Naples and the Street of Spaccanapoli: #9

Notice the Norwegian  Epic holding 4,000+passengers and the buses waiting to take them somewhere!

Notice the Norwegian Epic holding 4,000+passengers and the buses waiting to take them somewhere!

Lucky us, we have been to Italy on a number of occasions and have stayed in cities that hung to the hillsides, visited the tourists sites and been happy there. I will never forget the lingering taste of pizza, my first gelato, the loud haggling in the streets, the cheese, olives, the beautiful women and the smell of their new clothes, shoes, handbags and then there was Nadia.  Nadia was our guide on our first Italian journey and she had a guy in every stop.  She was beautiful, talented and also gave us some life sustaining pointers.  As you know being away from home/hotel, bathrooms are the second most important commodity, the first being safety.  Nadia was aware of increasing tourism from certain unmentioned countries, which were bathroom rushers and hogs.  So she said when she used the word “Technology”, we were to perk up and know that a bathroom was at hand.  She said if she said the actual word bathroom, there wouldn’t be room for any of us.  She did seem to know every secret “Technology” station in Italy.

Our prospective docking in Naples brought back so many memories that grew and grew, as I knew we were coming back. We have been down the Amalfi coast, spent an evening in Sorrento, a day in Pompeii, enjoyed lunch on the charming Isle of Capri and had a drive through Naples with dinner included.  Dinner was held for our 35 people on a rooftop overlooking a garden, hiding the street of treasures below.  Dinner was slow in coming so I traveled down the stairs to peek into the street below which was teaming with people in a somewhat frenzy of shopping, talking, poking in and out of a plethora of places. I ran down two streets and back again. It was a traveler’s dream. I asked Nadia why we were not on that street and she said we were on a strict time schedule. I tucked this experience away and knew there would come another day we would return to Spaccanapoli Street in Naples and we did.

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We were not sure how to get to Spaccanapoli Street, so the plan was to hire a taxi for an hour or so to drive us around to get the lay of the land. We headed for the huge pool of taxis and made a deal with a young man.  Then the Italian hierarchy began.  There was a round of handshakes between our guy and the other cabbies. Lots of talking was soon terminated. Then, we were taken to a waiting point while our driver got his taxi out of the pool.  More handshaking denoting approval and off we went for our tour.  It was not long and we saw the new city center (I will return here to discuss the demonstration we found ourselves in the middle of). We drove to Spaccanapoli and there were strike guards not allowing our driver to get through because there were gearing up for a work strike demonstration later that day.

IMG_2387Our guy being a crafty taxi driver, helped us find ourselves at the Dumo of San Gennaro at the top of Spaccanapoli, the long, mysterious street that goes through the historic center of Naples and has such a compelling feel. It runs for a mile and a half and you pass through a Medieval section, opening up to everything you ever need to see on a street anywhere. Here I am, back on the street I discovered long ago. I am so happy I don’t know what to do first.  Well, yes, of course, The Duomo!

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“Technology” is important and I was in great need. I looked and found a small restaurant that was not busy. I pleaded with the man to allow me to use his bathroom.  He looked at me, I looked at him and he decided he would accommodate my request. He motioned me over to one side of the restaurant and slid his refrigerator aside, opened a plastic door and motioned me in.  All my extra blood ran to my head, I felt nervous, but in great need. I thanked him, went inside the plastic room, trying to finish as fast as possible because I had visions of him sliding that refrigerator back over the door and I would be gone forever and who knows where Skip was.  I finished, the door opened, I thanked the gentleman, shook and kissed his hand. We both giggled and both had tear of thanks in our eyes.  I think you have become a seasoned traveler when you can find “Technology” when you need it.  For those of you who would never pee behind a bush, I recommend you try it right now. Practice! It can serve you well.

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Now continuing down Spaccanapoli, Naples, I am entranced. Soon we happen upon an area that specifically made Nativity scenes and miniature holiday crafts. They are famous for these beautiful hand crafted items.  I asked to take a photo of a working craftsman and he agreed.

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I came across a sign that said “No Cina” on the table holding hand made miniatures. Do you think that meant not made in China?

Naples is a beautiful city with beautiful, well-kept buildings from throughout its history. It is chocked full of people and vehicles which go at top speed adhering to no rules, except for who goes first.  They go when and where they wish. It all seemed to work well.

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We walked down to the new center of town and enjoyed a coffee and all heck broke loose. The demonstration had reached its destination right in front of us. There was a gentle stampede and a rising sound in protest. Skip loved it, but I was scared. I remembered being told of a little wooden pathway, behind the castle that would take us to the port and the safety of our ship.  On our way away, I heard an explosion or two, thinking perhaps a round of thunder, but how naive. From my expectations of being in an uprising, this was calm, but real. We were soon back on the Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth our temporary world, leaving Naples that evening for Rome and an early morning rise for the trip to the airport and home.

Let me take this opportunity to thank Cunard Cruise Lines for giving me shipboard credit to purchase Wi-Fi to post these blogs from their ship. I would like to thank Glenda Burnett at Frosch Classic Cruise and Travel and Mary Bai at CTC Turkey for helping to plan this wonderful travel itinerary.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sheryl
    Oct 21, 2013 @ 20:50:35

    Naples looks like a really fun city to visit. I especially enjoyed the pictures of the man making the nativity scenes.

    Reply

  2. sheila Clapkin
    Oct 23, 2013 @ 11:41:48

    Naples is worth the visit. It bustles and takes you right along. I feel la trip somewhere in your future. They say travel is a trip to the grocery store and back. It is what you make of it. Thank you for reading.

    Reply

  3. Sheila Clapkin
    Oct 23, 2013 @ 11:47:50

    Oh my you have given me fear now. Technology is always needed and plastic doors behind a refrigerator is almost too much. Okay so I need practice behind a bush…I will work on it before our big trip. I felt your fear at the demonstration, even though we have both been through a few. I think the fear of so many people and strong feelings on all sides can be awesome. I would want to hurry back to safety. The electric candles are too much for me. Somethings are just better left in their original state. I especially liked the tourist in front of the fountain. What a pretty delicate lady you are. In your writing I see a powerful woman just reeling with verbalize,but you look like such a charming tourist. You amaze me with your strength in all your travels. Thank goodness you are both home safe and sound and I applaud your endurance, risks and adventurous trip that I have experienced through you…Love, E

    Reply

  4. chmjr2
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 13:37:03

    Very nice photos. Someday I maybe so lucky to travel.

    Reply

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