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Avventura Napoletana


The adventure in Napoli begins with this reminder:
Enjoy the journey!
This time, my travel companions are George and Andreea. We had a good start. Unlike in Roma, I was satisfied with the pizza I've ate since the first evening. It was so good and I was so hungry that I didn't take any photo. By the time I realised I should have taken a photo the plate was empty. You know you are in an authentic Italian restaurant when the menu is only in Italian.
In high-school I took for one year Italian lessons and I was able to speak and understand at conversational level. Here, I realised that I can't understand a word of Neapolitan, the dialect spoken by the locals.
I remembered one episode from Tom & Jerry which takes place in Napoli (below it is the full video; please mind the poor quality of it). I think that was the first time when I've heard about this place.


Following Tom & Jerry through Napoli!

Day #1 - Royal Naples, Chiaia & the bayfront

We chose wisely the accommodation in Chiaia, an affluent district of Napoli. This way we enjoyed more the authentic Napoli. 
Chaia riviera
First stop: Castel dell'Ovo, a seaside castle located on the former island of Megaride, now a peninsula, on the Gulf of Naples. There are a lot of legends about this place, one of them says that the Roman poet Virgil put a magical egg into the foundations to support the fortifications, therefore the name of the castle. Tip: the entrance to the castle is free!
The entrance in the castle
Playing statues!
Breathtaking view from the castle terrace
Don't get close otherwise I'll shoot!
Then we headed towards Palazzo Reale di Napoli (the royal palace), a 17th century palace with  stunning features, such as a marble staircase, sumptuous furniture that dates back to the 18th-century, the throne room, a small private theatre and various beautifully decorated royal apartments.
But first gelato break! 
Piazza Plebiscito - home to the neo-classical Royal Palace
I welcome you into my humble house!
The marble staircase
The Shutter Island theater group will perform on this scene. You are all invited to the play!
One of the antechambers
Rotating reading desk
The next castle on our list was Castel Nuovo, a medieval fortress with 5 towers and a Renaissance triumphal arch, plus civic art museum and chapel. 
The entrance into the castle. The impressive Triumphal Arch was built to celebrate Aragonese Alfonso I victorious entry into the city of Naples.
This imposing place is the most famous of the castle and is called the "Barons' Hall" because in 1486 the barons who had plotted against Ferrante I of Aragon were arrested here, after being invited by the king himself to celebrate his granddaughter's marriage to the son of the Count of Sarno. 
A blocked passageway.
Vesuvius seen from the castle terrace. The castle had a strategic position to watch over the sea.
Next on our route was Galleria Umberto I,  an elegant, glass-and-iron covered gallery built in the late 19th century, housing shops and cafes.
After a long walk we all deserve a coffee break. There is an art of drinking coffee like a "vero Italiano". Italians drink shots of espresso at bar. They don't sit to drink this magic liquor. The coffee from @CappuccinoStory, Kimbo is a Neapolitan coffee.
After a long day, we end up in a pizza restaurant which is included in MICHELIN Guide 2018.
No doubt the best pizza in the world is in Napoli! 

Day #2 - Centro storico and Vomero

To reach the city centre we took the train for two stops. I will not complain anymore about CFR, Trenitalia has delays also and the trains are deplorable.
Leaving the logistics aside, here we are in the city centre. I have no words to describe the atmosphere. Narrow, crowded and noisy streets, dirty, degrading buildings.
Typical Neapolitan street in city centre
Street photographed from above, with Vesuvius in the background 
Cattedrale di Santa Maria Asunta, a Lavish cathedral with neo-Gothic facade & art-filled chapels, plus 4th-century mosaics and relics. 
Neapolitan traditional desserts: sfogliatella (the two shell-shaped filled pastry) and baba (small yeast cake saturated in syrup)
From the city centre we climbed to Castel Sant'Elmo, a hilltop fortress and former prison with panoramic views from its terraces. The castle is in the heart of Vomero district. The walk to it was worth it. The views from the hilltop are breathtaking. 
Panoramic view from Belvedere San Martino
The world is at my feet!
In the city centre you will see at each steps ambulant vendors selling curniciellos. Curniciello stands for "little horn" in Italian and represents a talisman, amulet worn to protect against the evil eye (or malocchio) and bad luck in general, and, historically, to promote fertility and virility. In each house you will find one of this talismans.

Day #3 - Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli

We spent our last afternoon in this huge museum. The museum has a big collection of prehistoric artefacts, coins and ancient works of art. Take your time to visit it. It's worth it. You can easily spend inside around 2 hours.
Dionysus and Eros marble sculpture
The Farnese Hercules
The museum has also a rich collection of Egyptian artefacts. I'm impressed by the precursors of Italians, the Romans. They were curious about the history from always. Thanks to their curiosity we can enjoy today this art works.
Funerary stelae. In the first region the deceased brings offerings to Osiris, in the second region he brings offerings to his parents and in the last one he is receiving offerings.  
Mummy inside a sarcophagi 
Salone della Meridiana
Mhm.. I was wondering... 
Yes! That's what you think it is. In Roman world the male organ (known as fascinum from fas meaning "favourable" or "propitiatory") was regarded as a talisman of fecundity and prosperity which could also ward off evil influences.
This was all! Ciao ragazzi!


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