‘Life is nothing without a little chaos to make it interesting.’
― Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
After almost 5 hours of wandering around and wondering about Pompeii, we left for Naples, with mixed feelings, but also with excitement that we were reaching our final destination. To be honest, my first impression of Naples, to put it into words, was: ‘Oh my God, I wish I could fly!’ And it was not because I wanted to see the city from above, but because the traffic was so chaotic; I was afraid to be in the car or a pedestrian – either way, it was bad. I am not the most advanced driver, I surely can’t handle all the fast manoeuvres, I might not even be safe as a pedestrian, but after 30 minutes in the Neapolitan traffic, I was scared – I can’t even remember the last time I was so scared. It is true it was rush hour, probably everyone was going home after work – and traffic jams happen everywhere, but still, I was terrified.
Eventually, we managed to arrive at the hotel, we parked the cars and we looked for a place to eat. I know I haven’t told you about the renowned Italian cuisine until now, but I have waited to get to this point and let you know that what many say is true: the Italian pizza is THE BEST pizza I have ever eaten – and it was in Naples. After delighting ourselves, some with pizza, others with pasta (which is also very tasty, by the way), we got a well-deserved sleep and we were ready for the last part of the trip. I managed to get over the crazy traffic and I got to enjoy Naples. Colourful and narrow streets, people smiling, many scooters all around, castles, fancy buildings, big shops and corner shops, fresh fruit, vegetables or fish markets at every corner, pizzerias, pasticcerias, street artists – everything was looking waaay better now. Even if I couldn’t help but judge the city after the first 5 minutes, thinking ‘people here are mad!’ it turned out to be a really nice city, despite its negative aspects. But what city doesn’t have its minuses? And I am sure I had these opinions because I was a tourist, as people there didn’t seem too bothered. Overall, seeing Naples after Pompeii made me realise that even if the two cities are in close proximity to each other, they both developed (or not that much, in the case of Pompeii) very differently and gave me contradictory feelings. While one was mainly erased from Earth, the other got to be one of the greatest cities of Italy. Maybe it has to do with luck, destiny or something else, but to me it was impressive.
All in all, as I arrived at the end of my Italian experience, I can firmly say that these one thousand-something words are not enough to describe the places I have seen or the feelings I have had in different situations. You could maybe search the Internet for pictures, to get more of a visual idea of what I told you, but I assure you, the only way to understand (or maybe even contradict) my point of view is to be there. I will leave you by saying that in the end it was a great experience. And to go back to my initial thought that travelling with family is totally worth it, especially if you want to visit a lot and pay attention to the details: it really was like that. I am now thinking that if I have travelled with a larger group, I might have missed a lot and I might have got distracted quite easily.
Thank you for the experience and hopefully it won’t be the last one!
Until next time, open your eyes and your ears to what the world has to tell you!
By: Ioana-Alexandra Tache