Napoli in 3 (gourmet) days
The mechanics of our decision was simple as that: we had three days to spare and we were looking for the sun, as close as it can be at 2-3 hours by air. We had explored Positano and Amalfi coast, we saw Bari and Puglia, and Capri was a little too complicated to manage. We love pizza. And we have never ever seen Napoli. According to the old saying, everybody should see it, at least once in a lifetime. Napoli, arriviamo!
Day one: I like Christmas, but I am not that kind of a fan singing “Jingle bells” in June. Even so, it was kind of enchanting to see the Christmas street San Gregorio Armeno (all the decorations are hand made and the market is open… all year round. But, I tell you, Via San Biaggio dei Librai is the address to put on your maps. I swear, if there were two more days, my whole training at the gym would have been compromised. I tried and testes babà al rum (with rom or limoncello), the cannolo, biscotto all’amarena, struffoli, graffe, torta ricotta e pere and a lot of sfogliatella (frolla & riccia). Not to miss on this street: Ospedale delle bambolle (a hospital for dolls, where the dolls are being repaired from 1800) the shirts’ stores and the beautiful old buildings with superb arches (Palazzo Marigliano and Palazzo Tufarelli), and… a lot of cats sleeping between the sheets.
For a excellent espresso (you know me, a #coffeeaddict), try Buona Merenda (http://www.buonamerenda.it). For a good drink in the evening (yep, right on the sidewalk, along with a dozen of local hipsters and young artists (Via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli). For a more artistic vibe, Spazio Nea is the perfect place (www.spazionea.it): an art gallery, a coffee shop and a beautiful villa with a terrace, all in one.
Day two: Let’s get the best views of Naopli. Therefore, a ride by Funicolare to the Castel Sant’Elmo did the magic. It is the perfect place for Instagram pictures of the colourful roofs of the city and Vesuvium mountain in the back. The second stop: Villa Floridiana, situated is a large park in the Vomero quarter in Naples, overlooking the western Neapolitan suburbs of Chiaia and Mergellina. A Funicolare ride again and here we are, at the sea, looking for the sun. And Castel dell’Ovo, one of the biggest attractions. From the port up to the town, to the Toledo shopping street.
The final step: more sfogliatelle and, of course, pizza. Now we are talking Italian style. Because when you are in Napoli, you should eat pizza. For sure, at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele (Via Cesare Sersale, 1, http://damichele.net). We were lucky. We stayed like for half an hour to wait for our table and to have the privilege of choosing between those two kinds of pizza (and beer or soda). Simple as that. I said lucky, yes, and it worths waiting. The next day, at the same hour, more than 4-5 dozen people were patiently waiting in front of L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele. What would some people do for a slice of pizza…
Day three. It was the time to explore the underground in Napoli Sotterranea. An interesting experience, but a little bit too long for my taste. To check a little bit more of the colours of Naopli, put on the list Palazzo Reale Napoli and Piazza del Gesù (where students talk over an espresso and a panini the latest gossips). For sure, my favourite “touristic” sport was MADRE, the Contemporary Art Museum in Napoli (http://www.madrenapoli.it/). More espresso, more sfoliagtelle… and giri di pasta on Via dei Tribunali (sort of pasta threads with all sort of cheese and condiments – http://www.giridipasta.it).