Naples is chaotic, dirty and full of vendors. No they weren't exaggerating (Naples has a reputation).
I went for the pizza and Capri but was pleasantly surprised- in a way. What I liked: Naples has 3 castles! Three! I saw 2 up close, 1 in the distance. It has a beautiful square where Palazzo Reale is, as well as a beautiful open mall. The duomo isn't shabby either. I also liked the pizza. I went to one famous place by my hostel- Sorbillos. The other- Antica pizza da Michele (featured in Eat Pray Love), I couldn't find, so I ate at Sorbillos again. Then I looked up better directions and found Michele so I could take pics lol. I love past and present movie sets! It was, of course, very busy or else I would have gotten take-out and attempted to stuff it down lol.
So- the pizza. Thin crust (like very thin, you usually have to fold the piece), quite a lot of mozzarella, great tomato sauce and great spices... Plus good meat toppings, depending on what you choose. Yum. Michele's only has Margherita or marinara but Sorbillo had many types of pizza. I particularly liked my spicy salami pizza.
What I didn't mind: the countless vendors selling more fake purses and wallets than I have ever seen!!!! And the urge to buy it all doesn't go away either -sigh- but I resisted! It was funny- there were vendors on Toledo St (a good shopping street) but when a cop drove by, they swooped up their knock-offs and moved their racks until the cops passed... Then they went right back to it lol.
The chaotic residential and centro areas. Ok so it was true Italy. Loud, busy, full of traffic, little local stores, people hanging out, women lowering pails from higher floors to collect whatever.... It is incredible to walk through.
What I disliked about Napoli: The stray dogs. There was a small lab in the metro station, running like mad, not knowing what to do. I wanted to scoop him up. Pompeii has stray dogs, but they have an adoption program.
The garbage. It's everywhere. In the streets, in collections of big garbage bins every few blocks.
The grime of the city- beautiful churches that are dirty, graffiti on monuments.
I heard the city was unsafe. I didn't really feel that way. I was out in the dark at 9:30 pm alone, and felt fine. But there are some sketchy places (piazza Garibaldi) that should be avoided at night. It's too bad I didn't get to see or do more. Because of that fact, I'd probably go back. Mostly for te pizza though. Lol.
So... That's it for Italy, other than a few hours in Bari before my ferry to Patras. It went so fast. But it's time for Greece. I'm curious about Athens. I have a feeling Naples has prepared me for it lol. Then it's the Greek islands!! So exciting. Nothing but beach.. And maybe some ancient ruins and the home of Greek Gods? ;)
Italy has been wonderful. Each city is so unique. The big question- has my Italian improved? ...no lol.