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  • Day16

    You never know what to expect!

    October 2, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

    So, We arrived in Napoli and asked our wonderful host what to eat. She walked us to the end of the block, pointed down the road and said, "Michele's, in the Piazza." So, in the rain and with lightning all around, off we trudged. When we arrived we found the sort of restaurant that you wouldn't even give a second glance at in the UK, yet odly, there was a queue awaiting to get in. So we took our ticket number and waited in line.
    We only just ate in one of only 15 Michelin starred pizza restaurants in the world!!! No menu. Either margarita or marinara, Either beer or coke. That was it. Best pizza we've ever tasted. Julia Roberts also ate here in the film Eat Pray Love. A truly marvellous dining experience that everyone who comes to Napoli should try.
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  • Day2

    Många km senare...

    April 19, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Idag har både knoppen och kroppen jobbat. Vi har strosat omkring över en mil i denna brokiga stad där trottoarerna inte går att använda för att gå på då allt annat samlas där. (Hjärnan jobbar på högvarv för överlevnad) Så vi går på gatorna och parerar bland bilar och scootrar..

    Nu tar vi en stänkare på vår rooftop bar och njuter av den ljumma kvällen.
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  • Day5

    Mer bilder från dagen i Neapel

    April 22, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Denna miljonstad har ett hetsigt temperament, for sure, men ack så trevlig.
    Maten vi ätit har varit superb. Det går liksom inte att ogilla det italienska köket. Mozarellan har en smak "to die for"

    Tack för minnesvärda dagar i den kokande staden.
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  • Day26

    Stürmischi Ziite

    September 26, 2020 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    Dur Wind, Räge und Hagel wärded mier über d Nacht immer wieder gweckt. Immerno chli müed started mier de Tag mit de Ruine vo Pompeji. Sehr idrücklich sind vorallem d Gipsabdück vo de versteinerete Mensche vom damalige Vulkanusbruch namens Versuv.
    Mier fahred mitem Zug nach Neapel. Uf de suechi nach de schöne Plätz wärded mier leider vo dräckige Strasse und düstere Gasse entdüscht. Üses Highlight isch de Unterground vo Napoli Sotterranea.
    Glii hend mier die Stadt gseh und fahred zrugg is Dörfli Pompei. I dem Schöne Dörfli gniessed mier es feins Apero, Znacht und die subere, schöne Strasse. Zrugg im Camper wappned mier üs uf die negst windigi Nacht.
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  • Day3

    Saturday before Christmas in Naples

    December 22, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Before falling into the moving masses through the old quarter, we decided to get our culture in first. First stop, the Palace (now Art Museum) way up high in Capodimonte. I think I will be fine if I never go through another Bourbon palace (Though the grand piano playing in the ballroom was very pretty), but it was nice to see those familiar Carlos-es who were also king of Spain. Even a couple of Goyas. Carvaggio, Titian, El Greco, Breughel, lots of madonnas and saints. Titian’s portraits of the pope Paul III were probably my favorites, and then way up on the fourth floor hidden away — Andy Warhol’s Vesuvius erupting!

    From there we walked down to the Catacombs of San Gennaro, patron saint of Naples. Even though he was not from Naples, when he made Vesuvius stop erupting, he became their patron. His bones have moved around a bit, but we saw their original 4th century resting place. Graves were from 3rd century onward, till sometime in the middle ages, when a church edict required all bodies to be moved because they were too close to the growing city. San Gennaro’s blood miraculously liquifies three times a year at special masses, but the church has not allowed for scientific examination.

    All cultured out, we walked back down to the historic center, a mad crush of people shopping and eating. Street food is sold at least every ten feet in one stall or another. Joe had a very delicious pistacchio canolo. We visited a couple of elaborate nativity scenes, some mechanical, and all beautiful.

    Dinner tonight will be in a nearby osteria recommended by the hotel, well known for fish.
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  • Day2

    First pizza in Naples

    December 21, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Well, I will just slip in a few pictures of the pizza and the Pizzeria Antillo. Great recommendation from our hotel. Totally delicious. Joe had one with squash and mushrooms, I had a special “8 star” pizza with fresh ricotta pockets in each star.

