Wednesday, February 17, 2016

NaPoLi

// So what do I think of NAPOLI? //

First of all, I have to say, only by travel everywhere, can you get the full picture. I've been to quite a lot of nice places in Italy, bigger, fashionable cities, the places up North or more country side like Tuscany. The most south I've come is the islands mentioning in the post below. The South of Italy is v e r y different from the more wealthy and sophisticated North and you will see what I mean in these pictures. Often, I love it, it brings a genuine, less polished view of it and in most times, gives a feeling of life, passion and a love for food.

Traveling, getting away just two people is always a pleasure and life is about finding out, collecting new places and memories. Also to know what you like and like less of. I wanted Napoli to surprise me positively and the short stay in Capri was surely the best part of this trip even though the food there lacked some soul. The gorgeous nature though paid up for all lack of food and I hardly had to eat being in the pittoresque village with "romance" as its second name.

Napoli has recovered well from the past years mafia problem where abandoned trash and garbage could be found everywhere. As much as possible, it was all well put where it should and as a tourist it did not strike me more then other European cities. Most of Napoli centre and old town is covered with graffiti and the majestic and extraordinary facades of Art Nouveau, Renaissance, Baroque and with inspiration from the Gothic Revival is beyond of greatness but very grey from pollution. It's a pity since the architecture is amazingly done with details and history. Some forts and castles in the middle of the centre is Medieval and it's lot's of interesting ruins under the ground visible here and there to observe. Napoli comes with a unbelievable source of cultural heritage and is mentioned at UNESCO site as a "World  Heritage" and the feeling of it being a great reminder is constantly present. It's the fourth richest city in Italy and has one of the largest ports of the Mediterranean Sea. 
With that presented, inevitable the feeling you get is oh Lord, this is messy and dirty, not because of garbage but because of a general feeling.

Among the more cultural things to see and visit is of course the roman ruins of Pompeii. My man wanted to visit it but since I was sick half of the trip (he sat so kindly and had his Zacapa Rum at the Hotel, waiting for me to get well and even surprised me with roses since he knew I was suffering) we did not have time for it. 
There's also a very well known National Museum with amazing art - but there we disagree, I love to feel the city itself rather then observing things indoor. Had it be raining, I might have agreed though. 

During this time of the year it was rarely any tourist passing, which made it fun in one way. The Napolian everyday life was visible and we didn't need to que forever for an excellent Espresso. The coffee by the way really lived up to their rumours of being one of the best. Strong but soft, without the typical way of bitterness to it and just perfect in all ways.
Napoli was, what shall I say, interesting. I knew it would be dirty and quite raw, but I had high expectations in the culinary life, in which I was to be disappointed. My man did not feel exactly like this, but I did. Neither the way it was made, served, cooked, tasted - nothing lived up to the Italian, "Mama Mia" feeling I love and cherish in their passion for groceries, the simple but yet so mind blowing food. It was slobby, didn't had a warm and deep taste at all.

I'm happy and incredible humble to have been here, I don't long to go back but do feel we missed out some things I would have loved to visit. I found that all nasty stories about Napoli was not true at all. Not at this time of the year anyhow. The people was very kind and helpful, not one single time did I feel threatened even though the whole city is crowded by a typical looking "mafiaso" person and the just typical south Italian if I should be blunt and give you a more clear picture. I did not bring any sort of jewellery and even left my rings at home. With that mentioned Napoli is also a huge city with some skyskrapes etc and places and important role in Italy's financial economy.
I think it's preferably to go to go to Napoli in the late spring or early or late summer, I think the city is much more alive by then even thought it was a fascinating calm resting over the place, I missed some of the Italian fuzz and buzz.
We went to two of the best restaurants in Napoli. One who has a Michelin star, Palazzo Petrucci and had a five course menu and the second, Trattoria Cicciotto, where no tourists go, but apparently it's the nicest choice for the Napolitanians, Both located beautifully, really and the quality of the service was almost too much, I can imagine them both being amazing in the summertime.
Never the less, my man as company was enough and we enjoyed having time to talk and just hang.

