Naples, Italy

The first stop on our trip to Italy was Napoli. We went here mainly because of its proximity to Capri and Amalfi, the places we planned to spend most of the trip, and it’s the city we had to fly into. Seeing a new city is always fun so we figured we should spend at least a couple days here.

Naples, as seen from our hotel room window Naples, looking south-east from our hotel room window.

Our first day in Naples we spent just wandering around. We found some high ground and got a good look out over the city, the bay, and out to the island of Capri where we’d be heading in a couple days. And Vesuvius, of course, which dominates the view to the east.

Vesuvius Hazy view of Naples and Vesuvius, as seen from Castel Sant’Elmo

And speaking of Vesuvius, no trip to Napoli is complete without seeing Pompeii, so we made plans to take the train out to the site on our second day in town. The trip only takes about an hour from the main train station in Naples so we had plenty of time to wander around the ruins. Parts of the city were amazingly well preserved and it was easy to imagine there being life here. We found what were once peoples’ homes, including kitchens, and most of the stone roads bore deep scores that were made over time by chariot wheels traveling over them. These sorts of details really make sites like this come alive in ways that yet another amphitheater does not.

Pompeii

Our third morning in Naples was spent preparing to leave for Capri. The ferry out to the island only takes about 90 minutes, so we could have gone at any time, but after two days we had about had our fill of the city. We really weren’t impressed; compared to another urban Italian city like Rome, Naples just looked dirty and run down. The people were often unfriendly and the food was uninspiring, being mostly fish-based with few vegetarian options. There were exceptions, of course, but in general we were a little disappointed.

More pictures from Napoli

More pictures from Pompeii