Naples - Skipping About the Continent - CycleBlaze

April 4, 2022 to April 5, 2022

Naples

To Naples, April 4

I was finally on my way – bound for Italy. 

Carla had me contact her chauffeur, Phillipe Bontemps (love the name), to help manage bike and luggage and get to the airport. I successfully loaded Vivien George and myself in the tiny elevator for the trip down to street level, then one more trip for a small bag and backpack and I was ready. Phillipe had just arrived and we were soon loaded and on our way. Each of the various drivers that have taken me to and from CDG airport seems to have their own favorite route through the streets of Paris  - and none are the same. Phillipe took the "tourist route", past the Tour Eiffel and Arc de Triomphe. We got caught in some morning Paris traffic but arrived at CDG in plenty of time for my 11:25 flight to Naples, via Frankfurt..

The flight to Frankfurt was delayed about 45 min, apparently due to the fact that Lufthansa did not have enough baggage handlers in Frankfurt to load the incoming flight. I guess worker shortages are a not just a USA problem. I was glad to have booked flights with a long connection window, something I tend to do when flying with Vivien George. Even with the delay, I had 2.5 hours in Frankfurt, an airport I found to be somewhat depressing.

I had booked two nights at a small hotel in Naples close to the train strain. The small, four room hotel is located two flights up from street level in an older building that it shares with other tenants. Lighting is suboptimal and it takes three keys to get to my room. This gave me pause at first, wondering how safe it might be. However, there is a lift, the hotel is quite nice, and Antonio and Guillermo were a delight, assuring me that it was quite safe. They directed me to a small restaurant/pizzeria around the corner that had a charming staff and wonderful pizza.

It was a long but rewarding day.   

Welcome to Napoli
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Steve Miller/GrampiesWow, that's an interesting example of a Naples pizza, but I think the crust falls outside of the official standards. Bet it was yummy, though!
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4 months ago
Susan CarpenterTo Steve Miller/GrampiesFrom what I observed, that crust seems fairly typical around town. And it was delicious - a thin, almost chewy crust and a fabulous marinara
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4 months ago

A day in Naples, April 5

The major task today was assembling Vivien George. I used my breakfast voucher for roll and coffee at a nearby cafe and then checked out the train station to get the lay of the land for tomorrow’s trip to Taranto. Back at the hotel, bike assembly went smoothly and I set off to see a bit of Naples.

Naples is unlike other European cities I’ve visited. I would describe it as chaotic and a little raw: there is sparse attention to rules, while life is real, colorful, and embraced with passion. My wanderings took me through neighborhoods of graffiti walls and laundry drying on balconies, past the ferry terminals and the Maritime Station. I came upon a dockside movie set - sadly there was no George Clooney sighting.

On the way to coffee
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On the way to the train station
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On the way to the waterfront
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Naples, from the ferry terminals
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Gantry cranes and snow-capped mountains
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The "Totem of Peace" monument located in front of the Maritime Station is a the work of the Turin sculptor Mario Molinari. The monument is inscribed with "An Appeal for Migrants" urging recognition of a new nation: of exiled people, refugees, and migrants. Castel Nuovo is in the background.
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In Naples, near the waterfront
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Movie set along the docks
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I cut through the Giardini del Molosiglio and walked the promenade along Via Nazario Sauro through the Borgo Santa Lucia district, a place teeming with action. Mount Vesuvius rose across the harbor, providing a scenic backdrop for people snapping selfies and vendors selling trinkets. I walked down to the rotunda to see workers refurbishing their rowboats and scores of people perched above the water’s edge, lolling in the sun and/or enjoying lunch. Taking their cue, I opted for one of the many street side restaurants, the primary determinant being the availability of a table in the shade. The food was passable and satisfied my salad cravings.

In Giardini del Molosiglio
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This stately structure has seen better days
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Stature of Octavian Augustus, a frequent target of graffiti vandals
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Along Via Nazario Sauro in the Borgo Santa Lucia district
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Mount Vesuvius
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In the Borgo Santa Lucia district, heading toward the rotunda area
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In the process of getting a fancy new paint job
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Nice spot for lunch in the sun, or just lazing about
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Looking out from the rotunda - not sure what island that is
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Castel dell'Ovo
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After lunch, my ankle was tiring, so there were few stops on the long walk back to the hotel. I wound my way through the Piazza del Plebiscito and a section of Quartieri Spagnoli, then along busy boulevards heavily trafficked with pedestrians and vehicles. Throughout the day I had observed bike lanes, but few cyclists. This is not a city I would care to navigate on a bike. Luckily, I don’t have to.

Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola
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Teatro di San Carlo
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Galleria Umberto I
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So that's it for Naples - I'm moving on tomorrow. However, I will be back at the end of my tour in Puglia so there may be more to come.

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Comment on this entry Comment 4
Rachael AndersonGlad you made it and the weather looks great.
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4 months ago
Susan CarpenterTo Rachael AndersonThanks Rachael - one more travel day and then 🚴‍♀️
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4 months ago
Tricia GrahamSo pleased you are on your way after the ankle frustration
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4 months ago
Susan CarpenterTo Tricia GrahamThanks Trish - it's really great knowing that so many are pulling for me
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4 months ago