Today the cruise arrives in Naples, Italy, which is the third of five ports in Italy. Although I had not planned much for the day, I knew that I wanted to find somewhere to try a pizza. By the end of the day I had found quite a few interesting sights and of course got to try my pizza.
I decided early on against a tour in Naples as I knew the previous two days were both full on long day tours. Although I did fine getting around today, it would have been nice to have a better map from the start. The map provided by both the ship and in the terminal were not great. A little later in the day, I did find a tourist information office and a better map.
One of the things I decided to keep an eye out for were churches. I have discovered that many churches throughout Europe are rather interesting places to visit. In total today I end up visiting seven different churches, they each had their differences. The biggest disappointment though was the general request/rule of no photography inside the churches.
While many churches had signs saying no photography inside, it is still possible to get photos from the outside. It is very much a different experience to some cities I have visited. In other areas, I have visited many churches which are a stand alone building. However, like the church above in Naples, there are many which meld into the landscape of other buildings. In some cases, it is even difficult to tell where the church ends and other buildings start.
It seems just about every corner you turn in Naples there is another church. Out of the seven which I visited today, there was only one that disappointed. I am possibly being a little harsh, as it was still a beautiful church, just not to a similar level as others in the area.
The biggest surprise often came at the difference between the outside to the inside. It was impossible to guess just how beautiful the inside would be from the often drab exterior.
Even though the churches seemed to dominate the day, there was plenty of other things to see as well. There are many lovely little squares dotted around the city, and then there are some rather unique buildings. If you can look below the layers of dirt and grime that seem to have built up over the years, you can see the beauty. However, I might have been able to see beyond this a little, as I have been forewarned about the pollution and busyness of the city.
Pizza In Naples
Naples is known as the home of the modern day pizza, so it would be only right to try a pizza while visiting Naples. So far having walked all morning, I had not found anywhere promoting pizza. It did seem a little strange, but I did not give up hope of finding somewhere.
As if in answer to my unasked question at the time, the next street I turned down presented a pizza restaurant. I had been walking with a friend who was also interested in trying the pizza, so we shared a four cheese pizza. It turned out that it tasted quite good, but not a great as I expected, but maybe I had also raised my hopes too high.
The stop for lunch was a nice break and a good chance to fill the tummy. After lunch, it was time for a little more walking and to take a look at a shopping centre. While you may question the visit to a shopping centre, this visit was to admire the building rather than buy anything.
Galleria Umberto is a rather large building, and the layout resembles a cross. The floor of the entire building is marble with a set of sixteen mosaics in the centre of the cross. With the walls made of thick square marble columns. The ceiling itself is all glass and steel, some three stories up, with a large glass dome over the centre of the cross. It’s hard to convey the size in an image, but it was a sight to see for sure.
Chiesa di San Francesco di Paola
One of the last stops on the way back to the ship was a church by the name of Chiesa di San Francesco di Paola. The building itself very much dominates the square that it overlooks, with some similarities to St. Peters Basilica in Rome. However, it is on a much smaller scale, and the amount of Graffiti very much diminishes the resemblance. I did take a look inside, but it is a very stark and cold look and feel. Unfortunately, I cannot show this as photography was not permitted.
I rather enjoyed the day exploring Naples. While it might have been possible to see more specific places with a tour, I do not think I would have enjoyed it as much. It was good to explore the city with a friend from the ship, enjoy some local pizza and there was a local coffee in there as well. At some point in the future, I do hope to get a chance to return to Naples and explore a little more.