After 4 days in Rome, we headed South to Naples and Pompeii!
We’ve changed our original plan, which was to rent a car in Naples and drive to Pompeii, stay overnight there and then drive through the Amalfi Coast all the way to Puglia.
Instead, after much reading about how it is virtually impossible to find a park on the Amalfi coast during peak season, we decided it would be a lot easier to get ferries, trains and buses around the Amalfi. This meant that we needed to cancel our Pompeii accommodation and stay in Naples instead to get the ferry to Sorrento in the morning.
Naples is… Gross. It smells bad, there is garbage everywhere, and we didn’t really feel safe at all. Booking our accommodation last minute meant that all good and reasonably priced places were taken, so we had to book something close to the train station and this neighborhood is not the best!
Some people compare Naples to Marseille, but I really don’t believe the comparison is fair. Marseille is nowhere near as bad as Naples. From where we stayed we could see what looked like drug dealers on the road opposite, and at one point we took a wrong turn down some very shady back streets. We really didn’t like this city.
On the flip side though, Nick read online that Naples was Pizza’s original birth place and its most famous and oldest pizzeria was located only 10 minutes away from our hostel. This was yuuuum, a real highlight! L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele is well known for its Margarita and Marinara Pizzas (the only 2 to choose from on the menu) and they didn’t disappoint. So cheap as well! 12.5€ for 2 enormous pizzas and a coke.
In the morning, we made our way with a regional train to Pompeii.
That train was also quite a rough experience. We fought with our elbows to get on the train, along with half of Naples, delighted that we managed to get a seat. The train went dark and for a while as everyone sat in darkness, until steadily people started blindly following others to a different train (not the one as instructed). After asking a few others around us, it was apparent no one had a clue what was going on! We followed the crowd to a new train that would eventually get us there, but it was packed and we no longer had seats (or aircon)… 45min of hell!
When we finally arrived in Pompeii, we were already really exhausted by the heat and sun. We made our way to visit the site but it was really punishing as it was so hot and lacking shade.
That being said, Pompeii is a pretty amazing site. So many things have remained from back when it used to be a 20,000 inhabitant town, and it’s an amazing peek at what life used to be like in 79AD before Mount Vesuvius buried it all.
Today definitely wasn’t our best day of travel so far, but luckily we’re on our way to Sorrento tomorrow where hopefully life will be prettier than in dirty Naples.
- Just don’t go to Naples. Apparently the marina is nicer but I don’t see what’s worthy here.
- If you do go anyway (don’t gooooo), stop by l’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele. Worth every minute of the wait. Pizza is delicious! Though, don’t wonder around in the streets nearby. It’s super dodgy.
- Don’t go to Pompeii by train, at peak time and peak sun time. Choose a cloudy day and not too hot. There is no shade anywhere although there is a cafeteria in the site where you can buy food, drinks and go to the bathroom.
Distance walked: 15,734 steps – 10.75km