Wild and Free in Napoli: Day 1

For the past month or so I’ve been busy planning my two week Easter holiday trip through Naples, Rome, Florence, Venice, Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. After weeks of hardcore studying, the time has finally come for me to take a little break and enjoy some travel time-before going back and suffering through work overload that is. Until then, I’ll be enjoying my time in the beautiful countries of Italy, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic. First stop: Italy!

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When Sam (my travel buddy) and I arrived in the Napoli (Naples) airport, there was a line out the wazoo for customs check (probably due to the fact that spring break is in full swing). After queuing for what seemed like forever, we finally made it through and made our way to a bus stop that took us to the center of the city. Unfortunately our hostel room wasn’t ready for check in, so we had to leave our bags in the lobby closet and head out for lunch. We happened upon a pizza joint called “Solopizza,” a charming little restaurant along the main strip. We both sat down and, after struggling through the Italian menu, managed to order. It was 7 euros per pizza but we didn’t know if we would be getting a slice each, or an entire pizza each. We were shocked when two massive pizza pies arrived at our table. They weren’t the typical American-style pizzas we were used to, but they were darn good. Mine had no sauce-just cheese, peppers, and sausage. Sam’s had tomato sauce, peas, and ham. Both of them were equally exquisite in taste.

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After devouring our lunch, we headed back to the hostel and were pleasantly surprised to find out that we had been upgraded to a double room with a waterfront balcony for the night since our quad room wasn’t ready yet. The room was quite nice and had a breathtaking view of the city and sea. The weather was beautiful, so we decided to take advantage of the sun and warmth and take a ferry ride to Procida, one of the Flegrean Islands off the coast of Napoli.

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When we got to the island we realized that the last ferry ride back to Napoli was in two hours, so we only had a small amount of time to explore. We spent most of our time walking through the alleys and streets of the more residential parts of the island, as all of the buildings and houses were bright, colorful, and fun to look at. It was around 7pm by this time so the sun was just starting to set (I keep making jokes about how we saw the Capri sun-set since we were so close to the island of Capri). Although the island wasn’t exactly what we expected after scrolling through Google images, (we had been dropped off on the less-beautiful side of it) we still made the most of the voyage.

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We tasted some real Italian gelato from Tentazioni Gelateria to top off our little island excursion before heading back to the mainland. When we got back on the ferry, we were joined by two young football (soccer) teams from the area. For one reason or another a fight broke out between the two teams and chaos sprung about on the already moving boat. Now I don’t know a lick of Italian, (other than ciao, gratzi, and pizza) but let me tell you that these people did not sound happy at all. After a solid 15-20 minutes of brawling and yelling in the middle of the ferry, everything calmed down and we were able to have a decent ride back to port. When we arrived back to the mainland, there were several police/emergency vehicles and a good 20-30 police personnel all dressed in riot gear with shields and batons held at the ready awaiting the boat. Everything was fine and I didn’t feel in any real danger at any point during this whole process, it was just crazy to witness it all. We arrived back at the hostel and turned in for the night early in order to get ahead on some sleep before our next day in the city.

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