Edit Blog Post
Published: November 23rd 2010
We arrived in Naples to rain, which I wasn't too happy about as my feet were still in the process of healing (Rome beat them up) and I was in flip flops. Smart, I know!! We caught the local train to just outside the old quarter and were greeted by mounds of garbage. Welcome to Naples!! (We later found out that there was a garbage strike).
We were staying at a hostel called Giovanni's home, it was actually his home that he had converted into a three dorm-room hostel. He quickly dismissed our idea that all there was to do in Naples was eating pizza and catching the train to Pompeii. Naples is riddled in amazing history from before medieval times, and is still proudly showing it off. There is also more to the surrounding area than just Pompeii.
The old quarter is so special because of the way it has been built up over the centuries. Nero had a theatre built in the heart of the city during his rule, years after with a rule banning citizens from building outside the city limits people started to build their homes in the un-used theatre. Nowadays, the only
reminder of the once popular theatre is the strange curvature of the street. Most roads run straight and parallel to each other when viewing a map of the city however, and wandering the street outside the hidden bit if history, it is obvious there is something different about the one area. It is also possible to join a walking tour which takes you inside a house located within the walls of the theatre, which we did, The house was tiny and had not been used for many years, but hidden underneath a trap door was a stairwell leading to the theatres old ‘back-stage’ where actors and performers past used to prepare for plays and skits. We also got the chance to visit the 'Naples Underground', part of the walking tour.
Naples Underground is a massive labyrinth network or Ancient Greek aqueducts that have been used for various purposes throughout history. The original purpose was to supply the city with fresh water; they were later used as a garbage dump for the citizens and eventually some of the main tunnels were turned into a bomb shelter for the war torn area during WW2 before finally ending up as an area
for tourists to visit and learn more about the fascinating city.
We spent one day at Pompeii, which is an extraordinarily massive site. We spent a few hours aimlessly wandering the preserved city, not bothering with a map, and being rewarded with some of the most amazing ancient sites and ruins we have yet seen! While the explosion of Vesuvius was devastating, it preserved so much, so well, and we were able to literally go into houses, shops, markets and different religious buildings, and almost get a feel of what an ancient Roman city would be like. Closing your eyes in the main square with a bustling crowd around you, and you could almost picture the ancient citizens going about their daily lives. The frescos and floor tiling’s were beautiful. Eat your heart out Sir Arthur Evans (Knossos).
We also had the most amazing pizza in the entire world!! Gino Sorbillo. Margarita pizza. Fantastic! I don't know what else to say. Any pizza I have from now on should feel shame at trying to be a pizza. Nothing will ever compare.
We left Naples feeling that we should have spent more time enjoying the wonderful
Street in Pompeii
Can you imagine...
area. We're off to Florence next, with a one hour stopover in Rome as the train ticket was almost three times as much direct. So far that's two for two of amazing Italian cities. With a week left we have a lot to pack in of things we want to see!!
Tot: 1.924s; Tpl: 0.023s; cc: 15; qc: 30; dbt: 0.0132s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb