Our next visit was the Bourbon tunnels which was certainly an experience. They are ancient underground passages which connected the royal palace to the military barracks. Included in the ticket price was a 90 minute tour and I really enjoyed it. There was lots to see there, including messages scrawled on the war from people using it as a shelter during the war, mechanical statues and a variety of vintage cars and bikes. Everything was quite heavily aged but it gave it a wonderful eerie quality to it all.
By this time it was about 6pm and we were pretty exhausted having done quite a lot of walking so we grabbed a few things to eat from the station and headed home for a relaxing evening at the hotel!