18 September 2012

Travelday - Our day in Naploi

One of the things that really struck us about our location just outside of Sorrento was that it was quite. Sure, it was a bit of a hike for us (all up- or all downhill, depending on which was we were going) but it was worth it to be away from the sounds of the church bells, the garbage and recycling trucks, the late closing (and then even later packing up) restaurants ... for the first time since leaving Zurich we had a quiet, uninterrupted night's sleep!

On the down side, we did sleep in a little later than anticipated on our first morning. Not so badly that our day would be interrupted too much, until ... we discovered that the drain in our shower didn't work! Basically the whole little bathroom flooded in about 30 seconds and threatened the rest of the cabin too.

Not to worry, we thought, it's a caravan park, there'll be a shower block somewhere ... and there was, but it was being renovated because it was off-season (sigh ...). So, off we trotted to the reception desk where we were advised that the maintenance man was nearby and would be in to fix it for us. Great, is there somewhere we can shower now so that we can get our day going, I asked. No, was the response, but he'll be there straight away.
Straight away, it turns out, is a relative term and after we had sat waiting for him for half an hour we went back to reception to re-iterate that we would actually like to be able to go out at some stage soon (now, I know we could have just gone out unshowered, and The Sparky had almost convinced me at this point that that's what we should do, but honestly even the thought of it as I sit here typing makes me itch, I'm a bit weird like that).

The lovely young lady at reception got back on to her phone, had a quick conversation and then assured us that he was heading straight to our cabin now ... and this time he actually was, in fact he beat us to it. A little more waiting as he poked around in the drainage pipes and suddenly, voila, the water was draining properly! Thank you Mr Maintenance Man, you made my day.

A short while later, showered, dressed and fed, we were walking back down the skinny, windy road into Sorrento. We then meandered our way through the streets, stopped for the by now obligatory morning coffee and pastry, and gradually made our way to the docks ... where we found that the next boat to Naples was over an hour away ...
Not to worry, if we'd been hard to stress way back at the start of the trip, by this point we were so mellow we were just about melting! The day was lovely, the view stunning, the people watching fun and the local stray (you couldn't possibly call them feral) cats were adorable ... but too fast to get any photos of!

Phew! Looks like I was feeling wordy when I started writing this last week. Not to worry, the photos can tell the story from the time we got on the boat ...

Except that for some reason Blogger won't let me add anything at the bottom, so let me just add here that Naples was basically everything we were told it would be. Honestly, I did wonder how much of it was just hype but Naples really is the one place we visited where I would not recommend the 'wander of the beaten path' approach that we took elsewhere, within a block of doing so we found ourselves feeling quite honestly uncomfortable and looking for a way back to the main drag ... and we're neither of us the most easily shaken people. We also bumped into a bloke trying to sell us a fake iPad, which of course he swore was real (The Sparky still gets much pleasure from the fact that he later read about this scam and can say we experienced it first hand!).

That said, we also met some fabulous, friendly, helpful locals outside the pizzeria (without whom we'd still be standing there trying to work out the system!) and enjoyed the best coffee of the holiday ... we actually went in because he had cannoli out the front and we were still trying to find something to meet our Venice experience) and we are so glad we did. It definitely firmed our opinion that the smaller the bar and the older the barista, the better the coffee will be.

Looking back on Sorrento.

Sorrento from further out (no idea what happened with the colours here).

Castel dell'Ovo, as the boat pulls in to Napoli

A small portion of the crowd waiting to get in ... a large number of whom were locals which eased my concerns.

Not sure if it's the long wait talking but these really were the best pizzas we'd ever tasted.

See the lovely wood fired crust ... and they didn't even fit on the plate!

Yes, there's a lot of hype ... but this is one place that's worth the talk.

There were also only two drink options, small Coke or mega water ... we got one of each.

This was taken moments before things got a little hairy ... I'm quite curious about the history behind this, any ideas?


  1. oh how this post takes me back! I LIVED on pizza when in Naples!

    1. I can understand why ... if we had more than a day we would have checked out some of the places that were approved by the 'Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana', in fact we were tempted to leave the queue where we were and find one anyway.

  2. Wow best coffee and best pizza sounds like a very successful holiday!! :D

    1. Despite the start (and the exorbitant fee for the boat over), it was a truly wonderful day.

  3. Cool abandoned building at the bottom. Yeah, I thought Naples was a really dirty sketchy town. I liked the art museum, though!

    Hah, I would never prioritize a shower. Mostly because it takes at least two or three days after showering before I'm happy with how my hair looks:)

    1. Strangely, we weren't convinced that it was actually abandoned, there were signs of life being lived even in the half rooms down the side ... it was all very odd.

  4. Oh, jealous, I want to eat pizza in Italy too!

    1. It was definitely one of those awesome surreal moments ...

      It's funny, since posting this I've seen no less than five other posts (yours included) that have delicious looking, authentic wood-fired pizzas in them. I am going to have to find one soon, even if it isn't in Italy!