17 Comments

  1. Avatar Theresa Rodriguez
    October 29, 2017 @ 5:59 am

    I was in Naples in the early seventies and was not impressed by the tightness feeling I had and the pay to use beach. I met an acquaintance from my train adventure there . Although the writing was interesting and the pics were eye catching, Naples is not where I would go in the future.

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. Avatar Chandi
    October 29, 2017 @ 6:44 am

    Great article John. It would have been very interesting to be there with you two and see that side of Naples.

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  3. Avatar Sandra Panici
    October 29, 2017 @ 10:15 am

    Napoli Centrale train station Cafeteria has the most delicious pizza I’ve had anywhere. And they sell it by the slice! My fave is the juicy chunk tomato and mushroom pizza! Can’t get enough of it!

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    • Avatar Sandra Panici
      October 30, 2017 @ 3:49 am

      It’s the big cafeteria on the main floor. It’s been a few years. It was the only cafeteria I saw at the time. I thought their pizza was delicious, especially the chunk tomato and mushroom, so juicy and flavorful with local produce. And they sold it by the slice! I sampled every variety, but loved that chunk tomato and mushroom! And they have great “American” coffee too. The gal at the counter grabbed a huge cup and poured in whatever she had in her pot!

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  4. Avatar Kathy
    October 29, 2017 @ 12:56 pm

    Having spent a couple days solo in Napoli in September before heading to Ischia, I really enjoyed your post reliving my passegiata down Via Toledo to Spaccanapoli its entire length and back. Although always observant, I felt safe. What struck me after 23 trips, traveling all over Italy, and having Italian roots, I felt I stood out and could easily be identified as a tourist. This was a first for me. I love the energy and chaos, and will return to spend more time there.

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    • Avatar Sandra Panici
      November 2, 2017 @ 1:17 am

      On Monday night when I got lost in Balduina, a lot of good men got me to the Cornelia Metro stop where I had not been before. So I go into this big bakery next door, and in two seconds two little girls tell their parents that an Alien has landed! Now I am ALL Italian, an Italian citizen, I look Italian, and I wear Italian fashion and Italian shoes. But dang, these two little girls spotted me in a sec! So I did what any US American gal (I’m also that) would do – I ran out of the shop as fast as I could. A safe distance away, I turned around and faced my accusers, and yep, all three females were staring at me! Oh WTF! Only the mom turned her face away, and the father was trying to reason with her. You’d think I was back underground at the Napoli Cavour Metro stop!

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  5. Avatar Sandra Panici
    October 29, 2017 @ 1:13 pm

    Tell me how you got on the Metro John. A few years ago I lodged in District Sanità at the north end of Napoli. I never made it on the Metro at Piazza Cavour. I’d descend to the underground all times of the day and night, never made a difference. The huge crowds would jump on the outside stairs of each car as the train pulled into the station and it just kept moving with people hanging off the stairway! The cars would be empty! This repeated for every train.

    So I then waited for the bus and a guy in a van would stop and offer to take us to the Cimitero for one Euro each, and back. All the ladies got in the van! I, not wanting to be left alone at the bus stop, got in too! All because I couldn’t board the Metro!

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    • Avatar Sandra Panici
      October 30, 2017 @ 3:32 am

      The outside stairways leading up to each train car. People would jump up on these stairways and just hang on while the train kept moving. It never did stop to let the cars fill up. I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere. It’s hard to picture cause it’s so weird.

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  6. Avatar Sandra Panici
    October 29, 2017 @ 1:27 pm

    I have another interesting story about Napoli, this from several decades ago. An ancestor, a young man at the time, Italian from Lazio, got robbed in Napoli. He had no money for lodging or food and no money to return to the USA. So he sold his land in Italy that had come to him via Inheritance, changing the course of his entire family forever. He had gone to Napoli because his wife, my great aunt, was from a small town outside Napoli.

