Ciao tutti ! We just came back from an amazing 3 day and a half weekend and a half on the Amalfi coast in Italy. It was only a 3 day holidays so we didn’t have time to see everything we wanted but we managed to do quite a lot (and I still managed to take 500 pictures in such a short time !). Of course I won’t show you all of them but it seems impossible to only do one post about it so there will be 3 : the first one about Napoli, the second about Capri and Anacapri and finally the last one about Sorrento, Amalfi and Positano. Buon viaggio !
Let’s start then with Napoli which is one of the last big city in Italy I didn’t know yet (I know better Italy then France actually). This is a city that not everyone will love because the atmosphere is a bit different than the rest of Italy. It’s noisy and I must say dirty (the dirtiest city I’ve ever seen in Europe). The traffic is awful, you’d better be a zen kind of person if you’re driving there, everybody honks all the time, pedestrians are crossing wherever they want, scooters thread their ways whenever they can…in short it’s a joyful mess !By the way if you’re looking for old Fiat 500 you’ll be disappointed, there are almost none, this one is the only one I saw.However you can see a lot of Ape PIaggio which the Boyfriend and I love. We would have loved to rent one. :)
I’ll stop here with the negative points because Napoli is still a fascinating and exuberant city that will not go unnoticed !
To visit :
First of all you can see a lot of beautiful squares like we are used to in Italy.Piazza BelliniPiazza del Plebiscito Piazza del Gesù NuovoPiazza San Domenico MaggiorePiazza Trieste e TrentoPiazza DantePiazzetta San Gregorio ArmenoThere is also a castle and a gallery which kinda looks like the one of Milan.Castel NuovoGalleria Umberto 1
Neapolitans seem to be very religious because there are altars in almost every streets and a lot of churches. You can also see Neapolitan crèches a bit everywhere which is an artisan tradition and especially in the picturesque street Via San Gregorio Armeno where you can buy them.Il duomo However what I liked the most was to sneak in private yards (like I do in Paris) in the historic district : the architecture is amazing, it’s very quiet and the magic kicks in right away. This is how we’ve discovered this wonderful yard which is part of the Ministry of Justice.We just spent one day in Napoli so we probably missed a lot especially since we don’t like to visit monuments too much (yes I know what a shame but I’m sure it’s because of my father who forced me to visit castles and museums almost every weekend when I was a child). We prefer to stroll in the streets randomly to take in the real atmosphere of the city. And what about the most important topic : il cibo (food)?!
To eat :
In Napoli you can eat the whole day and almost everywhere, you can be sure it’s gonna be delicious. Of course you need to have a pizza, the real one ! We had one at the famous pizzeria L’antica pizzeria da Michele which is a bit of an institution, this is why there is always a huge queue waiting outside so just take it “to go” like we did and you’ll be served in 10 minutes ! We took one Margherita each which was to die for and at the unbeatable price of 4€ (we are clearly being scammed in Paris) !Da Michele – Via Cesare Sersale, 1/3 – 80139 NAPOLI
Let yourself be tempted also by the taralli Napolitani that I love so much (salted biscuits with a lot of pepper and almonds).Of course you also need to have good pasta with delicious stew ragu and for that I recommend the restaurant Tandem (sorry I didn’t have time to take pictures, it was so good that I ate it all in a few minutes). Here as well prices are low because we only paid 25€ for us both for main course and wine (Tandem – Via Giovanni Paladino, 51 – 80138 NAPOLI).
On the sweet side Neapolitan specialties are rum baba and pastiera (pastry stuffed with a mix of ricotta, candied fruits and orange blossom water) amongst others. Don’t forget also to get a granita al limone (sorbet out of crushed ice). At the Gambarinus café they are better than the ones you usually find in food trucks. Gran Caffè Gambrinus – piazza Trieste e Trento – 80132 NAPOLI
All that is good but where do you stay for the night in Napoli ?
To stay :
I’m very happy to have found this amazing B&B on booking.com (it’s only been open for a few months). This place is a true gem located in the historic district on Spaccanapoli street in a beautiful old building. If you have a plastered leg don’t go there because it’s at the last floor and the marble steps are very high !Ta-dah ! Welcome to The Church where you’ll be warmly welcomed by the owners Enrico and Carla in a big apartment on 2 floors with a living room, a kitchen and this adorable terrace to have breakfast. The key word of the interior decoration is salvage. I’m extremely fan of this coffee pot idea ! Like I told you before in the apartment there was also a shared kitchen where you can cook, a dining room and a living room. It feels like you’ve been housed by friends… very nice! This was the bathroom we shared with the owners (you have to know that they are shared bathrooms, so lock yourself if you want to avoid awkward situations ah ah ah).And this was our room under the roof with a huge terrace just for us and a 100% salvage interior decoration. I don’t know about you but I suddenly have so many new ideas to decorate our home ! I was more than happy to do it. :)Isn’t this place amazing ?! If you go to Napoli, don’t hesitate to stay here. Aside from the great location and from the nice interior decoration, Enrico is very helpful with organizing your stay in the city and talking with him is a real pleasure. However please avoid telling him that all Neapolitans are Mafiosi, he doesn’t appreciate these nasty clichés about his beloved city. ;)
The Church – Via San Bagio dei Librai, 39 – 80138 NAPOLI
To close this first chapter, even if Napoli isn’t my favorite Italian city, it’s still a special city which is worth consideration and taking time to appreciate it and understand it. It’s a culturally rich city (“she’s kidding right, she said she didn’t visit anything”), a bustling and charming town at the same time between the rumbling of the Vespas, busy artisans working in front of their shops and clothes hanging on balconies.
Don’t go there with too many prejudices like Napoli equals mafia and insecurity. Everyone told me to be super careful with my belongings because it was a dangerous city and I must say I didn’t feel less insecure than in any other cities. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t say you didn’t have to be careful (especially in the Spanish district) but no need to be glued to your handbag. Go with the desire to discover a city of a thousand faces and try to tame it, you’ll discover an authentic city.
Voilà for our day in Napoli, “a dopo” (see you soon) for the next chapters ?