Naples, Italy – September 3rd 2013
Initial Thoughts: Naples is a busy, car-filled, gritty urban centre. I had read several reviews that said it wasn’t an ideal place for tourists and I can see why that would be a common first impression. When I visited I was very tired from my arrival to Italy so I wasn’t in frame of mind to dig a little deeper. I only stay in Naples for a night on my way south and in my 24 hours I didn’t have the opportunity to see beyond the traffic, the grim and the hustle. I spent the better part of the afternoon trying to find its world famous pizza but all the restaurants were closed and the cafe I stopped at refused to serve me food. I eventually bought a sad slice of pre-made pizza and ate it overlooking the water, but I was left frustrated and disappointed.
Favourite Moment: Oddly enough the most enjoyable part of my time in Naples was spent in my hostel. I was tired and cranky from my night at the airport so it was great to have a clean, well-organized, fairly quiet place to rest. The staff were so helpful, the rooms and bathrooms were clean and spacious, plus the vibe was friendly and welcoming. I also really enjoyed walking along the harbour in the sunshine but I was too tired and hungry to find the charm in the meandering backstreets.
Takeaways: When travelling make sure you are fed, hydrated and somewhat rested if you want to enjoy your experience. It seems simple but taking care of your basic needs can drastically increase your appreciation of a new place. It is also important to have realistic expectations of travel days. If you are arriving in a new city after a long flight, a time change, or a difficult transfer, give yourself the freedom to be tired and embrace the beauty of a slow, relaxing day.
Useful Information: I personally didn’t love Naples, but I only saw the smallest part of it. The Aussie Nomad and Nomadic Matt have more advice about what to visit. I stayed at Hostel of the Sun. I would highly recommended it if you are in Naples as it is in a great location, the staff are really helpful and the rooms are clean and spacious. I took the ferry to Sorrento and felt that the price of 12 Euro was well worth it for the views. There is also a 4 Euro train that is dirty, rundown but runs on time and is a cheaper alternative to travel along the coast.