The Travel Guide: Naples, Italy
July 18, 2017
Naples will most likely be part of your travels to or from Positano. I was hesitant to book a stay here and almost created a schedule that would have taken me directly from train to shuttle, only getting a quick feel for the train station. However, I was equally enticed by this city of Pizza and grit and am so glad my curiosity got the best of me.
My favorite thing about Naples is that there is no other place like it. One of the oldest, continuously inhabited cities in the world, Naples has forged ahead through centuries, facing many hardships yet ever continuing onward. Within the last decade, Naples has encouraged tourism, enforcing trash removal and repercussions for crime.
I spent hours trying to figure out where to stay and with very little base knowledge of the area, booked an Airbnb that appeared stunning with high ceilings and wooden floors. Shortly after confirming, my travel companion called to say that the only area we should not stay in, was in fact, where I had booked our room.
Quartieri Spagnoli, the Spanish Quarter, was developed in the 16th century for stationed troops to stop local inhabitants from revolting against the Spanish. In the centuries to follow, the area was known as poor, with high crime rates and prostitution. It is here that I found La Casaforte, a home / workshop recently built within the framework of an old church, that attracts artists from all over with a large private space dedicated to visual arts.
The owners bought the old church as an art project, to have various rooms / studios for rent. We stayed in a clean and spacious room with reclaimed wooden floors, looking out across an open courtyard full of plants.
It is also here, in Quartieri Spagnoli, that I found playing children, smiling families, curious old men, and tourists from all over with hats on and cameras out. One of the most popular streets in Naples, Toledo, runs along the eastern edge of Quartieri Spagnoli.
IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THE AREA, HERE’S WHAT TO DO:
1. Stay at Piccolo Loft a La Casaforte
2. Walk from Quartieri Spagnoli to The National Archaeological Museum
4. Aperitivo at L’etto, around the corner from The National Archaeological Museum.
5. In the evening, check out the many art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and bars of the Chiaia neighborhood.
6. Enoteca Belledonne for a glass of wine in Chiaia. It is a very small wine bar with lots of dark wooden fixtures and low lighting. During aperitivo, the crowd spills from the bar out onto the cobblestone streets, adding to the magical feeling of Naples.
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