Naples. Words that spring to mind? Filthy. Busy. Colourful. Frenetic.

We travelled into Naples by train. Good thing too. The streets are crazy busy. Unless you want to lose your sanity in the first 5 minutes, you need to negotiate the city on foot.

Everywhere you look are vendors trying to sell things … sunglasses, handbags, cigarettes, a stolen iPhone, jewelry. Scooters whizz past you. There is a buzz of voices, the smell of car fumes and the sense of urgency to get somewhere at high speed.

When you enter the historic centre, you enter a rabbit warren. Dirty cobblestoned alleys, small shops, pasticcerias, pizzerias, laundry hanging out of windows and no sun. It’s quite an experience.

After Pompeii yesterday, it was interesting to go the Archeological Museum and see the items which had been uncovered during excavations. Surgical instruments, glassware, ceramics, kitchen utensils, lamps, coins, writing instruments, pots, pastry pans & moulds, urns and even petrified fruit and food still in their plates and pots. They also have an extensive collection of incredibly well preserved frescoes which were recovered from the site and are on display.

Of course, if you come to Naples, you have to eat pizza. The best pizza is in Napoli, they say. So we went in search of Di Matteo on Via dei Tribunali. It’s not to be missed! A short wait outside for a table … because I was loathe to eat my pizza on a dirty sidewalk … and we were ordering the Margherita di Bufalo. Fresh tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil and olive oil. Beautiful! The price of 4 Euro is ridiculously cheap! And no, I did not share my pizza. I smashed the entire pizza all by myself, with juice running down my chin and happily licking my fingers clean.

An interesting snippet from the Lonely Planet: Naples was for a long time the prostitution capital of the continent, and it’s reputation drew people from far and wide, giving new meaning (in the days when syphilis was rife) to the phrase “See Naples and die”.

My list for Naples has been checked … wander the historical centre, see the archeological museum, eat the pizza … and then get out alive.

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