From Rome, we headed to the Amalfi Coast via Naples (Napoli in Italian). The train seemed like the most cost and time-effective option to get us directly to Naples for an obligatory pizza-pit-stop, and looking back, I think it was the right choice. The train system in Italy can be a bit confusing since the end-destination is listed on each train (rather than the next stop), but luckily the route from Rome to Naples is a well-traveled one.
When we arrived in Naples, we opted to pay to have our luggage (we each had a carry-on sized piece of luggage) stored at the station while we explored a bit, and I’m so glad we did! The minute we walked out of the station doors, we were overwhelmed by the activity of taxi drivers, food vendors, and a sea of people selling sunglasses, knock-off handbags, and all kinds of Italian tchotckes for tourists to take home.
The path was uneven, there were people weaving in and out of the flow of pedestrian traffic, and cars seemed to only stop when given the evil eye. It would have been a nightmare to navigate this with more than a simple purse to keep an eye on (we were warned about pickpockets and purse thieves that are especially prevalent in Naples) – let alone a couple of kids or a stroller (I feel for you, traveling parents), so simplifying your load for peace of mind is highly recommended. Luggage also screams I AM A TOURIST, so whenever I can, I try and explore sans-baggage.
A caveat for my well-traveled friends: Even though the scene was busier than I expected, the individuals soliciting business were much more hands-off than other places I’ve traveled (Philippines, looking at you) or heard about (hey Morocco), so unless you show interest in buying something, you are likely going to be left alone.
We hustled through this busy stretch of people in search of Napoli’s pride and joy: pizza! As you may or may not know, Naples is the home of Neapolitan pizza – they even have a strict governing organization making sure everyone knows who does it “authentically” – and who doesn’t. We ended up at a place called Pizza Trianon and were not disappointed.
Rob ordered a ham-and-mozzarella-y pizza that dripped greasy goodness. As his eyes rolled back in his head, I drooled over my salty-yet-complex basil, caper, and sardine pizza, (dipped in olive oil, of course). Although the service at Trianon was pretty no-nonsense and stingy with smiles (akin to what I’d expect at a highly-trafficked diner/drive-in/dive in the US), the pizza was pretty fantastic, and the marble interior of the restaurant was pretty spectacular.
As we settled into our carb-induced-bliss of the day, we sauntered back to the train station to catch a ride to our next destination – Positano!