Thursday, 12 December 2013

Napoli, Pompei, Sorrento, our Autumn break in Italy

Sorbillo Pizza in Napoli

Napoli's famous Pizza Margarita

Napoli's old town
 I always like to visit Napoli for not only for  the food ( pizza) also history of the city, bay of Napoli, Pompeii and Sorrento.
Arrived on Saturday morning , gloomy rainy Autumn cold day, not a good day for our much needed a short break. Taxi journey to our Hotel, Decumani, in the  middle of old town,
I felt we have arrived not only wrong city also wrong side of Globe, jut like one of unplanned city in Asia. wherever I look there were cars, people and street hawkers, selling fruits and kind of small bags.
Our taxi driver has to drive like a magician to negotiate curvy endless narrow street of old town.
I have not seen this tall apartment buildings with washing lines since I left Hong Kong

Arrived hotel, Decumani, in the middle of narrow street, took old small lift ,thinking we chose a terrible hotel.
When we arrived 2nd floor, this shabby small lift door was opened, beautiful and huge reception was greeting us, what a shocking sight and beautiful too!.
Great space with high ceiling ( at least 6m high) were in front of us.
It was most impressive hotel reception ever seen in my  travelling experience.
Hotel breakfast Room
I told to the manager and staff, whatever you do, do not change the old lift, every one would be shocked when they step out from the old lift .
It has a great shocking value!!
Hotel Reception

This hotel used to be the private residence of the Cardinal of church in olden days. Reminding a good olden days , specially in Breakfast room, a vast room and high ceiling and beautifully decorated walls with gold, all very tasteful, old fashioned charm is showing every corner. Wide corridor looks wider than street outside. Our room was equally impressive!
We armed with a few names of a good local restaurants in this area, arrived famous pizza place, Sorbillo, already a lot of people waiting to be called. One guy from Rome, informed us, Sorbillo is the best pizza place in Europe if not in the World, whenever he visit Napoli always have Pizza here, even he said I must have pizza Margarita, here.
We all patiently waited this rainy afternoon, after an hour, we were in. we had Margarita and four side meaty pizza, they are huge. plenty of cheese on the top with very, very thin base which was so light and all melt in my mouth . I think the best pizza I ever had and what a place to have. Love this kind of local eatery when I travel, not at all touristy.
Walking around old town was such a fun, mingling with locals, looking at little local pasta shop, butchers, they are all very friendly, I was warned by an Italian to be careful in Napoli specially at the Spanish quarter but it seemed all old wives tail.
Down to the bay, I had famous Napoli's sweet cake covered with sugar , too sweet for me.
Dinner at another local restaurant, had a good homely food. Pasta, grilled squid and prawns were excellent and not expensive at all. loved this restaurant , seemed very popular, again this  is an excellent , not pretentious very homely and efficient service. No wonder  every night we have to wait at least 20 minutes to be in, an old door man is friendly and good natured chain smoking talkative, all feel at home.
Pasta Shop

Grilled Squid & Prawns

Bay of Napoli

 We travelled to Pompei by train , a kind of regular commuting train, was so beautiful Autumn sunny day. only took 45minutes from Napoli.
Looking at the Ruin, just so orderly and clean, all the houses has number plates, everything preserved as it was. it was just so beautiful.
Knowing at still live mountain in a short distance , you can not help to thinking how long?  when will  it erupt  again?
Move on to Sorrento. arrived early afternoon. it looks just any kind of well to do city , very clean city but I fear no character , I felt I 've been here before, south France, or even La Jolla , in California.  
All rich tourist city seemed same. it was certainly not my kind of city or perhaps I am not rich enough to appreciate??
Our Short break in Italy was super. Certainly Napoli is  the very city of  human story and my favourite city with all failures and messiness but very friendly locals, loved it.
We bought pasta, herbs , a huge chunk of Parmesan cheese in our suitcase and fly home with a big smile!



Sorrento's famous ice cream shop

Bay of Sorrento



  1. Really Napoli is a very nice place.I have gone there last time,the foods are just awesome there.The bay of Napoli just a favalous place to visit.thanks a lot for this nice blog.

    1. Thanks, we just loved the city, food was so good. Shame we could not see the marble sculpture of Jesus in veil, it was closed.