I was struggling to like Naples, it just felt like some form of chaos everywhere I looked and it wasn’t sitting well with me. In an attempt to sway my feelings towards the good I set off on foot to see what I could find in an afternoon. Marking out Castel Nuovo, the Royal Palace and finally the National Archaeological Museum as places to see on this very warm italian afternoon.
True to what you hear about Naples, there is rubbish all over the place. It’s not just a random street here and there its everywhere. Now this might seem strange as I know I was a long way removed from Asia but with streets that look like the picture above and the chaos that surrounds I couldn’t help but be reminded of it as I walked closer to the coast and my first stop.
I made a quick stop for lunch (pizza naturally) at a tiny little pizza shop that was staffed by men that just oozed old school Italian before arriving at Castle Nuovo. An impressive castle to look at, less than impressive to look through. A few artifacts from times gone by can be seen in part of the buildings but the rest appears to be converted to office space and various other uses. If you were going to pay to enter it would only be for the view of the harbour in my mind, otherwise stop outside take a look and keep on moving.
Just up from the Castle you will find Piazza del Plebiscito, one of the largest squares in Naples. Bordering it from the east is the Royal Palace and to the west you will find the church of San Francesco di Paola. Unfortunately I couldn’t enter the Royal Palace so had to make do with wandering the square and the surrounding streets along the harbour.
I could have spent all afternoon sitting down along the water behind the Palace, there was a beautiful cool breeze and everything about the view said relax.
The final stop for the day was the National Archaeological Museum which luckily for me was located practically next door to my hostel. Having already been to Pompeii and Herculaneum I was looking forward to seeing the artifacts that had been excavated and housed here. Unfortunately by the time I’d managed to navigate the streets of Naples and get home, the museum was about to close and I missed out. Let that be a lesson to you all, sometimes a little extra planning isn’t a bad idea.
Defeated I dropped by the local supermarket for a few beers and returned home to relax with the hostel crew. The owner hung out with us for awhile and as always wanted to crack a joke, mainly at the expense of his poor wife. Even with the sometimes sexist jokes he had come out with about her they both laughed until he was ordered back to work or face getting the boot out the door, said with a smile as well.
You could tell they enjoyed both what they did and each other. Everything was done with a smile and a laugh as if there wasn’t a care in the world between them. Without them I’m sure the hostel wouldn’t be half as much fun as it was for me. Tomorrow I would catch the train to Sorrento and enjoy the last few days of my European adventure as London was finally calling my name.
As for Naples, well I still didn’t love the place but I’d be willing to give it a second try.