Italy
Miano

Here you’ll find travel reports about Miano. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

50 travelers at this place:

  • Day274

    9 months away & a visit to Naples

    March 27, 2017 in Italy

    We've been on the road for 9 months today. These monthly milestones seem to be coming closer and closer together as we become more settled in this way of life.
    Our journey happens everyday and although Vicky likes to plan, we've been on our own for the last 6 months and have embraced not knowing exactly where we will be next month, next week or even tomorrow, as our plans often change depending on what we encounter. While we've got a month by month itinerary of which country we'll be in, we don't plan our week by week until close to the time we go. We sometimes set off with a stopover in the sat nav, but if the van is serviced and we intend to wild camp, we don't know where we'll be sleeping. A major advantage is the element of discovery and surprise. A disadvantage, if you can call it that, is that without set plans for specific dates and places, we don't look forward with any level of detail or spend time visualising and anticipating as we would when we used to plan a week's holiday to somewhere familiar like Bala in Wales. Its friends and family to the rescue in this respect because we are lucky to be able to look forward to several highly anticipated visits in the coming months!

    Anyway, enough of this introspection, we are in Napoli, the home of Neapolitan pizza! Our Italian camperstop book told us there was overnight parking available at the port for a charge as well as a campsite a little further out of town. The parking was within walking distance from the centre, so we headed for this first and programmed the campsite in as a backup.

    It was with more than a little trepidation that we exited the motorway and began to negotiate the city streets. We'd met a Dutch couple a few days ago who had just come from Naples and described it as a 'crazy city' (and not in a good way). The Rough Guides description backed this up, so we had our wits about us. After asking two people, we found the parking within the busy port complex and although it was €30 for 24 hours, we decided the proximity to the centre and the on site parking attendant made it worth it.

    After taking care of Poppy, we strode out in search of lunch. The day was overcast and cooler than we'd been used to, with a few rain showers. Vicky found it quite refreshing to see Italy in this weather as she still felt all the warmth and sunshine was a bit unreal.

    Ironically, the marketside pizzeria wanted to flog us a Margherita and seemed not to understand 'Pizza Napoli' until we pointed it out on their menu board. We took it away and perched on a crumbling concrete planter at the side of the road to devour it and the deep fried dough balls they'd thrown in. It was just the ticket, being able to soak in the sights and feel of the city while eating our delicious local lunch.

    We'd come to the Forcella, at night it was apparently a Mafia stronghold but in the day it was a crazy bustling hive of activity, with market stalls lining streets, filling squares and squeezing in any place they saw fit. There was a mix of Italian, west Asian and African cultures that brought a vibrancy to the city, although there was a definite hierarchy, with the African sellers performing their trade from rugs layed on the pavement.

    The city certainly had 'Sass' and there was a hardness to the people that we hadn't seen in other areas of Italy, but when you approached them with a friendly smile and made the effort to talk Italian, the majority were warm and friendly and we didn't have any negative experiences. Strangely enough, although we didn't relax when out and about, it felt like our sort of place. Vicky loved routing through the second hand clothes stalls, Will loved the fresh fruit, veg and fish being sold on the street and we both loved the the diversity. There were many distinct areas, from the Asian district, the markets where locals bought their fare, the tourist section with trinkets and inflated prices, the artisan eateries and the few attempts at modernisation. There was graffiti everywhere, a certain amount of rubbish and most cars had prominent dents and scratches. The majority of houses were ramshakle tenements with flaking plaster, but these had been built around (and sometimes on top of), some beautifully grand historical buildings, many of which had fallen into disrepair, so that you had to actively look about you to see them.

    An unexpected treat came in the form of a visit to the Napoli Sotteranea; underground tunnels built by the Romans, in which had existed a meeting place for philosophers and shops such as a bakery, a dyeing shop, a bank and a laundry (Vicky couldn't resist playing at hand washing -she'd been doing so much of it recently!)

    Towards the end of our exploration we bought a couple of pastries and ate them sitting on the slightly damp wicker chairs in a narrow thoroughfare, one of the chairs having recently been righted after being knocked over by a car crawling between the pedestrians and street furniture.

    Vicky had had her fill and so returned to the van and made a salad for tea. She wasn't best impressed when Will returned with a supposed Naples 'speciality' of
    deep fried pizza, considering he is now trying to lose weight!

    We revisited the markets before setting off the next morning and came home with some gorgeous looking fish, prawns, some veg, bread and strawberries that Will later made into jam. There are many people who wouldn't like Naples. Perhaps being pre-warned helped us prepare for its overbearing character, but we both loved our time there!
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  • Day1

    EInfach mal loslaufen und Vorurteile über Neapel bestätigen:

    - hektisch
    - dreckig
    - anstrengend
    - aber der Vulkan ist toll

    Das Wetter spielt ganz toll mit und versinnbildlicht den allgegenwärtigen Gestank mit einem hartnäckigen grauen Wolkenschleier.

