Tuesday, 16 May 2017

See Naples and.......almost miss the train!

Today is our long awaited trip to Naples with Gina Tringali of Casa Mia

First though we enjoy breakfast on the terrace before heading to Termini station.

Gina has taken care of the tickets so all we have to do is turn up at the appointed time, board the sleek Treno train and enjoy the journey to Naples which takes just over an hour.

Our first stop is literally steps from the main railway station. Attanasio serves sfogliatelle warm straight from the oven, as they have been doing so since 1930.

Seriously, this is one of the best pastries I have ever tasted. The sweetened ricotta and candied fruit filling is encased in the crispest pastry, achieved by the use of lard. The fact that they are served warm takes them to another level.

We are off to a great start with much more to come. 
Coffee next at Bar Mexico. We loved everything about this bar, the vibrant colours, the sparkling water to cleanse the palate pre coffee and the off the charts delicious espresso. The smart baristas bought a lump to my husband's throat as they rekindled childhood memories of Nardini's cafe on the west coast of Scotland.

As you will have guessed this is a food focused tour, but we do get a smidgen of culture in the contemporary art installation in the metro station - simply stunning.

From the ultra modern we move to Naples' oldest outdoor food market, Pignasecca.

This is everything we imagined Naples to be. A street hung with washing, lined on either side with shops & stalls selling food of the highest quality, whether it be tripe....

.....or cheese.

Time for pizza a portofoglio, a popular street food in Naples and Gina leads us to one of the best 'holes in the wall', 22 Antica Pizzeria. Again this has been here since the 1930's and the owner belongs to the Association Verace Pizza Napolitana which promotes and protects the real Neopolitan pizza.

We enjoy our pizza pocket very much indeed before hopping in a taxi to take us to Mergellina and our lunch destination, 50 Kallo. 

We loved the contrast between the old Naples of the street market with the modern decor of this restaurant.

I chose the marinara and the tomato sauce was the freshest I have ever tasted. The billowy crust was delicious but I am a Roman crust kinda girl. If I could marry the sauce with a charred thin crust I would be in seventh heaven.

The restaurant is perfectly placed to enjoy a post lunch stroll along the seafront looking towards the Castel dell'Ovo.

We turn away from the seafront and walk towards Piazza dei Martiri, the setting for a major scene in the book I am reading, My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.

This is an unexpected treat, as is seeing the site of the Cerullo's shoe shop from the book.

More treats are to come in the form of caffe alla nocciola at Del Professorie. This strong espresso is topped with a hazelnut cream and is the perfect pick me up.

We board the metro again to take us up to Vomero where we climb the steep streets to Certosa di San Martino. In a day packed full of wonderful moments this is actually my favourite. The peaceful walk to the top, stopping often to enjoy the fabulous views was priceless.

And the view from the top? The whole of Naples before you in the shadow of Versuvius.

We chose the leisurely walk down the steps over a taxi which is how we came to find ourselves running for the train with minutes to spare. We had literally squeezed every last precious moment out of our day in Naples.
Gina's heart is in Naples and her generous sharing of her passion for the city made this a very special tour indeed. She also gave us the confidence to go back and explore more on our own.
In Gina's words ' we enjoyed discovering the layers of the city together'. We did indeed and I for one won't be forgetting those layers of the sfogiatelle for a long time.

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