We got the same train the following morning and stayed on it past Pompeii to Naples. Once in the city we got on the metro one stop to the famous Archaeological museum, we were now in the depths on manic Naples. Described as ‘loud, anarchic, dirty and edgy’ in Lonely Planet, this city was nothing like the cities we’d seen in Northern Italy, Naples is rough round the edges, and obviously a tad poorer. Everything that defined the Italians seemed to be exaggerated here, their driving was a hell of a lot worse, the infrastructure was bad (although it seemed a lot of money was being pumped into improving it), the people were more what we imagined Italians to be!
Once we had adjusted to our surroundings we walked up to the museum and spent a few hours looking at the Pompeii frescos that had been rescued from the ruins, through an amazingly grand hall into a fabulous room filled with colourful and intricate mosaics, then down the stairs and into a room with ridiculously large sculptures.
We then made our way out into the the heat, and walked around the old part of Naples. Long narrow roads led down to the port, buildings were falling apart and covered in graffiti, there were little shops peeping out of the deteriorating walls selling leather goods, jewellery, and musical instruments. We went into the Church of Gesu Nuovo, you’d never have known it was there, hidden away with just a tiny doorway opening into this magnificent place of worship.
We walked down to the port, around the castle, into Galleria Umberto, the amazing shopping centre, which looks like an old English train station, then through the grand Piazza del Plebiscito and around the industrial harbour back to the train station. We were knackered!