ITALY – Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, & Capri
the most dangerous cities in italy
Naples and Sicily are the two places your Italy guidebooks warn you most about getting pick-pocketed or mugged in. I’ve now been to both. Survived both, too, with all my money and credit cards. The guidebooks have to be a little dramatic, but there is some truth to it. Sicily’s pretty dirty and feels abandoned in some parts, but has gorgeous coast and landscape. Naples is gritty, too, but it’s more random. The main streets are nice, and then you turn a corner and it’s some shady square you want to get out of as quickly as possible. Even the local guy I meet says, “Don’t go out past 9. I don’t. Why should you?” Naples lacks the pretty beaches Sicily has, but if I had to pick a place to visit between Catania, Sicily and Naples, I’d pick Naples.
For one reason, it has the best pizza in Italy, maybe the world. And two, Naples is a great jumping off point for visiting Pompeii, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, and my favorite, Capri.
turning a lemon into limoncello
Beware of falling rocks. You know the sign driving through the mountains. I came down to Sorrento (a 5 hr trip from Colle) to see the famed Amalfi Coast with its breathtaking hairpin turns and houses set upon steep cliffs like a tense game of jenga. When I arrive at the local bus station in Sorrento, the driver explains that some boulders got loose in the storm yesterday and blocked the road. The Amalfi Coast is closed until tomorrow. I have work tomorrow and am heading back tonight.
So I head down to the marina and board a ferry to Capri. I discover there’s a small portion of Capri blocked off, too, because of falling rocks. Maybe I should start wearing a helmet… I came to the island in high school, and still to this day think it’s one of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen.