Wednesday, 6 July 2011


To go to Napoli or not.. We were so close, a mere half hour away by train, but the scary stories about rubbish burning in the streets, potential cholera outbreaks, kamikaze road crossing attempts, pickpockets lurking around every corner etc.. were giving us some doubts. In the end, rumours of the best coffee and street food in Italy, including the famous deep fried pizzas, won out and we were on our way.

First impressions were of a city with more in common with Athens or even India than with any other Italian cities we had visited so far. Crossing the road was indeed a hair raising experience, though Will got stuck in straight away, merrily weaving the pushchair in and out of the traffic while Emma had a nervous breakdown on the pavement.

We almost immediately got ourselves lost in the side streets, wandering through markets, past welders' workshops in the front rooms of houses and underneath buckets hauling groceries to the top floor. We observed the Neopolitan predilection for slogan emblazoned t-shirts, which ranged from the grammatically creative ('Look me!' and 'Boy is my toy') to the bizarre ('Don't touch my bikini!) to the hilarious ('Homo sport'). We ate delicious deep-fried pizza and questionable deep fried cheesy frankfurter and enjoyed a very fine espresso at the Liberty Cafe in the stunning Art Nouveau arcade. We bought painted ceramic chillis from a smiley little artisan and took advice on Frankie's well-being from almost everyone we passed - 'the sun's in his eyes', 'take off his trousers!' etc.. - This despite the common spectacle of whole families crammed precariously onto a vespa, not a helmet between them.

There was a lot of rubbish piled up and we did fail to find a single patch of grass for Frankie to play on (and we walked a long way looking) but we were utterly seduced by Napoli.

Liberty Cafe, Napoli

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