Firstly, here is the gif I promised: http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/2014-07/14/16/enhanced/webdr09/anigif_enhanced-buzz-30482-1405368275-17.gif
It is my favourite gif to date. If you have one to beat it, please share it so I can stop watching this one over and over.
Anyway, back to the actual reason for this post: ITALY. Specifically, NAPLES.
Basically, we spent 3 days in Rome, then on the 4th day got the train down to Naples. After the day before that and the hangover to end all hangovers, I thought the low point of the trip was over. Sadly, I was wrong. After spending many hours attempting to explain to Police about a stolen phone and trying to get some paper work off them, we took a long train journey down to Naples. I would not wish this train journey on my worst enemy.
We could have taken a slightly faster and nicer train, however it was a good 10 euros more, and as savvy travellers decided we could handle the longer journey. We did handle it, but I wish we hadn’t had to.
It probably wasn’t that bad for some people. However, we managed (somehow) to get the one set of seats where the window was stuck shut. It was the warmest train journey of my life. Everyone else around us had their windows open, content with the breeze blowing on to their cool faces, every now and again shooting us an apologetic glance as we sweated out every last drop of happiness.
The apologetic looks were not appreciated. If anyone has seen Wild Child (yes the film with Emma Roberts), I’d say SULA is the best way to describe our faces. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. It’s both terrible and amazing.
I will also point out, that just before this happened, in Rome, we had a panic when we realised that we hadn’t scanned our tickets on the machines on the platform before getting on the train, and if the inspector checked our tickets we could have been fined. The train was supposed to leave five minutes before we even noticed this, so we quickly jumped off the train, did it and then managed to jump back on. This is probably how we managed to get those terrible seats. Some people didn’t even manage to get seats though, so we should have counted ourselves lucky.
Moving on, we did make it down to Naples. Sadly.
I won’t lie, the main reasons I wanted to go to Naples, were because a) it is the birthplace of pizza b) it’s how you get to Capri. I knew very little about the place other than that – I did look up a bit online and was told a lot about how rough it can be. In the past I’ve been told the same about Paris and Rome, so brushed it off saying I’d just be a bit careful and wasn’t too worried.
I probably should have been. I may have made snap judgements having only spent a few hours there, but I will say it’s one of the few places I have travelled to where I haven’t felt safe.
We walked around for a good few hours when we were there, down to the ports, across pretty much the whole town centre map and could not find a nice place. Perhaps we were missing something and someone will give me a magical place that is lovely and a reason to visit. I find this very hard to believe, however.
I didn’t feel comfortable anywhere I went. Actually, I lie. The people in the hotel were lovely, and the restaurant where we ate was the most amazing pizza I’ve ever had. BUT both of these came with downsides: we stayed in Hotel Cine holiday, which is based on films and is lovingly and creatively decorated. A lot of effort has gone into that and it was nice because of it. Sadly that didn’t help what was going on outside the hotel ALL NIGHT. Which was people shouting, cars tooting, dogs barking, rumblings and indescribable bangs. Also, the square where we ate the pizza was filled with people stood around and shouting in a slightly terrifying manner.
I’ll say at this point that I’m not an easily scared person – I understand not everywhere will be perfect and some are rougher than others. But I didn’t even feel safe enough to get my phone out as I was fairly sure at some point it would be robbed from me. Sorry if I have completely the wrong impression of Naples, I tried hard to change it by finding a place where I didn’t feel like this, but I couldn’t find one. And I sure don’t feel like returning to change it again.
Thinking about it, that’s another thing about Naples; it’s dirty. Physically dirty. The streets are filled with rubbish, including old chairs and mattresses, overflowing bins, and general mess. No one seemed to care. Most people seemed to spend their days sat around smoking and doing nothing. Just watching.
It definitely isn’t a tourist town. We went everywhere it said on the map for tourists to go and found nothing there that made it look inviting. It has nothing on Rome.
I can’t even put any photos here at the bottom, because I was too afraid to get my camera out in the worry that it would be robbed from me.
That was my time in Naples. It wasn’t the best. Please don’t let this rant stop you from reading tomorrow though, as I’m a positive person and I continued on, looking for good in the bad. Thankfully, the next day I didn’t need to look too hard as I went to Capri which is basically heaven on earth. So tomorrow I will have a beautiful write up of the loveliest place I have ever visited.
And some pretty pictures of blue skies and water.
I realise now just how long that post was in comparison to my usual ones, so thank you for reading if you have made it this far down. If you are reading it and thinking my write up was harsh, please let me know, I’d love to know of a nicer part of Naples so that my view can be changed, as I love Italy and hate to think that any part of it is as awful as Naples was.
I’ve had a google, and saw some beautiful pictures. Sadly they were of the surrounding islands. Other ‘ideas’ that google gave me on what I should write after Naples, included ‘rubbish’, ‘crime’ and ‘dangerous’. So it can’t just be me.
If you’re going there, don’t be too put off! Just don’t stay in the centre. Go to the islands. Visit pompeii. Do what my guide book suggested: go somewhere else.
Now that’s all out of my system,
Have a lovely day/night depending on where you’re reading this from!