Thursday, July 14, 2011
Day 15 - Welcome to the South
We woke up early, had hotel breakfast and 2 cappuccinos. Is it wrong that all I want is a huge extra large venti iced frappe-something from Starbucks? Caught the 10:40 train to Naples which gets us in the same time as the other train we were going to get but was half the price but an hour longer. This train car is more comfortable than the last, there is a little table at the seats and it's air conditioned. I hope we are in the right car, it says class 2 on it. But I guess we will find out when or if they come around to collect tickets.
Traveling by train is quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to go. It's more convenient to get to a train station then an airport, you don't have to worry about liquids in your bags and it's a great way to see the country. Oh, and it's a fraction of the price. In total we paid 56€ for the both of us to go all the way from Ancona to Rome to Naples.
The ticket lady comes around and we find out that we are on the wrong train. I thought these seats were a little too nice for 10€. It would be like if we had a ticket to Trenton on nj transit and got on the Amtrak train. We get off at the next stop, which is more than halfway to Naples and wait for the correct train.
Davide said he would meet us at the train station. We didn't really bother to ask where to meet or to give him our train number. So we discuss whether or not this is going to be a problem and right as we are wandering around outside the station Davi and his girlfriend Virgina is with him, pizza in hand.
Naples itself is a dump. Literally, there's trash everywhere. I'm relieved when we start driving out of the city and along the coast and into the hills. I feel like I'm in the real Italy now, there are tiny winding streets that open up into quaint piazzas. Cafes, markets, fruit stands, restaurants. We stop by virginias house so she can get her bathing suit and her neighbors are growing grapes in their yard. Real Italy. We had mentioned to davi that we really needed to do laundry, bill is out of underwear and I'm running low. As soon as we get out of the car at his house he says something to his mom in Italian, who's hanging laundry out on the balcony two stories up, and she's at the door with a laundry basket and takes it all upstairs despite our protests that we can put it in the washer ourselves.
Next we head to a local beach, but stop first to admire the view from davides fathers restaurant. It is breathtaking, as you can all see from the picture above. I dont think it showed in the picture but you can see vesuvius waaayyyyy in the background. We head down to the beach, the sand here is almost black from the volcano ash. I feel as I jump into the bathtub warm water a little bit of cleansing. Maybe it's the volcanic ash, maybe it's the Mediterranean, or just the happiness I always feel being on a beach. We soak in the last of the afternoon sun. Davi explains to us that there are a lot of Americans here that work on both the us naval base and the NATO base. There are also lots of italians who moved to the us then ended up moving back so there are a lot of English speaking people here. We met some of his friends, as soon as he introduced us as Americans they switched over to English without any trace of an Italian accent. It was a little strange to be somewhere that so many people speak American English, as this is usually not the case where we go.
We check on the laundry when we get home and davide's mom is already hanging it out to dry. At first I'm a little scared that the whole town is going to see my underwear blowing in the breeze but she discreetly hung the panties behind the sheets and towels. I tell bill that he shouldn't get used to this because I'm not doing this with his laundry.
We go to his fathers restaurant for dinner at 10, which is an early dinner by italian standards. It's more of a casual place and davi informs us that they brought the cheesesteak back from Philly and it's one of the most popular things on their menu. We have an ante pasta platter and get some cheesesteaks and real Napoli pizza. The pizza is outrageously good, the cheesesteak can't really be called a cheesesteak cause you'll never find something that delicious in Philly.
We round the night off by having drinks at a beach club. People are sprawled out over the sand, a Dj is in the lifeguard booth, and people are actually jumping into the sea wi all their clothes on. I will never be that drunk as to attempt night swimming so we head home around 3 and crash.