On our return trip from Amalfi Coast to Naples, we were ahead of our itinerary and decided to stop by Pompeii since it was sort of along the path from Sorrento. Pompeii is about a 30 minute drive away from Naples.
Pompeii is famous as it is a city that was decimated and buried due to a volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Many of the inhabitants living there were not able to escape this disastrous event. Because of this history, it has been one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy to this day.
For your information, we went to park our car at Porta Marina in Pompeii since while researching, it said that it was a parking lot more likely to have spaces. Once we stepped outside the parking lot, there was a local telling us to step inside their office to purchase admission tickets for €17 each and you get to skip the line. Unfortunately, the line they meant wasn’t for the entrance; it was for queuing the line to BUY the ticket, which wasn’t even that long! Again, we felt scammed in Italy. Fortunately, the original admission ticket is €15 each, so we didn’t feel too ripped off. Continue reading Pompeii, the City Buried Under by Volcanic Ashes
If you want to learn how to be street tough, you have to go to Naples. Naples has a bad reputation for having high crime rate (albeit they tend to be the small crimes such as theft), high poverty, and just tough people that surround you. Quite possibly, it’s one of the worst cities I travelled to. Quite a contrast from having just been to Amsterdam, where I felt that I could be completely wasted and still be fine.
Near the Napoli Centrale Railway Station
We must first begin with a story. While taking my flight from Amsterdam to Rome, I began reading a book called Travellers’ Tales ITALY, and the very first story was called The Fiume Runs Through It by Thom Elkjer. In this short but true story, the author, an American, recalls his experiences of being utterly confused by how Italy works. He wanted to go fishing, and was first told that there were no special laws for this, and proceeded to go get a fishing license. He was told to call the Department of Hunting and Fishing, who then directed him to go to the post office (I know right?), where a fishing license for three days costed more than a year’s license in California. When he tried fishing, there were signs posting everywhere saying no fishing. He went back home and asked his Italian friend/host to help out (he laughed when he heard the author got the fishing license from the post office), who introduced him to another friend to get him another license and drove him to go fishing. The author wanted to go up higher in the valley to fish, which the Italian friend said it requires special authorization.
The point of the story is, Italy in general is sloppy and confusing (Milan being perhaps the only exception). It’s the family and brothers, not the law, that governs how society works. The philosophy is as long as it’s done, it doesn’t matter how it’s done. Professionalism, in the sense of preciseness, is lacking. Maybe it’s the way of life or the culture, but as a person from a city where every minute is valuable, it feels frustrating sometimes. Continue reading Want to be Street Tough? Go to Naples