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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report Naples report - including staying in the centro storico

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I’d posted a question earlier about which neighborhood to stay in at Naples. Just to report back that we spent 10 days in Naples in early October in the centro storico and loved it. Yes, it’s chaotic and you need some tolerance for grime. On the other hand, it’s not been Disneyfied or Prada-ized like so many historical centres that cater primarily to tourists. There are still streets that specialize in presepi (amazing nativity scenes), and grandmothers that pull up a chair at the street corner to watch the action. And all that you have to do is to look up above street level and you see amazing Baroque splendor (often decaying, but that is attractive in its own way). We also walked around the other neighborhoods we considered staying in (Vomero and Chiaia) and were glad that we decided to stay in a more central location.

Staying in Naples also worked very well for our day trips to Pompeii, Herculaneum (both fabulous - go to the Naples Archaeological Museum first if possible so you can better imagine what the villas contained) and Capri (now a tourist trap, even if it’s a beautiful tourist trap; if you’re going to the Amalfi Coast and are going to do some hiking there, there’s no reason to go to Capri). If you have time, we’d also recommend something we hadn’t heard of before: Walking through a Roman tunnel under a hill in Posillipo (on the outskirts of Naples) to the Roman ruins of Villa Pausilypon - we were the only ones there.

We had an outstanding meal btw at the Ristorantino dell’Avocato restaurant near the waterfront - local clientele, charming proprietors (we went for lunch, but you need reservations for dinner). We still fantasize about their eggplant parmigiana. Fish and wine were excellent as well. And just off the Piazza Bellini, there’s Un Sorisso Integrale, an excellent and inexpensive vegan restaurant - we’re not vegetarian, but it was SO refreshing to encounter vegetables being featured at an Italian meal.

I recognize that staying in Naples is not for everyone, and that those who want a more ordered European experience may choose to stay elsewhere and just visit the Archaeological Museum, Capodimonte museum, etc. But I think you’d be missing a terrific, authentic experience. (If you take the mindset that you’re in a developing country or in the medieval era, that may help! And we didn’t have any problems with crime or see any, for those worried.) It also helped that we found a wonderful modern apartment on airbnb right off Spaccanapoli - www.airbnb.com/rooms/635477 , so it was a good refuge from the action on the streets.

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