Day 43- Naples Not So Big On You

Day 43-  I have heard mixed reviews of Naples, but honestly most of them were a bit negative!  Naples is crowded, dirty, a bit scary, and just not super tourist friendly…am I going to let that stop me? No!  And actually for one HUGE reason…the National Museum in Naples.  This museum has all the treasures that they took out of Pompeii for you to go and look at.  All I have heard is that it is so important to go and see the artifacts must see.  Okay, so listening to my guru Rick Steves, I decided that I had to go!

We got up, ate breakfast and headed on our walk to Sorrento.  We waved to the barber, walked by Reid’s girlfriend at the “Guns and Music” store (a cute dog named Stella, and headed down to the harbor!  We actually got to take a ferry that was a catamaran.  If you know me, you know that I get sea sick on boats in the open ocean (yes, I take the ferry in the Puget Sound all the time…but the Puget Sound is about as rough as a big lake…so it doesn’t exactly count).  But we thought that it would be a super cool way to get to Naples…so off we went.  It got a bit rough at the end, and so I confirmed with Russ that we would take the train back to Sorrento at the end of the day…which would be before dark…because Rick Steves told us that the train we take back, the circumvesuviana can be a bit sketchy at night (and yes this ran through my mind all day).

When we got off the ferry, it was immediately apparent that we were not in Kansas anymore…this was an Italian city with an edge to it.  A bit more gritty, chaotic, and yes I am going to say it, scary.  Sorrento is like a cute Italian dream town, cute side streets, just enough craziness to make it enduring.  And Naples is it’s delinquent cousin!  Here is the best part…we kind of had a map…kind of knew where to go…neither one of us speaks Italian…so we did ask for directions but it became a crazy mess of hand gestures and yelling words we did not understand.

We wove our way around the streets in what we thought was the right direction.  We got caught up in what I can only describe as a street fair gone crazy!  A long narrow stretch of street packed wall to wall with people and vendors, street musicians and food carts.  It was so wonderful…for about the first 45 minutes…then it got,  quite honestly  claustrophobic and annoying!  Well about the time Reid was reduced to tears because of the crazy smoking crowds, we got directions again from the french fry store we stopped at (now the fries we got aaaaaalot and aaaamazing!).  We got our cryptic hand gestured directions and walked on.

Well to say that we got lost, that was an understatement!  When we listened to our Rick Steves pod cast he says that you will be fine if you stay in populated areas and you don’t wonder into isolated streets and neighborhoods.  And that is exactly what we did!  We were going down streets with illicit card games with a couple of lookout guys.  I actually saw a man selling cigarettes out of a shoebox that he promptly hid when a policeman came by.  Honestly, if it weren’t for the fries, I think I would have totally lost my marbles!

Well we walk, we turn and twist, we ask again, and some how at the end of about 2 hours we find the museum.  I am thinking to myself “Hey that was a crazy walk…but I can’t wait to see inside the museum and see all the cool artifacts from Pompeii!

Can you feel what is going to come next? No, not exactly the museum was open…but here is the best part…they close all of the Pompeii displays (and honestly pretty much anything I wanted to see) at 2:00.  WTF????????????  Are you kidding me right now?  Okay, you might know that Reid charges any adult around him when they say a cuss word ($5.00 a word currently), he is using it to help him save for college.  Welcome to Harvard or any other expensive school Reid…because when I found out that the only reason I ventured to Naples was closed I lost my sh*&^t!!!! I guess it is good that we were in Italy, so maybe some of the people near me did not understand what I was saying…let me put it in free terms…I was extremely disappointed that the museum had closed off these exhibits and did not understand that reason why they would do this…and and not explain this fact on their website…not on the website anywhere.  And when the man at the museum suggested I come back the following day…let’s just say in my mind I was planning ways to make him cease to exist!

On our long scary train ride back to Sorrento, I had time to reflect…reflect on the fact that I am not a fan of Naples for sure!

Here is the silver lining…because there always is one…we found an amazing local store that served the most delicious roasted chicken.  We got chicken, vegetables, and roasted potatoes…went back to out apartment…drank lots of wine…laughed about our day (we did actually see some cool Pompeii items…not very many…and yes we did see a room full of what can only be described as Pompeii porn…hello anatomy lesson Reid).

Oh Italy, you are a never ending surprise that is frustrating, chaotic, and amazing every time!!