Marcus Travel Journal
2023 - Napoli
On our first trips to Italy, I was like many, and avoided Naples. Articles about crime made Napoli too risky in my mind. Well luckily I got over that erronous phobia. We first travelled to Naples in 2009. I saw the real Naples - a scenic and exciting city, and one not to be missed.
Some of the people we have recommended to visit Naples found the city hard to take.
I think if you just look at the surface, which in Naples includes lots of graffiti and tagging, crowded streets and a sense of time that has passed, you may sell the city short. But if you look past the surface, you will see a city of beautiful architecture, art, and people who live in the city. The people of Naples see the streets as an extensions of their homes.
It is also city of food that is not to be missed. Pizza, pasta, desserts and the best espresso coffee in Italy are all found here. In the historic centre the streets are living markets. I recall on a walk I saw everything from Kleenex to washing machines being sold on the street corners.That's Naplee!
Yes there is crime in the city, as there is in many large cities. Take the normal precautions. Don't be flashy. Don't leave bags unattended.
Bring good shoes. This is a city to explore by walking. Via Spaccanapoli is the street that basically cuts the city in two (North and South). Walk along Spaccanapoli and you will be immediately immersed in the spirit of Napoli.
We returned to Napoli.
This year we had an apartment in the Chiaia area of Naples, This is a part of Naples that was expanded in the 17th Century when Spain ruled Naples.
The area was nice but we both commented that being right in the centre of the city means you walk out your door and you are there. It was about a 25 minute walk from our apartment to via Toledo.
Our Napali Apartment
Oh, our apartment. It was not what was expected. The photos did show the apartment but they did not convey the size, not the extent of stairs. We were going to have a dinner with friends on our patio. Once we got to the apartmnent we realized the patio did not have the room for a table that would seat four. The owner would supply a table, and that was very helpful but we did not have four chairs and the table would have to be brought into the apartment and frankly I can not imagine where it would be put.
The view from the kitchen and the patio made the apartment worth while. We had warm weather and our afternoons were typically on the patio deck.
Piazza Amedeo was just a block away providing train/metro service into the centre of Naples.
Napoli - Day
IDuring the day the streets are alive - get the kids on the scooter and go!
Napoli - Night
In the evening from the patio the cruise ships can be seen leaving the port and gliding across the Bay of Naples.
I remember the first time I saw the exterior of this church. I thought I had arrived at a fortress of some type. The Gesù Nuovo has three main sights: The Church of Gesù Nuovo the Church of Santa Chiara and the Spire of the Immaculate Virgin (erected to evoke protection for the Virgin Mary during the Great Plague). The Church of Gesù Nuovo dates to 1470 and was built for Roberto Sanseverino, the Prince of Salerno. The facade of the church is unusual but it was originally bu it for a palace, and is faced with rustic ashlar diamond projections.
Church of Santa Chiara
A return to the beautiful cloister of the Santa Chiara. It is a massive complex, a church, and monastry for two groups, five cloisers and now a full muserum.
Today the convent includes the Poor Clares and a community of the Grey Friars. The two groups are seperated by a cement wall.
In the 18th Century the cloisters were updated with Baroque architecture. The complex was almost destroyed during WW II. I found the photo exhibit on what the church looked like atter the bombs fell very emotional. The destruction of war..
Galleria Principe di Napoli
The Gallery Prince of Naples by architect Giovanni De Novellis was built in Naples, Campania, Italy in 1873 – 1883. It was then remodeled in 2007-2009..
It was a long walk from our apartment to this galleria, but once I walkd in it, memories of visisting it on my first trip to Naples some 35 years ago instantly came back.