Before setting out for Naples, I have been told by many people that it was the ugliest city in Italy and a place not worth staying for too long. The only thing I needed to do in Naples was to eat pizza, visit Pompeii, and then move on. Though I will say that Naples is not as picturesque as other Italian cities, it still has its charms. In fact, I liked Naples more than I thought I would.
I spent a total of four nights in a hostel in Naples. It was located right in the center and it was fairly easy to reach all the places I wanted to see in the city. On my first full day, I went to see Castel Nuovo which was located right next to the harbor. I did not learn about the castle until I was on the train to Naples and then again from one of the girls who stayed in the hostel with me. I figured if two people told me to see it, then I must. I was not disappointed.
At first I just saw the Renaissance artwork which was alright. After seeing several paintings of Jesus’ crucifixion, baptism, the Last Supper, and Mary with Baby Jesus, I was ready to see something different and exciting. I was about to leave when I saw another section of the castle that tourists could explore. In basement of the castle was an excavation site that was covered in glass for us to walk on top of. I could see multiple skeletons preserved in the ground. It was grotesque and epic. Then there was another room of old jewelry, gold, jewels, and an old crown that was found in the castle. Plus there was an old iron door with a cannonball stuck inside of it.
On my second full day in Naples, I went to Pompeii. Two girls from the hostel were planning on visiting the site on the same day and they told me to go with them. The girls were friends who met at an international summer camp. One girl was Italian and lived in Rome. The other was Israeli. Together the three of us explored the ruins of Pompeii. The Italian girl explained what she knew of Pompeii since she learned a lot about it in school. The site was huge and there was a lot to see.
We saw temples, the amphitheater, old market places, and houses where people used to live. We also saw bodies of the people who were preserved by the lava. I saw a pregnant woman in the site and you could see her swollen stomach that was preserved. I also saw the bodies of children and animals that was a sad site to see.
In Pompeii, I also discovered that the ancient city was one very colorful with artwork. When we think of ancient, classical cities, we tend to think about white marble but really there was a lot of art and color. It is evident from the ruins that color and mosaic art was important to the city. Over all, I really liked Pompeii. There was a lot to see in the ruins and I left in awe knowing that I walked through the site of an important part of our history.
During my last full day in Naples, I took it easy and relaxed. I did take two hours to see the underground city that was located in the heart of Naples. It was another archeological site where I saw sites of an old bakery, laundry, and so forth. walking through the underground city was like walking through a maze and a labyrinth. Don’t worry, I didn’t see any skeletons this time! The site was not very big so I walked through it twice because it was that awesome.
Now I am currently on a train to Bologna, but I am not going to stay there for one night. My destination is Venice, which is another city that is on my “Must See” list in Italy – and the world for that matter! Stay tuned for more very soon!