You have no doubt heard the phrase, “See Naples and Die,” or “Vedi Napoli e poi Muori.” I too, am familiar with it, and have read various meanings, but since I am exploring this third largest city in Italy with Tina from Discover Napoli Destinations. I asked her for the meaning.
With all the rich history of this city, which at one time was the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and was the wealthiest and most industrialized center of italy, there is much to see and appreciate. “So one must experience the beauty and magnificence of Naples before one dies.”
I was convinced that was the meaning so I am glad that I am finally seeing the best of Naples. I actually regret listening to the advice of Rick Steves, when he wrote in his Italy guide to stay in Sorrento rather than Naples. I also love Sorrento, but he really did a disservice by focusing on the perils of traveling to Napoli. With almost a million people inside the city limits and many more in the surrounding provinces, Naples is similar to New York City, Rome, London, Paris and every other big city, where you must be vigilant for pickpockets and minor crime. For all these years I avoided coming here and now realize what I have missed. I will be writing a letter to Rick Steves next.
If I can advise anyone visiting Italy and particularly southern Italy, I would say not to miss this amazing city in Campania, on the Gulf of Naples and the Mediterranean Sea. The history is rich as is depicted in the churches, museums, and monuments, and there is so much more.
In the four days i have been here, and some of it has been on my own, I have never felt afraid and have thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the Neapolitan people. They are full of life and passion, as I experienced at the marketplace as the vendors yelled out to the customers to encourage them to buy their wares.
They are friendly and eager to help, as many generously provided me with directions by walking part way down the street to show me where to go. They were pleased when I communicated in Italian with them and they always smiled.
The food is another entire subject but the best margherita pizza is here, as well as some of the best chocololate and traditional Neapolitan pastries, such as sfogliatelle, biscotti mandorle alla Napolitana, baba, pastiera, zeppole, and much more.
Does Naples have problems? Of course. Is there graffiti in Naples? Yes, I guarantee you’ll see it.
Are parts of it dirty? Yes, but I saw very little of that actually. The Toledo Metro station which opened two years ago has been voted the best in the world; it is spotless as well as beautiful with its blue water water theme. I was impressed. I have seen a lot here but there is still more to see and do, so I know that I will be back.
How can I ever thank Tina enough for being my personal guide here? She really is the best! Unfortunately Tina no longer works as a travel advisor, but I am so fortunate to have had this opportunity to meet her in her beautiful city. I can truly say that I am now in love with Napoli!
Ciao from Napoli!!
If you enjoyed this you might like my latest book, Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, available directly through me for $20 plus free shipping (US only)
I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment.
Grazie and Ciao