Buongiorno! Welcome to the Italian leg of our 3 part honeymoon series… part 1. I HAD to split Naples & Rome up because there was just TOO much to cover in one blog.
To be completely honest prior to leaving for our honeymoon I was hesitant about Italy. Not for any reason other than I hate pasta **gasp, shock, awe** & ignorantly assumed that meant I would go hungry for the entire duration of our stay there. As you can see… food plays entirely TOO critical a role in our travels. Well… one quick stop at a local pasta joint in Naples & I’m now officially a self-proclaimed pasta aficionado. It was just THAT good. Jokes aside, Italy completely, completely, completely stole our hearts & I’m just the most excited to tell you all about it below.
Naples Travel Diary
Where we stayed
We stayed at an airbnb in the heart of Naples. It was a GREAT location; super safe, affordable & close to tons of restaurants, museums & monuments. The condo was completely rennovated & beautifully decorated… an Instagrammer’s dream. Our host, Luca, even took extra care to pull out a map & show us where to go, what to eat etc. etc. etc.
Would highly recommend.
There was also a laundry machine which was KEY because we had already been on the road for about 2 weeks & at that point our clothes were starting to get… ripe.
What we ate
Wow, wow, wow. The food in Naples is probably the best food I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. I’ve outlined a few of our favourite spots below. PSA: prepare to never be able to eat pizza or pasta ever again because Naples will officially ruin them for you anywhere else.
- Pizzeria da Michele – Naples is literally the birth place of pizza. Pizzeria da Michele is one of the oldest pizza joints in Naples & probably the best. With over 13,000 reviews on Google, they’re sitting at an impressive 4.4 rating. Prepare for long waits – trust me, it’s worth it – & little variety – you have two pizza options – but ALSO prepare to be blown AWAY.
- Tandem – This place changed pasta for me. The slow-roasted Ragu at Tandem is seriously out of this freakin’ WORLD. It’s what they’re known for… so if you happen to be in Naples & go there, GET THE RAGU.
- Mennella Il Gelato – Andrei only knows good gelato. He makes his own gelato, & knows precisely what to look for when scouting out the perfect gelato shop – he literally analyzes the freakin’ height of the gelato mound & method it’s stored to determine its quality (just to name a few). Menella Il Gelato met & surpassed all of Andrei’s stringent quality controls. It is REALLY good gelato.
What we did
We were only in Naples for two nights so we tried to fit in as MUCH as we possibly could but there were sooooooooo many things that we unfortunately missed out on. Truth be told, we only went to Naples because Pompeii is pretty much numero uno on Andrei’s Bucket List… more on that later!
We still managed to cover quite a bit of ground…. hellooooooo 35,000 steps in one day. The views of the ocean & harbour from Castel Nuovo are quite beautiful. By the time we actually made it to the waterfront the Castel museums were closed BUT we were still able to walk around & take in the views of Mount Vesuvius across the water.
Piazza del Plebiscito is definitely a must-see. We stumbled upon this square (the largest in Naples) & stopped to take in the Naples Royal Palace & the Church of San Francesco di Paola.
I’m not really sure what this is, but everyone was taking a photo with him so we decided to also.
Well this brings us to the Pompeii of it all. For those of you that DON’T know, Pompeii is an ancient Roman City that was destroyed by volcanic ash & pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The city was actually preserved under this volcanic ash so when you visit, you’re pretty much taking a step back into ancient civilization. Pretty darn cool.
As I mentioned, Pompeii has been on Andrei’s bucket list forEVER so he wanted to do it up big. Typically we don’t hop on the guided tour train but because Andrei was so excited he really wanted to splurge & booked a tour to get the most out of our experience…. Worst. Decision. Ever.
They squeezed about 60 people into our group… it was completely overcrowded & they were manouvering us like herded cattle through Pompeii. We also couldn’t hear a single THING our tour guide said because her microphone kept breaking up & she was too far ahead. You know, at the front of our 60 person tour. Not to mention… we only covered about 1/6 of the city. Andrei was devestated to say the least.
Word of advice: Pompeii is SO COOL. Book a train ticket (it’s cheap & only about 30 minutes) from Naples & bask in the freedom of being able to see this incredible city yourself.
Hot Tip: If you want to skip the crowds at Pompeii… visit Herculaneum! This ancient city suffered the exact same fate as Pompeii, but is lesser known than it’s touristy counterpart. Andrei & I actually preferred Herculaneum to Pompeii because it’s MORE preserved. We got to see wall paintings, beautifully preserved mosaics and stunning floors in near perfect condition.
Okay… onto ROME!