  • Day1

    Zwischen Müll und Gestank habe ich einen ganz netten Ort zum Essen gefunden und mir dort eine sehr leckere, typisch napolitanische Pizza erkämpft. Der Service fand leider ausschließlich auf italienisch statt und konnte erst nach fertig ausgetragenen Familienfehden wieder aufgenommen werden. Da hat der Gast halt mal Pech.

  • Day2

    Just love Italy!

    May 12 in Italy

    Enjoying the Italian vibe - fab air B and B right in the middle of the Spanish quarter, over a Trattoria and a famous fish shop!!
    Great meal with the locals, cheapest food and wine for months!!
    Off to Pompei and the Amalfj coast with one of the waiters mates as a taxi driver and guide!!

  • Day1

    Up to depart Ruislip before 3.00!! No exit onto M23 south so small detour via Redhill and ignoring postcode to find our parking. Through security in time for a quick breakfast in Garfunkel’s then a long bus trip from the gate round to the plane parked furthest away and nearest the car park. Take off to the west. Smooth flight and on time arrival. Picked up and transported to our Palazzo.
    Our taxi dropped us in a square some 100 m along a pedestrian street already busy at 10.00. We were plucked from the throng by our hostess, Maria Teresa and brought into a haven of peace. They kindly gave us a brief on the city sights and looked after our cases while our apartment was cleaned.
    We headed out into May Day celebrations with band for a recce of the supermarket then on to the funicular railway which took us up to the view point below Castel St Elmo. On the way back we did supermarket sweep part one for lunch picking up a fine selection of cheeses and cool beers.
    We then retired briefly for a snooze before further shopping activity to provide for home cooked pasta with local Campi Flegrei Piedirosso wine.
    An excellent first day in Napoli.
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  • Day3

    Museum and sea

    May 3 in Italy

    Forecast not too promising so decided to visit Archaeological Museum where many original artefacts from Pompeii are housed. There was a bit of a queue to get in and it rained on us there a bit. Once inside we started with mosaics including many from the Villa of the Faun, with exquisite details and tiny pieces to form the images. Coffee this time from a machine, quite acceptable and only 60 cents!
    Next frescos, some of them from Herculaneum and many depicting architecture and figures, from which it is possible to see what the houses, temples and people looked like some two thousand years ago.
    We rounded off our visit in the Farnese collection where there are amazing marble statues from antiquity.
    We found Sorbillo for lunch, but the queue was far too long, so we found pizza opposite and had lunch back at the flat, with a reviving beers.
    The afternoon weather was a little more favourable so we set off towards the port and Castel d’ovo. It did rain a bit on the way, though it proved a fine way to see another part of Napoli and the seaside. The view of Vesuvius just materialised from cloud at the Castel viewpoint. We headed back up pedestrian shopping streets that were thronging with people in search of a fish shop. We found a street corner stall and purchased three Orate which we had filleted (looked like Dorado we thought so didn’t want too much). Another supermarket dash and back to cook another gourmet feast.
    20,000 steps and another fascinating day.
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  • Day4

    Showers today dictated indoors. Firstly we arrived at San Lorenzo Maggiore which featured a museum while we awaited guided tour of the underground roman market built over an earlier Greek building. It was buried by a mudslide caused by rain and a Vesuvius eruption in 479AD. We definitely dodged some of the showers and enjoyed a very interesting tour.
    After coffee on the Via Duomo we visited the cathedral, dedicated to SAN Genaro where they are busy preparing for the procession celebrating the liquidisation of the saint’s preserved blood tomorrow. On the way back we found the ‘purgatory ‘ church, built by a benefactor to provide somewhere for poor souls who could not afford a proper burial to wait for admission to heaven. Up top was a normal church, below on similar footprint, a church with some niches containing skulls and a closed pit for bones of the deceased. At the back behind the altar, more skulls and bones, another pit and some earth burials. One might have expected to feel a bit spooky but musty was more like it.
    Janet acquired her Neapolitan earrings on the way back to base for lunch.
    A quiet afternoon we visited two very local churches, both large, one extremely finely decorated baroque, the other plain, Franciscan and with a wedding going on. There was some artisan chocolate for tasting on a stall at the gate- good too!
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  • Day89

    Leaving Rome, Jason could be forgiven for thinking that the “old rocks”, a.k.a Roman ruins, may have been over, but Rome was only the beginning. As Jason said to Ricky, “you're drawn to old rocks like a magnet” and there was so many rocks to explore in Napoli and all around Mount Vesuvius. After our experience in the Roman countryside, it was a change to be located in the heart of Napoli. Amongst all the dirt and grime of the metropolis sat our newly-renovated, Neapolitan apartment, which became our headquarters for eight days as we unearthed all the wonders of the ancient world residing in Vesusius's shadow.

