Monday, November 28, 2011

2011 Amalfi Coast Adventures: Naples . . .

Yesterday, I decided to do the reluctant day trip to Naples.  So why reluctant?  Well, I’ve heard so much about the city both negative and positive and well I just had to see it for myself.  

Arriving at Napoli Central Station
The three main reasons for this trip was to see the Santa Chiara Monastery  (and their beautiful Cloister), the National Archaeological Museum of Naples and eat an authentic Neapolitan pizza.  And I’ am happy to say that mission was accomplished. 

I woke up before the crack of dawn for the 6:30 Sita Bus to Amalfi so I could take the 7:00 am Sita bus to Salerno and the 8:30 train to Naples.  I needed to get all my must see’s in before at least 3:00 so I can make all of my transportation connections back to Praiano.  

I had some serious time limitations so from the train station I took a taxi to the Santa Chiara Monastery but got twisted around a bit and visited the wrong church. 

It was still quite an impressive church but I wanted to see the cloisters. I asked a staff person for directions, but she didn’t speak any English and after several try’s of explaining the directions to me she finally put her hands on my shoulders, turned me around and pointed me in the direction of where the Monastery is.   I actually thought that was pretty funny and I was very appreciative of her help.  I also couldn’t help but giggle at how she finally gave me the directions.   

The Santa Chiara Monastery Cloisters are so beautiful. And it’s hard to imagine the busy city activities just outside the walls.  They also had an interesting Musuem (which included a small Archaeology area.  Here are some photos I took:

Next I visited the National Archaeological Museum of Naples (and yes I took another taxi).  What an impressive collection of archaeology finds.  I thought the statue of Hercules was really impressive.  I think this was my favorite section of the museum.  I did purchase an audio guide along with my entrance ticket which came out to 10 euro.

I was running short on time so I decided to just wonder around, but do it quickly. :) 

In the process I did manage to get a taste of a street vendor’s Neapolitan pizza.  It wasn’t at a nice restaurant but being short on time I really couldn’t be picky.  Still, it was pretty descent and I could scratch the final item off my “must see/do” list.  J

So what are my impressions!  Well, I think Jerry was right on when he said Naples was a “gritty” city.  I saw quite a bit of grit.   But since my visit here was limited to just a day trip and I did not have a chance to really explore the city I don’t feel qualified to provide a comprehensive opinion on whether or not to put Naples on your must see list. 

However, I will say this.  I do not regret coming here and I think there are some qualities that I really liked along with some that I didn’t.  But that’s how it can be anywhere we choose to travel.  I think travel is a way to open the doors up to new and different experiences as well as a way to fulfill our interests and passions. 
Wow, only a few more days left on my trip and I’m already feeling quite sad about leaving my little home away from home town of Praiano.  Today, I hope to mail home a box full of excess baggage (already thinking ahead to the train ride back to Rome and my trip back home).

Ciao for now....


  1. Thank you for taking us along for your Naples experience. The whole of your travels have been so wonderful. Safe travels as you continue onwards and then back home.

  2. Sounds like a fun day. I love those beautiful tiles at the cloister. A few years ago, I went to hear Frances Mayes (author of "Under the Tuscan Sun") speak, and she said that she and her husband love Naples and think it's going to be the next big Italian destination of choice. I wanna go!

  3. Thanks for sharing your impressions of Naples, Kathy. I plan to visit it this winter (it sounds so interesting!)

    Enjoy your last days of vacation and see you in Rome!

  4. Sounds like a busy day! It looks as if you were across the street from the church where the cloisters are located in the back - great that you managed to get 'turned around'. How sad that you never had time to get to San Martino - another spot that I found to be magic in Naples.

  5. I loved your photos of the cloisters. So pretty!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.