Tuesday, September 10, 2019

October 18, 2018 – Naples, Italy – Sunny, chance of showers – 79F

Naples is the capital of the Campania Region of Italy.  The city is in a volcanic regions between the well known, Mt. Vesuvius, and the Phlegraean Fields.  The old city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A gorgeous day in Napoli.

The visibility is great and that means a view of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius from the deck of the Constellation.

Naples is known for two things – pickpockets and great pizza.  We are ready for pickpockets - as we are not carrying anything in our pockets,  Our mission today in Napoli is to find a great pizza restaurant.  In the past, we have gotten pizza pretty close to the port but today, we are going to walk to the City Center and start there.  The city is right across the street from the port and the signage is pretty good so locating the main sites should be easy.

One of the most impressive sites on this walk is the Castel Nuovo, dating back to 1279.  This medieval castle can be seen from the port and is always pointed out on city tours. 

We also came across the Cinema Metropolitan.  Although, the architecture of this building is interesting, it is a standard movie theater playing the same first run movies we would see back home.

In the traffic circle on the way, I captured an amazing fountain, which is named the Fountain of the Artichoke.  

Even more impressive was the Fountain of Neptune, a multi-figured structure consisting of sea serpents, Tritons, and, of course, Neptune and his trident.  It is the work of several artists and was completed around 1600.

The main attraction we were looking for and found was the Piazza de Plebescito, aa huge circular array of buildings highlighted by the Naples Royal Palace and the Church of San Francesco de Paola.  In the past, this has been a tour stop but today, we found it pretty easily. 


From there, we walked further into the shopping area

 – the narrow streets were filled with clothing stores (many upscale) and the ubiquitous pizza restaurants.  


We even found a shopping street complete with trees, that gave the whole street the look of night time.

The streets had interesting features.  I found a giant ice cream cone (did not buy a cone)

and Ellen found some welcoming pineapples on a building.

On previous visits to Naples, we have been unsuccessful in finding any spas in the downtown area.  On today’s trek, we literally ran into an upscale spa – Estetica World on Villa Chiala.  Not only that but they had openings for both of us in 30 minutes.  So we both had treatments at the Spa (where they spoke no English) for 50 euros for one hour.  It was very relaxing and took away a lot of the knots and tension.  

After the spa, we turned up a side street with al fresco diners.  We had lunch at Anticapizza Brandi.  

To the surprise of the waiter, we order just one Margherita Pizza (I believe that each person is expected to order their own pizza).  The pizza cost 7.5 Euros plus 4.5 Euro for a large beer on draft, and 2.3 Euros for a Coke Light.  With the cover charge of 3.6 Euros, the total for the lunch, which we ate al fresco was 17.90 Euros (a bargain).  Very good.  We also met a very nice couple from France and even though they spoke little English, they were able to give us information of the second of our back to back cruises, which had stops in France.  Oh, yes, the beer was very good also.

An easy walk back to the pier and back on the ship - we had a little time to relax before dinner.  The sail away from Naples was in the gloaming but scenic, nevertheless.  

Showtime Variety tonight featuring both Jayne Curry and December ’63.  Jayne had most of the 45 minutes and sang more songs with less conversation.  Both performers were excellent.  Jane also burned off a few calories running around the theater - always a fun part.

A totally wonderful day in Naples.

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