Three Perfect Days In Naples

A playground for the rich and debauched, when ancient Romans sailed into the Bay of Naples, they saw a shoreline that sparkled with marble temples, opulent bathhouses, and vast imperial villas. From the 13th to 19th centuries, every famous personality stopped in the Kingdom of Naples. When Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited the city along [...]

A Journey Through Virgil’s Phlegraean Fields

The Sibyl uttered her trance-induced predictions, Charon ferried souls across the swampy Styx, and Romans bathed in hydrothermal spas, all within an eight square mile area west of Naples, Italy known as the Phlegraean Fields.  Publius Vergilius Maro, better known as Virgil, wrote about these ‘fields of fire’ in his epic work The Aeneid.  Today, [...]

Castel Nuovo

Castel Nuovo (also known as the Maschio Angioino) towers over the port in downtown Naples. Charles I of Anjou ordered its construction, which began in 1279. He called it the “New Castle” to distinguish the palace from the older Castel Capuano and Castel dell’Ovo. Throughout the centuries, the castle underwent many renovations. Today it has [...]

Velia and Paestum

Impecunious Greek philosophers wandered not only around the agora in Athens, but likely expounded their theories throughout today’s Italian peninsula. Some of the earliest Greek philosophers, the Eleatics, lived in an area about three hours south of Naples. Parmenides was the founder of the Eleatic School and a citizen of Elea (today Velia). Born towards [...]

Soccer In Naples

It’s impossible to talk about life in Naples without mentioning soccer. The fans are rowdy, the Stadio San Paolo is old, and you can frequently see flairs and firecrackers launched inside the stadium during games. Soccer is a huge sport here and it seems that all young males devote their afternoons and weekends to honing their skills [...]

A Few Words About Trash

It’s time I say a few words about the trash in Naples. I’ve received quite a few emails inquiries about this topic and, of course, trash in Naples has been an on-going discussion within the national, European, and international press. When I talk to Neapolitans, I find that trash is a topic of great embarrassment. [...]

The Blue Grotto at Capri

Capri is a resort island reached by boat from Naples. When you arrive, take the funicular to the piazzetta (little square) where It Started In Naples was filmed starring Sophia Loren and Clark Gable. From here, walk two kilometers along narrow roads lined with white washed buildings and where hotel carts zip past. You’ll end [...]

Tourist Offices

Tourist offices around the city provide a directory of guided tours given during this month also. The four tourist offices I recommend are run by the Azienda Autonoma di Soggiorno Cura e Turismi di Napoli (AAST) and can be found at these addresses: Piazza Trieste e Trento 1, Naples; Via San Carlo 9, Naples; Piazza [...]

The Artecard

In this region, Starbucks is nowhere to be found and that can feel a bit problematic for the traveler or expat who is accustomed to being able to “rent a space” at a coffeehouse to sit quietly with a laptop or book for an hour or two. Although the beaches are everywhere, almost every sandy [...]

Hospital Emergencies

I received the following information from Lynn La Benz.  If you happen to need emergency care while traveling overseas, here is what she found:   I know we all travel with our passports on the outset of our trip because we need them for customs and checking into our hotel.  However, many of us then [...]

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