Napoli is like your mad Auntie at a wedding. Everyone avoids her but boy does she have some interesting stories to tell!
I put this place onto our list for travelling and scheduled us for 9 nights to stay. After all, we are trying to travel in a manner that is meant to allow us to really get to know a city and to appreciate it’s culture and people. We realised within 5 days that this crazy Aunty called Naples is beyond mad!
Choosing to travel for 10 months – you must keep an open mind. What you find charming and cool can also become uncool and irritating and nothing could be more true for us here than THAT. When we first roamed the streets we liked the constant buzz of energy. The scooters zipping 10 centimetres past you or beeping for you to move out of their way. The guy riding a scooter, delivering a tray of coffee in one hand whilst somehow managing to smoke a cigarette. Another a passenger on a scooter holding a 6 foot closet door. A woman tucking her 2 year old without a helmut on in front of her and off she rode. ALL that was a mere 2 minutes on the street.
This ‘charm’ as you first see it – actually becomes less charming as the days go on. You step over dog shit everywhere and watch people move around in a ‘frantic’ pace. You begin you realise that this frantic pace of life is at the core of Napoli. People are so busy working and moving around to get laundry done, groceries, fixing the scooters, recycling furniture, selling produce….
You forget to find the beauty in this city, that can be and should be charming. You start to scowl walking down the street. Not because you mean to be that type of person. But let’s face it, no one else smiles at you and if they do, they’re picking your pocket! So you start to put your head down and move from one place to another at the same frantic level as the people living in this city without smiling, not feeling happy or even looking happy.
We came here because no one will bring to you the beauty of Mount Vesuvius or Pompeii. To shared these places with Dave, slipping my hand into his and standing in Pompeii at sunset – we had to come to Napoli find that. Exploring history and standing in a site that you read about in a book in school – or in Dave’s case wrote a book report on in Grade 6 – again it was because of being here.
Yet we are walking around not being our true self. Sometimes when a place starts to change you and not in positive ways, it’s time to move on.
So…. we are off to Malta early. Although we booked another Airbnb in Valletta, it wasn’t free earlier. That’s a good thing as we are going to stay at a small farm house/inn and go walking in the sunshine on the cliffs of Dingli – nature and ocean – grounding ourselves to be the polite Canadians again.