Underground Naples

Yesterday Blaine and I went on a great adventure.  Originally it was going to be me, Quin and Blaine but Q wasn’t feeling too well so he ended up staying at home.  I was a little nervous about navigating the city on my own, but we had no problems! We left around 10, walked to the metro, and made it to our first stop sometime between 11 and 11:30. What was our first stop? The Santa Chiara cloisters!

IMG_3638It was a really beautiful area, I’m sure you know by now that I’m a sucker for any green space. The coolest part, though, was the hand painted tiles lining the entire courtyard on the benches and the columns.  There were dozens of different scenes and the paint was still so vibrant and cheerful.  It was a very peaceful place to be.

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We made a quick stop inside the museum and the gift shop.  They were neat and there was an archeological area inside the museum where you could see the remains of an old Roman bath, but it wasn’t anything crazy. The courtyard itself definitely stole the show for us.

IMG_3649After taking in the cloisters, we headed towards our next stop: the Underground Naples tour! It was a pretty short walk, but instead of going off my Dad’s directions he had given me the night before (big mistake!) we followed a Google map I had printed. Google took us down a pretty shifty side street. It was covered in graffiti, which isn’t really unusual for Naples, but there were also broken chairs in the middle of the alley and Blaine and I had the pleasure of walking past a man relieving himself in a corner.  Welcome to Italy, Blaine!! Needless to say, we hurried through that alley and didn’t take that way back once we were finished.

We grabbed a quick pizza right by the start of the Underground tour and it was deeeelicious! I’m a creature of habit and ordered the eggplant pizza.  I can’t get enough of the stuff!

IMG_0579It was fantastic and I ate way too much.  We still had a little time to kill after lunch before our tour, so we hopped across the street to get a much needed cappuccino. We asked for a little cocoa on top and it tasted like a full-on chocolate cappuccino. In other words, it was the perfect drink.

Properly fueled, Blaine and I headed to our tour, which we both highly recommend if you’re in Naples! We had a very knowledgable tour guide (she is Scottish but is studying archeology in Naples) and it’s always exciting to be sneaking around underground through little tunnels. You get a history of Naples from when the Greeks founded it up to just after the second World War. There is a planter of flowers in one of the underground aqueducts that is never watered.  UV lamps are used and the soil is changed every once in a while, but the plants grow due to the near 100% humidity in the aqueduct. Pretty awesome! I also really enjoyed carrying my little candle through the tiniest tunnel and popping out in a cistern.  That was amazing, although it was a tight squeeze at some points!

The tour isn’t all underground, though.  We were also taken to an old theater where it is rumored Emperor Nero played a few times! All in all it took a little over an hour and a half and we loved every minute of it. We were pretty tired afterwards and by the time we made it home we were ready to pass out!

 

 

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Crazy Birthday Dinner

Last night my family went out to eat at a place called Panart because it was my parent’s friend’s birthday.  This dinner party/gathering was a surprise to her, as was its theme: a wake.  Her husband threw this surprise party for her, complete with a coffin in which she was supposed to lay as people said eulogies. Isn’t that crazy?? If my husband made me get in a coffin, carried me around a restaurant, and talked about me like I was dead for my 50th birthday, we would be in a fight. Big time.  Luckily Quin and I were able to stay out of it and just got a table for ourselves while our parents begrudgingly participated in the ‘celebration’.  The lady took it like a champ and they’re still married as of this morning, so that’s a good sign.

I overheard a lady saying this place used to be an old stables. It was really cool and had a great wait staff

I overheard a lady saying this place used to be an old stables. It was really cool and had a great wait staff

The food was really good, in other news.  I ordered a risotto with carrots, mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini and it was delish! I’m not usually a huge mushroom fan, but I’ve been trying to like them because I don’t want to limit all my crazy eating options here in Italy just because of one ingredient.

It was a winner!

It was a winner!

For dinner I ordered cheesecake with strawberries. It was just aiight, not awesome but I didn’t regret ordering it either.

Sorry for the lighting, we were dining al fresco and there wasn't a lot of light!

Sorry for the lighting, we were dining al fresco and there wasn’t a lot of light!

Quin and I killed the rest of the night by watching some of the Brazil-Italy soccer game.  Fun stuff!

Today we got a late start and headed to Capodimonte around 1:00 to see some of the art in the old palace. We arrived around 1:30 and found out that if you buy your ticket after 2:00, you save a euro per ticket.  So we walked around the palace courtyard and peeked at the surrounding gardens while waiting for 2:00 to roll around.

Havin' fun waiting!

Havin’ fun waiting!

The view from the palace courtyard to the gardens

The view from the palace courtyard to the gardens

The museum was huge but had some truly amazing pieces of art inside.  My dad was especially excited about this Carvaggio painting:

Very impressive! We spent about 2 hours at the museum and then headed home to get ready for the upcoming week.  Blaine arrives Tuesday morning and I couldn’t be more excited!

Sunny Sorrento

Today Mom and I went on a mother-daughter date to the beautiful seaside town of Sorrento. It was lovely!

One of my only pictures of Sorrento itself... :/

One of my only pictures of Sorrento itself… :/

Sorrento is such a beautiful town, and I’m a little ashamed I didn’t take more pictures. Sorry guys!! The train ride from Naples to Sorrento took longer than Mom and I thought it would–about 2 hours! But Mom was asked on a coffee date with a friendly older Italian gentleman, so the ride was well worth the time 😉 (She declined, in case you were wondering).

Please ignore my awkward wink.  Mom's still got it!

Please ignore my awkward wink. Mom’s still got it!

When we initially arrived in the city, we needed a bit of a pick-me-up before we really got rollin’.  Can you guess what I ordered? Ayup, a cappuccino with an apricot ‘graffa’, which is like a donut

That cappuccino was on point

That cappuccino was on point

Then we were ready to rock! We wandered up and down streets, stopping at what looked interesting and catching a late lunch when we felt the rumblings of hunger once more.  Mom and I originally planned on sharing some appetizers, but for some reason when I opened the menu and saw the egg dishes available, I couldn’t shake my craving for eggs.

Lunch! Also my first time trying rosé. Not in love.

Lunch! Also my first time trying rosé. Not in love.

My eggs were just a little bit runny, which is exactly how I like them, and I was surprised at how much I liked the cooked tomato with the eggs.

After lunch we had to sort of hustle back to the train station in order to make it home in time to prep dinner, but it was an absolutely lovely day and I thoroughly enjoyed the high 70’s weather! And I finally found the purse I’ve been longing for for months.

The spoils of the day. Huzzah!

The spoils of the day. Huzzah!

Originally I wanted just a nice brown leather purse, but the yellow was calling my name. First the purse then the eggs…I’m sensing a pattern…

I love Sorrento and can’t wait to take Blaine back!!

A question for you: Is there a place you would visit again and again without tiring of it?

I think Sorrento and Rome are both places I could go repeatedly without getting bored. There’s just so much to look at and do!