Monday, 2 November 2009

Purple is the new black?

If not the new black, purple is most definitely the 'on trend' colour this autumn, at least in Naples which is where The Other Half and me have been for the last week. Almost every clothes shop in Naples had windows full of purple stuff. The shade doesn't seem to matter anything from pale lilac to aubergine will do.

So what did we do? Well, our first impressions of Naples were NOT good. Bill Bryson in one of his books described Liverpool, a place where I lived for many years, as the city where a festival of litter had occurred. In Naples, never mind festival, it was a full on Mardi Gras. Litter was everywhere, piles of it, and the graffiti, well don't get me started, needless to say unsprayed walls were a rarity!

This was before we got to the hotel, which made 'Fawlty Towers' look like 'The Dorchester', Easyjet will be getting some feedback on their website about this one I can tell you! On the positive side the staff were friendly and it was clean.

So to restore our belief that Italy truly is a beautiful country, on our first full day, we got out of Naples and took a train ride to Sorrento.

Belief restored!

We also visited Pompei. We spent all day there, you cannot do it justice in two hours.

Next Vesuvius, which was steaming away nicely.

Sticking to the theme of volcanoes we also visited Il Vulcano Solfatara. This is found just north of Naples in a town called Pozzuoli, in an volcanic region known as the Phlegrean Fields. I cannot describe the smell, hydrogen sulphide, the strongest I have ever smelt, and remember I teach science!

Here are some other pictures. As you can see the weather was fantastic, we were walking round in summer stuff and the Italians had coats and scarves on!

In the end we quite liked Naples. It is chaotic, some areas are not good to be in, but you can say that about most cities, and crossing the road is an experience. We found some really nice places to eat and on our first night, by chance, we found the bar in Naples, The Caffe Gambrinus.

We used the DK Eyewitness Travel guide to Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Without it seven nights in Naples would have been a big mistake. My advice; buy a good guide book, do not stay a hotel near the Piazza Garibaldi(Station), choose one that is more than three stars and watch out for scooters, honestly, they drive straight at you but after a bit you face them out and they swerve to avoid you rather than the other way round!


valerie said...

Great photos from your trip! It's so funny the things you mentioned about Naples. My BF's family is from Naples and he always makes cutting comments about the area. Glad to hear you had fun.

Sea said...

Beautiful piccies.....maybe one day I will surface from the UK

Justflo said...

You must have had a good time, the photos are fantastic. I noticed your observations on litter. Does this mean there is hope for the UK yet? Perhaps we're not so bad after all.
Now back to the business of cross-stitch you've got a lot of time to make up---not long to Christmas!!!

grannyanne said...

Lovely pics. I really want to visit Pompeii but don't fancy Naples at all especially after your description. Glad you had a great time. Now as Flo says back to the cross stitch.

Branlaadee said...

Your photos are beautiful! It sounds like you had a great time dispite your first reactions.