    Feeling totally sated, and totally safe, in Naples. But I did find a little irony in the “Merry Christmas” lights over the piles of garbage.
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  • Day4

    Churches and street food

    December 23, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    So, somehow I deleted this post, but I will try again. Today was a day of churches, including the Duomo (16-18th century cathedral, with its far more interesting 4th century baptistry with its ancient mosaics)), the chapel of San Severo (where a sculptor figured out how to make veils over bodies with one piece of marble, and a visit to the Contemporary Art Museum and its exhibit of Maplethorpe photos (the rest of the installations were the kind of thing unitiatated people like me would say things like —my grandkids could do this!). We walked for miles and miles, eating a lot of street food, and having lunch at a recommended place where people shouted and gesticulated to get what they wanted. As you might imagine, it took us a long time.

    We are thoroughly enjoying Naples, and recommend it to people who are not looking for prettified places to go.
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  • Day5

    On the boat to Ischia

    December 24, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    No churches and no museums today. We took about an hour ferry ride to the island of Ischia, Capri’s poor relation. But it figures prominently in Elena Ferrante’s books, so I wanted to visit. Anyway, we are probably more Ischia types than Capri types. We spent the day walking — on the sand, on a promenade, through the main town. We went a couple of kms to a huge “castle on a rock.” Called the Castelo Aragonés, it has a history going back to 500 BC, but the current buildings are from the 16th -17th century. Nothing much to walk through, but it is a pretty impressive complex from outside.

    One thing I was not prepared for was the mobs of young people out in their finest, drinking and smoking in the street next to the bars. We had to push our way through crowds of kids as we went down the row of restaurants along the port looking for something without blaring music. We finally found one — the restaurant at the very tip was relatively quiet and had space for us. But then we had to push our way back through to get to the dock for our boat home. Everyone was very jolly and celebratory, but I was surprised because I thought Christmas was more of a close family celebration in Italy.

    Home by 7, and happy to see that we had apparently missed a serious rainfall because of all the puddles. There are apparently a few restaurants open along the main drag a few minutes away, so we will cross our fingers and head out.

    Merry Christmas to everyone, it has been great to Facetime with grandkids and hope to do more of that tomorrow!
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  • Day2

    Archaeological Museum -- First stop!

    December 21, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    We slept from about 9 till 10 (that’s pm till am) and now seem to be firmly set on Italian time. First stop, Archaeological Museum. If you thought all Roman statues were headless and armless, that’s just because the Italians kept all the good stuff for themselves. Three and a half hours there went fast — tiny figures and vessels, frescoes from Pompeii houses, statuary and mosaics from Herculaneum, it was awesome.

    Lunch in a tiny cafe - the array of vegetables on display attracted us. Then we walked through the oldest part of the city, went several stories down below to Greek and Roman ruins, and then came upon a pretty famous street selling Nativity creches and figures for sale (no longer made inside their 18th century storefronts, now from China, but still fun to walk around).

    This city is chaotic and crazy, run down and gritty. It is full of people gesticulating madly, risking their lives as the cross streets with a million motos, cars, buses, and the occasional ambulance or police car with sirens that gets no respect. I know some people don’t like Naples, but I think it is great.

    Off to the fitness center, while Joe rests. Pizza tonight! After all, Naples is where it all began.
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  • Day6

    Christmas Day in Napoli

    December 25, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    For the last four days, we have turned left when leaving our hotel, and have explored the Greek, Roman, and medieval part of Naples. Turns out that if your turn right,you will jump ahead a few centuries and find yourself on 19th century promenades along the sea with 12th century castles guarding the harbor. We visited the San Carlos opera house, the fascist looking Piaza dei Plebescito, and then the glorious promenade, with Vescuvius on one side and many happy Neapolitan families on the other, all enjoying the fabulous Christmas Day weather.

    We even took a quick detour to Piazza dei Martiri, the place where Lila’s shoe store is located in the Ferrante books. And guess what, there is a fancy shoe store named Ferrante near the square. I assume that is where the author got her nom de plume, very mysterious.

    We had a fancy Christmas meal in an old hotel along the ocean. Some forced formality, but all in all a delicious meal. Best lasagna I have ever eaten — with porcini mushrooms and truffles; and the desserts were pretty awesome too.

    Sorry to say that we are leaving Naples tomorrow, heading to Sorrento. From all accounts, it is sanitized and tourist-trap-py, but its location makes it a good spot for visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum.

    The receptionist in our hotel tells us that Rick Steves has told people not to go to Naples. I personally think that that one comment, if true, disqualifies him as an “Italy expert.”

    Merry Christmas one and all!
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