Finally made it to southern Italy. I found this incredible airfare deal where both of us could fly down to Rome and back for combined less than $1000. Granted it’s in coach, which I’ve vowed to never fly for more than 5 hours. But for that price, I was willing to suck it up.
Ciao Rome! I had been there once before for a long weekend. This was going to be another 4 days spent in the eternal city. Typically when we go places we hit the ground running with a plan so we can pack in as much as we can in the time we have. This was no different. Interestingly enough many of the sites and places in Rome we went on this trip we had already seen on my other trip. We did see something things, there’s plenty to keep any tourist busy for a week there. This time, this trip, we were in a pseudo scouting mode. The plan is to retire and live there, in Italy, somewhere. We didn’t have much to go on about what life could be like there and 4 days wasn’t really going to give us enough information but we had to pack in as much as we could in the time we had.
Kevin was in charge of the planning. I had to relinquish my control issues and let him have fun with this. He picked Trastevere for our ‘home’ going through AirBnB. The flat was perfect and I could almost beg to buy it or live there permanently. Well, if it wasn’t for the brat Americans coming in at 2 or 3 am a couple of nights and carrying on next door for a couple of hours it would be perfect. I forgave them for being young and loud once I forced myself to realize “I’m in Rome!”. I’d fall back asleep until 7 am.
Armed with the Rick Steves Italy 2019 Guide we set off right away after dumping our bags! Trastevere is a cool and fun place to be, lots of shops, places to eat, safe, very safe. If we were to live in Rome it would have to be there. The rest seems too wild and chaotic for my taste. I liked that we had a little French-style pastry shop on the next block from us, that the tram could take you easily to a train station that had direct access to the main airport, that we could get fresh veggies and meat or fish just around the corner daily because of the farmers market that takes over the square. There are several perfect places to eat, so we didn’t have to worry about finding a decent meal ever. Yes, I could go back there. The people were kind and most everywhere we went there was some English spoken.
Next up was Naples. I’d never been further south than Rome so this was going to be new. Kevin had been through Naples to get to other destinations but he hadn’t been ‘in’ Naples. The town is gray, dingy gray and almost feels like there’s a layer of dirty grim that will never wash away with even the strongest of rainstorms. We arrived by train, easy enough as there are high-speed trains that go there from Rome. We then had to make our way to the metro/subway/underground to get to our next home for the rest of our time in Italy. As you come up to street level there’s no escaping the cigarette smoke. It’s everywhere. It’s like the whole city smokes. This might also contribute to the grim on the city. We found our flat, it’s smaller and lacks the quality of what we had in Rome. But it has everything we needed. The people of Naples I found to be rude and lacking pride. People will not alter their course when they’re walking side by side, strolling and talking, they push you out the way.
There’s cigarette butts everywhere and the whole town is covered with graffiti. They must have invented it. Even the subway cars and some trains are covered with tags. It’s hard to ignore. There are some good qualities for this town, the food tops the list. There was never a bad meal there and I know I had pizza and gelato every day….sometimes twice a day. Again, I think they must have invented both these food products. The pasta is also way out there on the list of ‘I came to Naples and have to have this’. I tried to give Naples the chance it needed for me to like it even a little. It was too much. We did take a side trip out to Capri and that helped me to breath and escape the madness from Naples. I couldn’t live in Naples, I don’t think I even need to go back there. Ciao Naples!
Getting on our flight back home I said: “I’m a little sad to be leaving but I’m ready to go home to the pups.” I’ll be back in Italy again, next year. I’ll get to say Ciao to another city.