When the moon hits your eye like a big Pizza Pie…it must be Napoli. This birth place of pizza (that wonderful combination of the 3 basic food groups – starch, protein and vegetable) is like all the Mediterranean stops on this journey – another that we now enjoy a second time. Our first visitation here involved a tour down the coast of Amalfi (that HAS to be on your bucket list!). This time a side trip to the Isle of Capri is in order.
Visiting Capri requires a ferry from Naples to the island and tickets must be purchased with a firm return time. The little group we were with (5 of us) had some…communication problems when purchasing the tickets. Not a major deal but it ended up with us getting a return time a little earlier than really necessary, basically cutting our time on the island itself. Oh well…it’s not raining and we’re in no hurry. Besides, once we get there we have all decided to go our own way, for exploration purposes anyway, meeting back at the ferry when mandated.
The 1 hour trip across was much smoother than reports on the internet have suggested. Maybe they just had bad weather? Greeted on the shore with shops and restaurants galore, we head to the funicular and ride up to the upper level of the town.
Small streets, struggling to support the occasional delivery vehicle and throngs of people, wind their way along the cliffs. Again shops and restaurants abound but so do residences of the more-than-a-little wealthy. The buildings may not be their ‘home’, but they certainly make for an enviable retreat.
Today is simply a walking around, no agenda day. The grandkids did well on this walkabout, but so did Oma. 🙂 Back to the funicular for the ride down the hillside and a little time to traipse up and down the shoreline. Wait…I hear a beer calling my name! Oh good…found it. 🙂 A short stop to quench the thirst and back to the ferry we go.
Although the time on Capri was cut a little short, there was a spin-off benefit. We now had time to do at least one tour on a HOHO bus. Having now been in Naples twice, we had yet to actually see any of the city itself. As it turns out, there are 3 different lines one can take, a single ticket getting you on board two of them. The Red line was chosen as it seemed to do most of the inner city.
Naples doesn’t have the best reputation it seems. Pickpockets and organized crime seem to be some of its bigger claims to fame. But the reality is, I think, no worse than any other city we have visited on this cruise. Yes, pickpockets are everywhere, perhaps more so in some of the more well-travelled European cities (which are certainly all the ones we’ve been in so far and yet to come). Naples bigger problem, again in my own opinion, is simply one of cleanliness.
The city has much to offer in the way of beautiful, OLD, buildings and architecture. But those same buildings suffer greatly from the overall pollution of the area. Diesel fumes are more than plentiful, yet understandable given the price of gas. Most of the streets (again, like most anywhere in Europe) are small and heavily congested. All of this leads to an immensely visible buildup of grime on the buildings. That gives Naples a less-than-appealing view to the visiting world. I won’t give my opinions on what could be done, but I will say that I am very happy that I took the time to visit the city, if only by rooftop, on a double-decker bus. It definitely has its own beauty that can still be seen.