Back to Europe: Starting in Naples

I’m back in Italy (for now)! This time I flew an equally convoluted route as last time…Sioux Falls to Chicago to Paris to Naples. After over 24 hours of travel I arrived at our hotel in Naples. Finally got to see Steve after 147 days (but who was counting?)!

First impressions of Naples: Dirty, loud, HOT, diverse, social, people everywhere, shopping, crazy traffic! Naples is unlike any city in Europe I’ve ever been to. I can only compare it to Bangkok in its hectic, lunatic attitude. The people who live here have to be nuts or stupid. I don’t mean to be rude, but I could not deal with the traffic on a regular basis. Mopeds and cars fly by, sometimes stopping at red lights, sometimes not, whatever strikes their fancy at the moment.

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Ah! Smell that smoggy city air!

Apparently car theft is at its worst in Naples and I noticed that almost every car had at least one ding or scratch on it (most had much worse looking injuries). It’s also similar to most tourist cities in Thailand as there are people everywhere on the streets trying to sell you selfie sticks, cell phone cases, and sunglasses. However, I loved that about the city. Yes, it was dirty, yes it smelled a little funny, but it was alive. I kept catching moments of what I (stereotypically) imagine Italy to be like. People stopping each other on the street to say ciao, people fighting over the cost of a fish at a small market, children playing soccer in a courtyard (I did not appreciate when one of them almost ran me over with his bike—damn youths).

Naples as seen from Mt. Vesuvius. It's much bigger than I imagined

Naples as seen from Mt. Vesuvius. It’s a lot bigger than I imagined

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