Planes Trains and ….. a Vespa Tour

Day 1 : Our flight via Dubai was amazing ! Flat beds sure do help you to sleep. The train journeys started in Dubai, that airport is so big you need to train it in between concourses! (See the stair pic below on Instagram )

On our arrival in Roma, we had 3 train rides to get to Napoli. And let’s just say our first impression as we arrived in drizzling rain, was has everyone else in Italy pushed all their rubbish down to Napoli along with all the graffiti ?

Our Hotel the Piazza Bellini is in the old part of the the city and thanks to hours and hours of research,  I chose here for its location and as one Amercian tourist, who had breakfast with us yesterday said ” Have you ever smelt so much pot in your life?”  I was slightly panicked, however the hotel was fabulous and we loved the quirky art –  (actually there was none) it was all very cleverly drawn on the walls, the courtyard, the people behind the big green doors…… Amazing.

Quirky hotel walls
Artwork~ Hotel Piazza Bellini

The local teenagers trash the area at night, broken glass etc. everywhere and then along come the street cleaning team and clean it up again. Obviously we only saw this twice on the 2 days we spent here.

Wandering along the street on a Sunday afternoon, I was thinking Steve is going to kill me, all the shops were boarded up and there weren’t many people around, until we found the main shopping drag and we started to see what Napoli could be like !

Ah….. a beer and an amazing Pizza from a famous street Pizza shop dating back to 1833, Mattozi’s. We sat and people watched for a while, chatted to some Scandinavian tourists who were so excited to find this famous Pizza shop, that we just chose to stop at and watch the world go by including hundreds and hundreds of Pokemon groups doing their thing !

Ok let’s be brave and check out these world famous lane ways…… Think lane ways of Melbourne, but these lanes never end they go round a corner or up a hill and they just don’t end. Some of the local produce markets, are  dotted on corners around these streets and  selling Vongole, every Pippy, Cockle and Muscle you can imagine…… Live octopus trying to escape the plastic containers  and salmon steaks for days, you realise  how close to the Mediterranean coast you really are.

Then there are the coffee bars, meat stalls, cheese stalls and loads of fruit and veg and the most amazing smelling peaches I think I have ever smelt……Jet lag slapped us hard in the face, so we decided to retire to our gorgeous hotel and sleep for a few hours . Try 14  ~ see you tomorrow, was not the plan, however our bodies just told us what we already new, Sydney Australia, time zones backwards and travel are along way from Napoli..

Steve and Renato chatting about architecture...another laneway Napoli
Steve and Renato chatting about architecture…another laneway Napoli
Napoli Laneways
Napoli Laneways

Day 2 : Suns out and breakfast in the courtyard. Yes please, more quirkiness outside with pallet tables and chairs, we had a yummy continental breakfast  as we had a delay in our scooter tour start, so after coffee, we headed in a different direction for a walk to stretch our legs and boom! We found the real old town…… Still closed up as it was only 8.00am. We were amazed at how sunshine and the most amazing doors and windows filled with summer flowers and the locals washing, can make you smile. Steve only lost me once…. he is now used to me stopping to photograph lots of these things that will make a brilliant coffee table book in the following months.  Of course we also found a couple of amazing Chiesa….. Churches and wow ! Is an understatement. Unbelievable the stainted glass windows, tiled floors and then that ONE alter that has a dove in the yellow glass and the sun is shining through it….. You just need to sit and reflect.

Doors…. To the Chisea Di Napoli
Chiesa di Napoli
Peace Dove

10.00am and our new friends Renato and Marchello arrived on old school Vespas, and while I was secretly nervous about riding a scooter on bumpy cobble stone streets where no one actually gives way, or hurries too much, I was relieved to see we were actually doubling with these guys! Believe it or not even Steve was pretty happy to be a passenger  on our 3.5 hour tour.

Only 493 churches, 3 castles and numerous lanes ways to walk ……. Whilst Marchello minded the bikes so they weren’t A) stolen or B) booked , Renato walked Steve and I into not quite 493 churches, etc but we saw enough to know about the history, people and  culture of this amazing city, that on first sight we were concerned about, we had coffee and shared a tradional italian cake for morning tea, ventured out to see the city from the top with amazing views along the Sorrento peninsula, and Mount Vesuvius, vespaed through secret lane ways that cars can’t go on and saw some sights and enjoyed the culture that we would never have seen on our own. Seeing areas that have been around for centuries And how some have stood the time of being bombed and repaired after world wars etc was pretty amazing. We had to cut our tour short as yes you guessed it, I’d booked our ferry tickets for our next adventure and we had to get back to the hotel , check out and get down to the ferry for our sunny ride to the Isle of Capri….or as  the locals call it Car-pri ?

Metro central Roma
Metro central Roma

the wifi is REALLY slow…. Will up more pics after our walk to Ana Capri can’t believe we are here on the Amalfi coast



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