We set out early for Naples with more than a little trepidation. We were warned to wear our money belts and not to wear any good jewelry. I was more than a little tense when we arrived even though my friend Starr had been stationed in Naples during her career with the Air Force and had survived it.
Our first stop in Naples was at the Museo Capodimonte
where we had a guided tour of the best collection of Renaissance art in southern Italy.
This is a Titian of one of the Farnese popes.
This is a beautiful building,
once an 18th century hunting lodge, with incredible art
everywhere you look.
We had the museum almost completely to ourselves. What a difference from the crowds in Pompeii.
After the Museo we walked through this Galleria
then headed to our hotel dragging our bags several blocks on a pedestrian street. By the time we got to our hotel I’d relaxed. Naples is no worse than living in NYC which I did for a dozen years! As soon as we’d dropped off our bags Mary and I set out to find pizza for lunch.
Just around the corner from our hotel was Brandi, the pizzeria that claims to have invented
Pizza Margherita. Of course, that is what we ordered and it did not disappoint. The wine did, however, given that Brandi is a tourist destination this was the only mediocre wine of our whole trip. We drank it anyway and enjoyed ourselves.
After lunch we met Donato, our RS Guide, for an orientation tour and then most of us followed him up the funiculare to Castel St. Elmo,
once a fortress and now a monastery but with a spectacular
view of Naples.
That's Vesuvius in the background topped by clouds. We spent some time snapping pictures and enjoying the view when almost at the same moment, Mary and I and Mary and Bill looked around and realized we’d been left behind! The rest of our group had disappeared. We wandered back to the entrance but no group. So we set out on our own to find the funiculare again. We took a wrong turn but knew we were headed basically in the right direction. I pulled out my Italian and asked an old gentleman Dove e la funiculare? He pointed us in the right direction. Then just as we lost faith in ourselves a lovely young woman with several children in tow stopped us and asked us if we needed help – in Engish! She was an American, now living in Naples, and relished the opportunity to speak with us in English. It turns out the funiculare was just around the corner. By the time we rode down we realized that somehow we’d gotten ahead of our group and I decided it was time to try out those international minutes I’d bought from AT&T and call our faithful guide. So glad I did. They were searching for us.
We all headed back to our hotel for a rest. That evening Mary and I headed down the hill to Café Umberto (recommended by our hotel). I spotted a floral jacket in a store window and decided to try it on.
Loved it so I bought it…the best kind of souvenir. Every time I wear it I will think of Napoli. At Café Umberto we were ahead of the crowd. I ordered Spaghetti with Prawn and it was, of course, delicioso!