Naples

 

The next stop on our Italian adventure, albeit a brief one was Naples.  I had been here about 20 years ago and as it turned out, had little memory of the city!  We took the ferry from the harbour in Sorrento, it is only about 45 minutes and when you arrive in the madness of Naples there are plenty of taxis waiting to take you wherever you are going.  We stayed at The Grand Hotel Oriente in the old part of Naples, and as it transpires its easy to walk most places from here. Our first stop, was to take advantage of the rooftop bar and an ice-cold cocktail!

We headed off down to the Seafront Promenade and found it the place to be! It was really busy with tourists and locals alike, out for a walk and catching up with friends.  We ended up at a fabulous restaurant called Crudo Re which specialises in seafood, in particular raw fish, well worth a visit.

To finish off our evening we visited L’Antiquario – a hidden(ish) speakeasy within staggering distance of Crudo Re, it was like stepping back in time! We enjoyed quite a few cocktails and some truffles before staggering off back to our hotel.

The next morning we were up bright and early to start our Chaia Food and Naples Subterranean tour with Eat in Italy Food Tours – which I can thoroughly recommend.  We met in the Chaia area near our first stop Dolce Idea Gennaro Bottone where we enjoyed some delicious chocolate and ice cream by the Master Chocolatier Gennaro Bottone.

Out next stop was a bit of a deviation from food, we took a trip down down down to Napoli Sotterranea – a city under the city! This was originally an ancient aqueduct which was used by city residents as an air raid shelter during World War II.  It was a quite cold down there but fascinating how they used the space and how many people ‘lived’ down there and navigated the very narrow tunnels. It has certainly been quite the project to restore and re-open so people can visit.

Back above ground we heading to our second food stop, a typical Italian cafe where we sampled some espresso and drink it like a local – quick and standing at the bar.  It was strong and tasty, certainly perking us up for the rest of our tour.  We then headed to  Antico Latteria which serves up traditional Neapolitan food, here we tried some caprese salad with fresh creamy mozzarella and Parmigiano di melanzane all washed down with a glass of crisp white Italian wine. After a short walk we were back in the heart of the Chiaia district and our next stop was for Pizzetta at Moccia where they also did some pretty tasty looking pies!  Our penultimate stop was for a wine tasting with 3 different local wines matched with some local cheese and meat at the Enoteca Mercadante, where we may have left with some bottles to take home!  Finally we finished off at the Mangiafoglia with traditional bruschetta and two typical Neapolitan dishes with a modern twist.

After staggering back to our hotel and a little lie down we headed out to the promenade which runs along the seafront to watch the sunset and maybe grab a drink somewhere.  However, we came across the Naples Pizza Festival! Over 100 pizzerias from Naples where there displaying and selling their speciality pizzas. For a 12 euro entrance you got a Pizza, a drink, a dessert and a coffee.  The pizza was delicious, it was hard to choose what to have, there was live music and the sound of people enjoying themselves, a really enjoyable last evening in Naples.

Sadly, we had an early start the next morning, it really was a bit of a flying visit.  I had a great time, and it has definitely changed since my last time there!

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