Today we spent almost entire day driving from Pitigliano to Napoli. We paid €65 cash and left the place around 10:30. We set GPS to one of the hotels in Napoli from my list, and it showed that we need to drive over 350 km, and if driving nonstop we should arrive at 14:30. We stopped for watermelon break, for gas (€86 for 45 liters). We also stopped for a lunch (€17.30).
Road was perfect. After 3 or 4 hours of driving we only paid €15 in tolls. We arrived in Napoli around 16:00.
We overshoot by one exit, and entered Napoli back streets littered with garbage evenly distributed along the road edge. Garbage in every nook and corner. The picture was so bleak that I started to think to skip the city go far far away.
GPS did not recognized house number 5 on the street that we entered. We parked in the vicinity near street house number 4 on a super narrow crooked street with a view to some part of Napoli down in the valley through a fence with a barbed wire on top (Solita Moiariello).
With our video-camera we spotted a remote sign pointing to a hotel, and proceeded with caution forward. We found the hotel we were searching for behind a tall fence and imposing gate. The gate slid away, and we entered the compound. Just like in Dominican Republic – luxury behind the fences.
We found a very decent hotel (http://villacapodimonte.culturehotel.it/it/ – Salita Moiariello, 66 80131 Napoli), and for €70.20 per night for 2 nights. For one night it would have been €78. No breakfast. Very nice. Parking. First hour of Internet is free. Optional restaurant is under the same roof. Everything is new and shining. Very good.
It was relatively early, and we drove to the Napoli city and searched for parking around Museo Nationale Archeologico (€2.50 per hour). We try to find parking on Via S. Maria di Costantinopoli, but decided to search a better rate. On some square closer to the center (we might even inadvertently violated TLZ) as soon as we parked on a spot marked as blue, I was approached by a fellow saying something in Italian about “parkegio”. As I understood that I should pay him, not to the meter. That was crazy. We immediately drove away and back to Museo area. We found a spot on a second street away from Museo – Via Sapienza (next after Via Broggia).
Parking machines here only take moneti – coins. And I needed a lot of coins to pay even for 2 hours. Meters are in effect from 8 am till 24 (midnight). It is free only from 0 to 8 in the morning. Nearby establishments were unwilling to make the change, may be for some security reasons. One Italian was willing enough to say something in Italian, and even went all the way to his car and found the needed €5 change for us.
Somehow (by mistake) we began marching on Via Forina, further away from the center. We saw plenty of places to eat. They allow you to use restroom (bagnio), but it was getting more shabbier as you move away from Museo area. Finally Lira raised an alarm, and we walked into cool hotel lobby, and they showed us where we are on the map.
We returned to Museo and started marching on a desired Vial Toledo. We started asking locals, where is the famous via Spaccanapoli. It turns out there is no such street. It is a local name for several streets cutting Napoli in two halves.
Napoli is famous for its pizza. We bought two pizzas – one Marinara and one Margharita for €5.80 total. At this time the football (calico) game Palermo – Napoli was unfolding, and every one (both clienti and camirieri) were excited to glance at the screen and enjoy the battle.
Already in the darkness we walked back to the car with 2 slender boxes of pizza. It seemed easy enough to return back to the hotel, but I got lost anyway, even with GPS, and driving back on narrow streets was a challenge.
But we did it. We were in Napoli. Despite the stern warnings and travel advisories, we visited the notorious city with a car, and we survived. I am wondering, why they did not sell the stickers: “This car survived parking in Napoli”. We did not find anything wrong with the city, except that it is even more focused and concerned about something than Rome. Very, very intense faces everywhere.
We were asked to eat our pizzas outside in front of the hotel. It has something to do with having restaurant on the premises. We sat in perfect even romantic garden or porch with tables, and chairs, and calm lighting. In a distance we heard an periodic explosions of enthusiasm from the city bellow. That was the goals scored. Later we learned that Napoli won 3:0 that evening.
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- Aug 10-11 FRI-SAT - A two-day flight to Rome (2019/11/28)
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- Italy 2012 - Final Summary - Rules to Adopt and Follow <br> (2020/03/12)
- Italy 2012 August - Roma, Firenze, Napoli and between (2020/11/24)