Some other places worth mentioning, by recommendations from my Dear mother in law was the Gay Odin, a old fashioned ice cream store where I indulged in dark chocolate while my man had a delicious ice cream cone. Another lovely place to visit is the very high end tea salon Gambrinus (the Italian way, so a little run down) but yet, try a classic Sfogliatta with sweet, cinnamon ricotta cheese inside. Heavenly.
The best Pizza is apparently at Il Sorbillo, a small un pretentious place where you can't reserve a table. We did not have time to go but worth mentioning.

Hope you enjoyed my sincere review of Napoli

I'm very happy to have been there! Thank you dearly B and P for making this possible and taking care of the bambinos! Bisou!


10 comments:

  1. So interesting. I love Italy completely although Naples is a place I have yet to visit. My Northern Italian man is maybe not very keen to take me there but we will go, sooner or later. On our trips to various Italian islands, Napolitans have been some of the nicest people we have met. Such warmth, friendliness and generosity! That said, Naples surely has its problems, some of them very serious, but there is of course so much more to it than those. Cannot wait to experience "una notte a Napoli" sometimes soon! There is something so poetic, sad but also romantic, about run-down, abandoned historical palaces, which you describe. Echoes of past primes, buildings that would be the pride of any Northern European city, left to fall to pieces in Italy. I always get that feeling when I am in Genua.

    MK

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  2. I'm glad you liked Napoli, but these pictures don't make me want to go there... Looks so raw and industrial almost.

    Thank you for writing this blog Stina, I've been reading it for many years!

    Best regards,
    Astridur

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  3. I found back my great photograph and reporter from the begining I read you blog, years ago...
    Fantastic pictures and like my husband M did not forget to take a good alcool bottle for the evening in the room after dinner.......
    You give me the envy to visit rapidly this town that, we usually dont go, because direct to Capri. Bravo Stina, your pictures are first class. Even it looks very poor. You captured the soul of Napoli.
    Hugs

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  4. I must say that this time of the year looks depressing and grey in most European cities, not only Napoli! But yes, ugly graffiti etc.

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  5. I agree with Uta as I was just about to point out what a great talent you have when it comes to taking these very engaging photos. It can be such a challenge to take great photos and you seem to manage it with such ease. Your photos always include a little wink or funny detail in them too. Vivid colours, sincere emotions, wonderful details - all included in your beautiful photos. They tell a lot about you as they mirror your openness and curiosity. Wonderful!

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  6. I think the chances of something bad happening anywhere are always very small unless you are very un-streetwise. I was a bit surprised by all the warnings and thought about commenting that I doubted Napoli would be unsafe during the winter. I didn't as I have only been there briefly, although it was me and my jewellery walking around, and mostly in the Chiaia area which is very clean and posh. And maybe I just felt safe because people would actually engage in conversation and were polite and well-mannered, things that I miss in Sweden. Too bad so many can't get their act together. Interesting pictures! So much graffiti makes me think of Zürich actually, although I doubt Zürich has as many wonderful interiors as Napoli has :)

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  7. As a person who is living in Italy since five years I'd like to recommend anyone visiting Italy to sometimes step back from the fancier restaurants because more than often the best Italian food is served in small, family run trattorie and osterie rather than in the posher places. Where do the simply dressed older people go? BAM, that's where you want to be eating as well as quite often our nonni wouldn't even dream of eating out if the food isn't at least close to being as delicious as whatever they usually serve up in their own homes.

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  8. Karin, I agree with you 100% regarding the food in Italy (I used to live there before and my husband is Italian)... so many of my friends go to Italy and only go to the poshest restaurants (that they are able to find, depends on the recommendations they get and from where of course) and are then sometimes disappointed with the food or find that there is not much variety or similar... whereas Italians, also the very wealthy and "high class" ones, tend to take you to small, simple places where they know the owners and the chefs and where just amazing, often very "local" food is served. As you said, many older Italians eat so well at home that they would never go out for dinner unless it is something really special.

    MK

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  9. How I like your longer posts where you describe/give your view on things. And your pictures are as always interesting. Might not go to Naples anytime soon, but are planning on going to northen Italy this summer, so interesting to read your input and the comments. //Laila

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  10. Thank you for this interesting post. I found the amount of graffiti quite shocking and don't understand the need for that kind of expression on the beautiful buildings. To me it shows a lack of pride in your city or country. It made me feel sad for the people who live there.

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