    You could also be mistaken for thinking that we had run away and joined a cult, the cult of Google, worshipping the holy trinity: Google, Google Maps and Google Translate. Religiously, we have been consulting the Google oracle for advice on all types of topics. Google Maps has been guiding us and showing us the path. Unfortunately, the path hasn't always been the right one. And Google Translate has helped out in some tricky situations. But over time we have lost faith in our Google God, or Dr. Google as some other denominations refer to the Supreme Being. For one thing, the information received from the oracle is not always correct or is often lacking information, leading to some poor, ill-informed decisions. (Blind) faith lead us to take the Trenitalia train, the “Genitalia”, instead of the Circumvesuviana, which would have gotten us to the footsteps of the Pompeii ruins rather than a 25 minute walk.

    After a few days adventuring around the Campanian countryside (see Pompeii and Herculaneum blogs), we decided to explore the streets of Napoli. With all of the recent “terrorist” activity in Europe, we have been constantly alert but not alarmed. Jason, the drill commander, was prepared for anything and would instigate a practice drill randomly throughout the day. Without notice, and normally prior to crossing a busy street, the drill commander would call-out “run!” and then would proceed to bolt across the road. Given that Jason tends to walk 20 paces ahead as if he is on a mission, he always has a head start, leaving Ricky behind. Post-drill analysis is generally that if this was a real scenario Ricky would be a goner. Goodbye you are the weakest link! And wherever there is a crowd, Jason normally asks “what would Carrie from Homeland do?”. The answer is normally get the hell out of there immediately. So when we stumbled upon a large gathering of people in the side streets of Napoli, the question was raised again. But against the drill commander’s training, we ignored what Carrie would do and blended in with the crowd. Then two minutes later Lana Wachowski, director of Sense8 and the Matrix movies (among others), walked out of one of the buildings and down the street through the sea of people. Luckily, we disregarded Carrie's advice and stuck around.

    Having explored most of the inner city of Napoli, stumbling across model shoots, famous directors and getting caught up in the crowd of boat people (i.e. the cruise ship tourists docked in the Bay of Naples), it was time to venture out further to Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. We got up early once again to head down the coast. It was an hour earlier than normal, because unbeknownst to us daylight savings had ended and all of our clocks had been automatically set back. No wonder we felt more tired than usual. Weary-eyed, we jumped onto the direct, express train headed for Sorrento. Apparently, direct and express have different meanings in Napoli. The rattling Circumvesuviana was neither direct nor express, unless you consider by-passing a couple of stations and stopping for shorter periods at each stop direct and express.

    We survived the Circumvesuviana to Sorrento, albeit a little shaken-up, and had a few hours to wonder the streets. It was enough time to feed our new cannoli and sfogiatelle addiction before jumping on a bus to Positano. After winding through the mountains of the Amalfi coast for over an hour, we reached Positano. When we were ready to return to Napoli, we waited an hour for the only bus that travels from Amalfi to Sorrento, for it to by-pass us packed full of passengers. Then, we waited another hour for the same outcome. Stranded on the side of the road along with a Russian couple and a Japanese woman, we were convinced that we weren't getting out of Positano. The Russian man came to our rescue and flagged down a taxi to get us back to Sorrento. The only other alternative was a 3 hour walk (or a night's stay in the seaside town - doesn't that sound horrid?).

    Our last day in Napoli was spent touring around Reggia di Caserta, the royal residence of the Bourbons. Walking through the neglected royal gardens, some teenage boys were playing with a soccer ball that seemed to have ignited the inner Beckham in Jason (or is that the inner Maradona now we're in Italy), who, when confronted with a stray ball flying at him, did a bend-it-like-Beckham. After lunch in the gardens and a wander around the royal residential apartments, it was time to return to our headquarters in Napoli and prepare for the next leg of our journey.

    Next stop: Rio, via Frankfurt.

    For video footage, see:
    https://youtu.be/EYcQVO4ILmY
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  • Day14

    Naples, Italy

    October 15, 2017 in Italy

    After a relaxing day cruising at sea from Athens we arrived in Naples today. We decided not to take a tour off the ship as we had been to Pompei before the cruise. We thought about doing Capri but it was very hazy today so just wandered around the city. The port area of Naples is full of old apartments and lots of graffiti and rubbish not the prettiest part of the city.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Miano

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