NAPLES: difficult to describe
When we announced that we were going to Naples, several people gave us their encouragement. "Are you going to Naples? It's super dangerous, be careful”. My cousin Andrea and I went to the train station of Latina (it is 20 minutes from the town) to make the trip to this city with such a good reputation. Our first surprise, was a delay of 60 minutes. I act normal but my cousin Andrea, surprised, asks, is this normal? Unfortunately delay mode is quite normal.
After two and a half hours we arrived in the city of chaos. The first impression was not good. Neither was the second. Only in our third impression did thinks begin to improve. We made it to the most touristic are to see the Galleria Umberto I, Piazza del Plebiscito, the Castel dell 'Ovo … This was a more pleasant area, full of shops, bars, restaurants, etc. Also the area of the sea, with a beautiful sunset.
After walking around the city, we searched for the restaurant where they serve the classic and famous Pizza Napoletana. And, indeed, the restaurant is a truly famous place. Posters of Viva Napoli, heritage of Unesco and a huge group of people waiting outside. A girl informed us that we had to get closer and tell them our name to get on the list. Then we waited for them to say our name on the megaphone. After 20 minutes… or maybe it was 30 minutes … I was starting to hear my name even if they said Tiziano, Francesco ... I was asking my cousin, “Did they say Danae?" The desire to try the pizza was so strong that I my hearing was compromised. One hour waiting but we finally got inside. It was worth it to eat the best pizza I have eaten to date in Italy. Maybe it was because we had waited so long. But we really enjoyed it. Nice place, excellent pizza.
But Naples is more than pizza. Yes, the great hobby of the Napolitans is to honk their horns. They drive through crowded pedestrian streets and they honk at people in their way, like, "What are you doing walking down the street?" Even a a bicycle forced us to leave the street. My cousin reacted, "Sorry, but can we walk down the street, or not even that?" Crossing from one side to another is an authentic action of belief in a superior being. Pray and run, because they do not stop. We saw cars with broken glass, with dents, even one without the front of the car... and it was like nothing or nobody stops them. Having the car like this is normal in Naples.
We found markets in the middle of the street (there is no way they passed the health checks), selling live fish and everything. There it was possible to find anything, but let's say that they did not advertise well aesthetically.
Certainly the highlight of the trip was the breakfast. A corner cafeteria, completely normal at first sight. We sat on the terrace to enjoy the sun and good weather. A waiter comes to help us, he only spoke Italian, and we try to explain what we want. After trying to tell him that I wanted the typical Naples pastry, he insisted on a pizza. I point to the photo on the wall of the pastry and say I want that. We think that he has finally understood us and he arrives with the cappuccinos and some type of pizza. I explain again that this is not what I ordered, and tell the waiter I want what they have in the photo. Finally he brings me the "Zeppole" one of the biggest they had. I ask him to bring me a knife and a fork (I searched in google for the Italian words) and his reaction was to take the pastry, put it in my mouth, and say, "in Naples we eat with our hands." Surprised with his attitude, I put a face of not understanding anything. I preferred not to say anything after that rude gesture. After a minute, he returned reluctantly with a fork and knife. Then he tells us it's 9 euros. I say, "Can you bring us the ticket?" I did not understand why he only told us the price out loud. He comes with the ticket without explaining how much each thing costs. The ticket only had one line that read "caffe 9 euros." We pay and he immediately starts picking up our things. I still had some coffee left, I grab the cup so that he understands that I wanted to finish it but he does not care, he picks up everything. My cousin in this surreal situation began to laugh. No thanks, no goodbye. No doubt, this man did not like the job he has. At least I hope that was the situation, and not something else.
After 24 hours in Naples there was not a single word to describe the city. I need many words like chaos, tension, dirt, lack of control. I only know that it is one of those places that I will not feel the need to return. We returned exhausted to Latina. We appreciated its calmness. I do not want to think how it has to be to live in Naples. The best of my luck for those people.
Marco, the waiter of the Cafe. Change work if you can. You are not happy.
Thank you Andrea for sharing this experience with me.