In October I visited Napoli, Italy with my sister for three days. We’d actually intended to visit Pompei but due to lost luggage and delays our primary purpose in Napoli ended up being the eating of much pizza… and walking around the small sidestreets that make up the heart of Napoli.
We stayed at San Genarro B&B on Via dei Tribunali right in the historic district of Napoli which we booked through airbnb.com.
We’ve used Airbnb for NYC and two stays in Rome (different apartments) I’ve also used it to book a stay in Oberotann, Germany and I will be using it again to stay in Utrecht, the Netherlands in August & September. If I don’t have points for a hotel Airbnb is my first choice because it has literally every type of accommodation you can imagine and the hosts really add value. In our case, Gianni, who lives in the appartment where we rented a room, was able to call our airline and speak to them in Italian and help us figure out where our luggage was and when we would finally get it. Huge help. He also helped us map out the neighbourhood and pick the best times and places to be.
When we arrived in Napoli I had been without allergy meds for 4 days and I hadn’t expected the very poor air-quality, which as I found out afterwards, is well documented. The small streets, smog and heat hit my lungs like a brick. My sister hated me because I couldn’t keep up because I couldn’t breathe so on the second day I found an apothecary and in very poor italian managed to make clear which medication I needed. Due to this and lost luggage I initially thought I wouldn’t visit Napoli again… but I might in the future. That’s the beauty of travel, you learn so much! (I also know I shouldn’t check my meds, but checking my carry-on bag was a last-minute decision as we were late at the airport for check-in and sis told me on the spot she was checking her bag, so I checked mine too… with my meds, the bags then ended up lost for nearly a week)
Napoli is different, if you’re used to western travel and hotels Napoli will give you a glimpse of poverty and history. It’s also very different than Rome. In Rome everything old is a tourist attraction, the historic centre of Napoli is also ancient… but you don’t feel like a tourist walking through a guided maze at every step, which is great.
The most memorable part about Napoli was, of course, the pizza. I’ve never tasted so many amazing pizza’s in my life. No pizza since has made up for it. We ate so much pizza that for about two months after the trip Ididn’t want to go near it. Also any american version just can’t tip Napoli pizza.
Best pizza? Handsdown Sorbillo’s, Di Matteo’s was good too, but Sorbillo’s beat it. It turns out there’s two Sorbillo’s, one copycat, the restaurant also opens later in the evening and be prepared for a little bit of a wait on the street. It’s worth it. (check this summary of pizza places)
When we returned from our trip I referred to it as a big lifelesson. I still think that’s true, I went through a rollecoaster of emotions prior to, during and after the trip. From excitement to disappointment and awe to anger and happiness. It was just a trip… but it’s shaping my plans, my views on life and also how I handle my finances. I’ve realized that exploring the world is more important than getting to a million dollars, and while yes, I do need to save for retirement… I’d rather see as much as I can now, than later.