Thursday, October 7, 2010

Roamin' Roman goes to Napoli!

My roommates and I at Sorrento
Although I am very excited to be living in Roma, I had this urge to get out of town and explore! As crazy as it sounds, I felt claustrophobic and needed a small vacation. With that mindset my roommates and I went to Napoli!!!

Napoli is roughly a two-hour train ride from Roma. It’s not too pricey if you travel with Trenitalia. We were traveling during the peek hours and it was 17 Euros. However, depending on the time departing it may be more or less expensive. Right after I got off the train I learned my first lesson. Listen to your instincts!!! I was traveling with three other girls and four other guys from the program. Before the trip I had mapped out everything of how to get to our hostel. Instead of going with my gut feeling I followed the guys because I did not want to split from the group. (I hate agreeing with the stereotype, but men never ask for directions and would rather walk miles out of the way instead of admitting they are lost.) We ended up in a shady street and came across the homeless ghettos that smelled of…I’ll just spare you, but it was completely and utterly gross! This was my introduction of Napoli and I thought if this was the city, then I wanted to go back to Roma.  Finally from the peer pressure of another (female) roommate, we turned around and found the metro that took us to Portici. Portici is sandwiched between Napoli and Pompeii and is a 15-minute metro ride outside of Napoli. We stayed at the Fabric Hostel. I strongly recommend this hostel for anyone staying in Portici.

I instantly found some differences between Roma and Napoli. Napoli men are extremely vocal and aggressive. The first night my girlfriends were walking to dinner and two men on a moped followed us for blocks, ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD. They were driving into oncoming traffic, but it didn’t seem to faze them.  We did what everyone had told us to do… ignore them! However, they were persistent. They asked us what language we spoke, English or Italian. Still they kept on trying to get us to speak. My roommate had enough and said we spoke Japanese. If you could only see what my roommate looks like. She is tall, blonde and extremely beautiful, far from looking Japanese. But nonetheless, it gave me a laugh and finally they gave up.

Our first night we ate at this amazing restaurant that was a 10-minute walk from the hostel. I’m so sorry, but I don’t remember the name nor can I find it online. Next time I’ll do better! It was completely necessary to order pizza. I didn’t care if I was hungry or not, it would be a sin if I had ordered anything else. I ordered the caprese pizza and instead I misprounced the name. Bottom line I ordered “ a tantrum pizza.” The waiter looked at me and knew I had made a mistake but took the opportunity to make fun of me. I am sure I’m not the only one who has made this mistake.

 After dinner we found a gelateria and to my surprise it had tons of desserts as well.  Maybe I’m wrong when I say this, but the food and gelato seem to be richer in Napoli than it is in Roma.
By the time we got home it was midnight and we needed to rest up because the next morning we were going to Pompeii. This was the place I read about when I was in third grade and now I was going to visit the site. We took the train to Pompeii for a small fee of 1.20 Euro. In my opinion, you can’t beat the price. From Portici it’s a 20-minute ride. From the train station it is only a 5-minute walk to the site and only 11 Euros to get in. (Sorry no student discount.) It is incredible, and to this day I have yet to find words that describe what I saw. So I’ve got tons of photos for you to see. In Pompeii they have a vineyard and they sell the wine.
At the vineyard 

Houses at Pompeii
From Pompeii hopped on the train to Sorrento. If you’re going to visit Pompeii than you might as well continue to Sorrento for dinner! Sorrento is a small town in Campania that is the southeastern end of the Cicumvesuivina rail line. The town is probably the most beautiful place I have been! (I’m sure I’ll find more amazing places to visit.) While in Sorrento I visited the beach.

 Did you know that you have to pay to go to the beach? Although there are free beaches, they are not anything special! So we snuck into the private beach. No one seemed to mind… or rather we didn’t get caught. But the owner finally discovered what we had done, and invited us to the pier. They’re really friendly people if you are friendly in return. After watching the sunset we ended up at dinner.
 (I promise next time I’ll write down the places we eat at. My deepest apologies.) The food was amazing. I ordered the raviolis. Each time I order something on this trip, I can’t go wrong. Food tastes so much better here! (Good thing I brought my stretchy pants.) One of my roommates is very friendly and we got tons of food for free! Such the charmer she is…. Thank you! After dinner we went back to our hostel. So if you think about it, a person can really accomplish a lot in one day. I didn’t even feel rushed.
On Sunday we went to visit Napoli for pizza! A traveler’s tip for all you backpackers. In most train stations you can leave your backpacks in the check in for a small fee. It was only four Euros and completely worth it!

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! PIZZA! That’s all I’ve been thinking about since I’ve arrived in Italy (in addition to desserts). I’ve tried Pizza in Roma. It tasted 20 times better than it does in the states. When I went to Napoli, it made me realize Napoli really knows how to get the job done!

We had a mission to go to the restaurant that was mentioned in the book, Eat, Prey Love. It is called Pizzeria da Michele. My roommates and I spent 45 minutes trying to find this place, and after asking many, many, many people, we discovered it was closed! Seriously! I was disappointed to say the least, but that’s what I get for waiting until the last day. Instead we went to another pizzeria that was close by. (This time I did write down the name.) Trianon. Highly recommend. You enter from the street and take the stairs up and there are tons of tables. It isn’t that expensive and the quality was beyond my expectation and the pizzas were HUGE! I got the lasagna pizza.  I seriously can’t believe I ate the entire thing. I was stuffed when I was ¾’s done but I couldn’t stop. When will I ever have pizza like this again? I miss it already. After the pizza we slowly made our way back and hopped on the train to return to Roma.

My mini vacation was over and it was a huge success! I hope one day I’ll be able to return and eat more pizza. Hopefully I’ll plan better and eat at Pizzeria da Michele!

Yours truly,
Roamin’ Roman


  1. I have visions of you having to buy two airplane seats to get home.

  2. You and I will go back and hit all the places you missed out on. We won't waste anytime, since you've already been there and know your way around.