Crooked sidewalks, murky buildings and trashy streets reminiscent of New York City. I knew we were really in Naples. I decided I’d go with a friend, which normally I wouldn’t do just because my travel preferences don’t tend to sit well with others: Couchsurfing, not spending on attractions and cooking at home. But this time I’d made an exception. We took our train bright and early in the morning, grabbed a smoothie from Roma Termini then headed to the city of immense wonder with a scandalous reputation. We were pleasantly surprised. Aside from our curious robbery experience on the subway (I’ll write about that later), everything else was quite nice.
First we looked for our AirBnB which was conveniently in the Spanish Quarter (I’m Mexican and my friend is from El Salvador so we fit right in). From the Napoli station we tried to take buses but when they didn’t come, decided on the subway which took us right to where we wanted to go.
Then, because we were us, we set about finding lunch. Honestly, going anywhere with this girl requires an iron stomach because we spend 97% of our time eating. I, being a big fan of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love wanted to find Antica which is the restaurant the main character visits when in Naples. And while we didn’t go to the exact one, we found a sister Antica in the Spanish Quarter so we ordered the two things on the menu: Pizza Marinara for me and a Pizza Margherita for Wendy! And as you can see, it was stupendous!
Afterwards, with no travel itinerary we set about walking around and found our way to the coast (where you could see Mount Vesuvius), checked out the egg castle, el Duomo and explored more of the Spanish Quarter and its many winding streets and narrow passageways. We went into this fancy bakery with a chandelier and gilded everything. Honestly, we just headed in for the picture quality but didn’t order anything. Instead we got gelato at Fondante Gelato by the coast. My fondant chocolate gelato was so rich it gave me a toothache! In the evening, when it was time for dinner I found an exquisite vegan restaurant called Vero where I got zucca fiore tempura (squash tempura) and a mojito. Afterwards, trying to find our way home, we stumbled upon an open arts space/bar with a relaxed vibe and great service. We got specialty drinks and chatted up some fellow tourist-lovebirds who gave us some advice: “the best way to find love is in places like this.”
Since we had to leave right after lunch, we packed our things, had breakfast at our AirBnB which consisted of homemade bread and an espresso, and headed out.
We strolled around the market in Piazza Garibaldi to check out the space and get our last goodbyes of my personally favorite city in Italy. For lunch, we grabbed some more cheap pizza (because of course!) and some carrot juice, headed to the train station which had a nice shopping scene where I got a Caprisi crossbody bag and we snacked on a carrot tart and freshly-squeezed orange juice (spremuta) until our train arrived.
Saying goodbye was tough but I knew I would be back to enjoy this miraculous town for longer at some other point in my life. All in all, I highly recommend this experience if you’re into just blindly exploring and are open to shady (and wonderful!) experiences.