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  7. Avatar Sandra Panici
    October 30, 2017 @ 3:40 am

    Well you know how important ownership of property is historically in Italian culture. His family had no property to build on, so there was no traditional standing in the community and no legacy to pass on. Those who bought his property were able to divvy it up, sell it and make big money on it, and build their own homes on pieces they carved out for themselves. He would have preferred to keep his inheritance, but one bad day in Napoli changed all that.

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  8. Avatar Martin D.
    October 30, 2017 @ 7:42 am

    I find it rather misleading to identify Naples with the spanish neighborhood. It’s just like identifying New York with the Bronx.
    Go to the Posillipo or Vomero hills, and you’ll see many gorgeous buildings and villas.

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    • Avatar Sandra Panici
      November 2, 2017 @ 1:31 am

      Yes, very nice areas. I often read the Rick Steves Travel Forum, and readers always recommend Chiaia district and Piazza del Plebiscito as two good areas for tourist lodging. Tourists staying in adjacent/nearby areas also make good reports.
      I, on the other hand, go up north to District Sanità where my B and B owners would check my appearance at the door before leaving to be sure I would not be targeted on the street. Sometimes I got sent back to my room to make adjustments. I still got noticed, but a steady stare quickly dispelled any thoughts of tampering with me. Still, it’s a hassle.

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  9. Avatar Michael Romano
    October 30, 2017 @ 5:56 pm

    Hi,John — great piece — and the photos were a wonderful accompaniment (I wanted more!) The post perfectly describes the mixed feelings I had after my first experience in Naples in 2002 — and even the several hours I spent there in mid-September this year, as I made my way back to Rome from Sorrento. Unfortunately, it was a Sunday and da Michele was closed! Imagine — a restaurant closed on a Sunday? I wound up having a great pizza almost right across the street. Despite that serendipitous result, Naples was its typically crazy, chaotic, messy place.– and I will always prefer Roma! Looking forward to more about your travels. Best, Mike

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  10. Avatar Ferdinando
    November 17, 2017 @ 4:22 am

    As a Neapolitan, the only suggestion I can give to foreign tourists is to dismiss opinions on Napoli from Northern Italians. They are biased and hate Napoli and the South on a personal level. Most of them have actually never been to Napoli and spend hours writing crap about it on the internet, non only on italian-language website but also on foreign ones. I suggest you only hear opinions of foreign tourists who have actually been there and can give you an unbiased opinion. Napoli had a 23% increase in tourism in the last year. So did its neighbour City Salerno. There’s no town in Europe with such a high concentration of different buildings and monuments from different ages: Greek, Roman, Norman, French, Spanish. Some towns and islands around Napoli (Capri, Procida, Amalfi, Sorrento, Ravello) are simply breath-taking and the food is to die for. Northern Italians have an interest in dragging you away from Naples, to the super-crowded centre of Florence and Venice, where you will pay gold for an espresso and where there’s really little to see OUTSIDE of the city center.

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  11. Avatar James Perrotta
    January 4, 2019 @ 6:13 am

    This is one of the best articles I think I’ve ever read on Naples. Your descriptions, your analogies “Naples is the slut” were so original and captivating. I truly enjoyed this read. I came here to read one or two lines, and ended up being drawn to the entire article and your very sophisticated writing style. True journalism and amazing poetry. Thank you for this, bookmarked this website and look forward to reading some of your other articles.

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  12. Avatar Michael White
    April 19, 2019 @ 7:38 pm

    I spent many months in Naples as a sailor in the 70s. I developed a real passion for the place, even though I was pickpocketed and swindled a few times. I was mesmerized by the Spanish Quarter and wandered the alleys often. I will go back someday. I’m a writer now and I loved the Ferrante quartet.

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  13. Avatar Nancy
    June 2, 2019 @ 8:11 pm

    Great article!!!!!!! How did your girlfriend manage to take such great photos? I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t flash your phone or camera around in Naples for fear of being targeted.

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