We woke up early morning on 29th March. This was the only day we would get to spend and see Naples as we were to go to Amalfi the next day. We had some nice quick breakfast served by Valeria. The Germans that Valeria had told us about the previous day were seated on the table too. We talked to them a bit. They were dating since 5 years. They had planned to visit Capri that day. After breakfast we bid them ciao and headed out.
If you don’t know by now, I am writing a detailed itinerary of our 3 week long trip to Italy in 2018. You can read about our journey from the beginning here or skip to our touchdown Italy here or 1st day here.
Well, where was I? Ok, following the same route as the first day we reached Vanvitelli metro station. We got familiar with the metro system by this time. Go underground, take your ticket from the counter or the machine, and board the train. As simple as that. Our plan was to explore the forts and palace today. Naples dates back to approximately 12,000 years. It was even inhabited during the stone age. It has been ruled by Greeks as well. The city is situated near the sea. So it is certain that there would be old forts lining the ocean to guard the city. When the history of a city dates back to many centuries, you have got to be intrigued by its beauty. There is a whole old tunnel and aqueduct system that runs through underground the city which has been preserved as it is and can be seen as a part of a tour.
I opened my Google maps and searched my first destination. “Piazza del Plebiscito”. Metro nearest to this showed Municipio, which was half a mile away from the Piazza. Piazza in Italian is nothing but a public square which has been maintained as it is from olden times in Italy. The square is usually named after some king or musician or artist whose sculpture adorns the square. It is a place where people sit and relax by the evening. I loved this culture in Italy.
We boarded the train and started walking as per the Google directions. The lanes were quite fascinating. We kept walking and reached a Galleria Umberto-I which was to our left on the way to the piazza. It was so beautiful that I couldn’t resist but go in. A few restaurants and cafes were opening up. There was a shop which was selling magnets. We decided we would buy it on the way back. I have stopped buying souvenirs and stuff from the places I visit. I just buy some magnets and put it up on my fridge to remind me of those places.
We walked ahead and by the time we reached the piazza we were hungry. We entered a pizza place nearby which sells pizza by the slice (Pizza al Trancio). We bought two slices and had it there itself.
Next we moved to the piazza. The piazza itself was so beautiful. The church of San Franciso di Paola on one side and the Royal Palace on the other. The church was very alluring from inside as well. Marble structures stood as if coming out of the walls of the church inside. We spent some time there and went to the palace. The palace looked simple. Not like the ones we have in India. It had a garden inside and statues all over the corridor. Then we came out. Standing at that Piazza gives you some ethereal feeling. It was so out of this world beautiful. Pictures do not do justice to those monuments at all.
We headed towards Castle Nuovo after that. On the way a shop was selling Lemon granita, so we had some. It hits your tongue and you instantly feel a chill running down your spine. It is sour but sweet sour.
Castel Nuovo is very close to the Piazza which completely walk-able. The fort was also very beautiful.
We headed towards the Castel dell’Ovo after that. There was some long distance to cover for that. The path took us through some of the beautiful views of the sea from there. This road, I am talking about , is famous as a tourist destination. Via Nazario Sauro. Mount Vesuvius is visible from the road.
if you have ever been to Pondicherry, you'll understand what this road looks like. the promenade beach in Pondicherry is very similar to the view that this road has.
After about 2 km walk, we reached the castle and went inside. The castle is similar to the forts we find back home except the view from top was really appealing. Boats and shipped were docked on the shore and the sea looked beautiful. We spent some time around the castle and then came outside. Entry to this castle was free.
It was lunch time by then. We were walking aimlessly near this place when we spotted a trattoria (small restaurant) tugged in a corner. We asked if they were open for lunch as we were the only people there. They invited us in but the whole place filled up by the time we ordered food. We ordered some sea food and wine. All the tables had chattering tourists.
To give an example of what our lunch cost, our bill was:
Coperta (cover charge) 4 euros
Vino (Wine): 10 Euros
Primi piatti (first course): 12 euros
Secondi piatti (second course): 12 euros
Total : 38 euros i.e. approx. Rs 3000/-
We had our lunch and went back to the road by the sea and sat for a while as we couldn’t walk after eating so much. Time passes quickly when you are enjoying.
On our way back we bought those magnets we had seen. We came across some beautiful markets now on the streets. They were selling everything from bags to books to magnets to souvenirs. Some of the souvenirs were really weird.
We stopped a while to listen to this band that was playing some beautiful music.
And after a while we entered a restaurant and had the most amazing tiramisu there.
We came back home after that by 6 p.m. as we had planned to visit this pizza place Da’michele which has the most amazing pizza in Naples. And Naples as we know is the birth place of pizza so we had to check that out. I made some instant tea in the kitchen. Valeria was not home. She came in the mean while and I offered her tea. She told us how her son had visited India but she had never thought of it as she was afraid of travelling in planes.
We freshened up after this and left the apartment at about 7.30 by the funicular and reached the restaurant. It had two floors. We were seated at the second floor cordially. Pizza in Italy is not for sharing. People order a whole pizza for themselves. We did that mistake at this place and definitely regretted our decision. We couldn’t finish it whole. It was tasty though. With 4 cheeses, it was melt in the mouth. We also made the mistake of ordering crochets as starters. Hehe!
We never made the mistake of ordering a whole pizza each for ourselves after that in Italy!
Well, the place was not very expensive so we came out happy and called it a day.