Naples – love or Hate ? 

Paloma, our motorhome is still sat a few hundred meters from the entrance of the Pompeii site, but they also have a train station and for €2.40 each we can travel the 40 minutes into the city that divides opinions even among the Italians.

Before we even considered visiting Italy , I read somewhere :-

that Naples is, without a doubt, a place like no other. Dirty, noisy, decadent and not very safe, the “Capital of the South” could be easily named “the most unpleasant city in Italy”…..

So when we climbed off the train, our expectations were pretty on the low side, but trying as always to keep an open mind and fall into the sheep herd, I need to see for myself.

Naples is really a city to either love or hate, no in-betweens.

One day, in Naples is that enough to decided ?

It’s noisy – yep totally ! 

Cars and scooters honk their horns all the time, people yell to one another across streets and from window to window.

It’s incredibly crowded – oh boy how many people ! 

Naples as a whole is the most densely-populated city in Europe, and when you’re trying to walk through even the old center you’d swear every Neapolitan lives right in the centre.

It’s covered in graffiti- Yes the building have been decorated! 

But I ask when does it become art ? 


It’s dirty ? – I think this is unfair !

I can’t say we found anymore rubbish than in a normal European city.

It’s not safe – please, no European city is safe from crime !

But what we did find shaped the rest of our day…..

Within a few minutes of arriving at Naples Central Station, I understood why Naples gives such a bad first impression to touirsts . 

A mass of taxis and people,  beggars and fenced-off construction zones, rubbish, noise, smog and traffic everywhere  around us as we walked into  Piazza Garibaldi, following the masses we headed off in search of that missing gem.

Once you’re out of the train station you quickly discover that Naples is a beautiful city. The city slopes down towards the sea, overlooking the Bay of Naples…..


Naples’ streets are cobbled and narrow, winding alleys marked on either side by towering old buildings. Cigarette butts nestle among the cobbles; bits of garbage line the pavements. Scooters scream past oblivious to the crowds.


If ever you want to be thrown into the “real” Italy, take yourself on a walk through Naples. 


This is a city that’s truly lived in, as comfortable and tatty as that smelly old pair of trainers you just haven’t got around to throwing away ….

Walk the streets and you’re passing makeshift markets, with everything you can imagine for sale….


 So did we love or hate Naples ? 



Naples was like candy for me. Everywhere I turned, I saw something I wanted to snap. The gorgeous chaos, the laundry hanging across narrow lanes on every level of a building, the sheer number of people and things spilling out of every doorway and street, the crumbling walls, just every day life!


As we walked aimlessly through the historic center, I literally couldn’t take pictures fast enough. But what I saw as beauty was almost beautiful in spite of itself. 

It’s not as if Naples seems to be trying too hard, or putting on a coat of polish. If anything, it’s the lack of polish that makes it so visually stunning and scored it a huge place in my heart.

We loved it ! 

Paul.

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