A Day In Naples

I had a day in Naples on my recent trip to South Italy. Honestly, after reading negative reviews online (mainly around petty crime, cleanliness and chaos) I was not keen on spending much time in Naples. In fact, I cut short my stay to one night instead of two. However, after a day of walking around this chaotic, bustling city, I can say it’s worth a visit. It is not one of your magical European cities with perfect cobblestone streets and candy coloured buildings. It is raw, it is real and thats what makes it likeable. Most importantly, you can’t possibly come to Italy and not have Neopolitan pizza. I chose the oldest (and world famous) Pizzeria Da Michele and it was so so good– fresh and chunky tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and melt-in-your-mouth bread!! Love that it’s made fresh right in front of you and they have stuck to their roots by serving only two types– Marinara and Margherita.

I was actually a bit surprised to find clean subway stations and streets (blogs say otherwise). Maybe a recent face-lift? No idea, but in short I was plesantly surprised by Naples and probably will spend a bit more time on my next visit.

Our train from Siena was delayed so we arrived at around 11 pm at our apartment instead of 7 pm. We were staying in the Spanish quarter right next to Spaccanapoli–the long ancient street that splits Naples into two.

Next day, we had the typical Italian breakfast of coffee and pastries at a cafe nearby. Coffee in south Italy is stronger, bitter compared to North but I found the people to be nicer.

We set out to explore the city on foot keeping Rick Steve’s walking tour as our guide. I found Rick Steve’s guides very useful in Italy and especially for Naples since we had only half a day, the walking tour was perfect for an introduction to the city. Also, it gave a peek into local lifestyle– the Neoplitants going about their daily lives, bargaining at the lively markets, chatting, flirting! History of Naples is quite different from Rome; in fact there is a long period under Spanish rule and the influence is quite palpable even today. You can just download the Rick Steve’s Europe app, search for the relevant tours and you are good to go.

I am sharing some of my favourite pictures from the walking tour.

Via Pasquale Scura aka Spanish Quarter

Via Toledo–the busiest street in Naples

Piazza Gesu Nuovo
Gesu Nuovo Church– It was absolutely stunning!

Santa Chiara Church
Spaccanapoli–you can see how long and straight it is!
Sfogliatella–Neopolitan sweet treat filled with cheese or cream
Baba Rum–Food discovery of the day! It’s a sponge cake soaked in rum

Inside University of Naples
Statue of Nile at the Egyptian quarter

Christmas crèche or presepi–quintessential christmas decoration for Neoplitans

Pulcinella–the symbol of Naples!

Oldest Pizzeria in Naples– Da Michele
Best Pizza ever– Margherita from Da Michele

Piazza Dante

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