Well, I’ve been in Napoli, aka Naples, since midday Saturday, so I suppose it’s time for an update. If I wait until next Monday, when I get back to London, to try to write down everything, I’m sure I’ll forget something important! So, without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to for the past few days:
Saturday morning at London-Gatwick was infinitely better than my experience at London-Luton. Matt’s present did raise the eyebrows of security, getting through was still fairly easy. (And there weren’t any full-body pat downs, yay. I feel like doing that to everyone is a breach of our right to privacy, but I digress.)
So, got into the Napoli airport and through customs, no problem. Quickly realized that Italians speak…Italian…to each other way more than they speak English. Which has been making this trip very interesting because the amount of Italian I speak is positively minuscule. Good thing Matt speaks like a natural Neapolitan. He picked me up from the airport (via car because of the rain) and promptly took me to a local cafe for my first taste of espresso and Italian pastries, both of which are delicious! I’m still fairly surprised I haven’t bounced off the walls yet from the amount of straight-up espresso I’ve been having, not to mention the “pocket-coffees,” which we’ll get to later.
We headed to Matt’s apartment, where I met Nonna and Grandpa Giovanni, Matt’s wonderful, friendly Italian landlords. Sidenote: they only speak Italian. Neapolitan, to be specific, but still. So they tried to talk to me and I laughed and smiled and Matt explained that I don’t really know how to speak Italian. Apparently I’m pretty good at mimicking what other people say, but I don’t know what I’m saying, which can be a problem. Between Matt’s translations and their big gestures, though, I was mostly able to follow along. We had Nonna’s homemade spaghetti for lunch (YUM!), along with their homemade red and white wine, followed by limoncello and espresso. Oh. My. Goodness. What a first couple hours here!
After dropping my backpack off in his apartment, Matt and I headed down to Lago d’Averno to feed some ducks! Since that’s something I love doing at home, I was super glad to check out the Italian ducks here! We also ran into some friendly Neapolitan dogs (Napoli is famous for its stray dogs and I’ve already wanted to adopt at least a dozen of them), and they were more than happy to get some attention and eat bread. Since Matt’s a crazy good photographer, he took AMAZING pictures of the aforementioned ducks, which hopefully I will put up here eventually.
The rain started to pick up right as I finished throwing the last piece of bread, so Matt gave me a driving tour around Napoli, Pozzuoli, and one of the Navy bases. Since we’re so near the ocean, the storm was awesome! I could not believe how crazy the wind and the purple lightening were, especially in light of the fairly mild London rain. I nearly lost my new favorite hat when we got out to look at a boat knocked off its moorings, and we watched the waves literally crash over the bridge until the water calmed down enough to drive back through it.
We stopped to pick up pizza at a little place close to Matt’s house, and then again in a bar to try a bunch of different Italian beers (note: not liking the beers). I was apparently oblivious to it when Matt’s Italian buddy who worked at the bar tried to kiss me (oops), but we had a good laugh about it.
And that was just the first day in Napoli!