Sunday, 13 April 2014

Napoli: Not a good start...

                                                            (photo source:
     It’s amazing if you try to weigh the things that don’t go in your suitcase. My luggage carried an Italian-English dictionary, Napoli guide books, loads of summer clothes (after all, everybody told us that Naples is boiling hot!), a few CDs, a Brazilian flag, shoes and bags (what? Hey, I’m a girl!)… But if the people at the airport had weighed my dreams, and fears, and expectations, I certainly would have had to pay overweight!
    I was dreaming of bright, clear skies; castles and volcanoes and cities hidden by destruction; cappuccinos and gelati and cornetti and pizzas; beautiful beaches and history. I was dreaming of romance. Of meeting my Adonis (Oops, I guess he was Greek?!). I was dreaming of scooter rides in the sunset. Well, after a lovely weekend with Clara and her husband in London, we finally arrived in Naples. It was around 8:30pm, and while on the taxi journey from the airport to the B&B, I was in shock! I would have never expected that. The motorway was dark and busy; the driver was going way too fast for my liking. My dream of historical buildings was shattered by the sight of what looked like some of Sao Paulo’s outskirts with loads of old, ugly buildings and dirty streets. It was all very dark and strange. Not to mention unbearably hot and humid.
    ‘Lisa, I wanna go back home,’ I whispered.
    ‘I know. This place looks horrible!’
    ‘What if it was all a real big mistake? Leaving everything behind?’ All I could think of was going back to the safety of my life and parents’ home.
    ‘Well, we’re already here, right? Let’s wait until the morning and pretend we’re just tourists for a couple of days. The worst scenario is that we take this as a holiday and go back home,’ she replied and I sensed she was just trying to seem positive.
    ‘Yeah, I guess you’re right.’ Carolina, stop panicking. Think about the gelato, and pizza, and romance.
    We got to the address given by the B&B people, but to make things worse, there was no number on the building. The taxi driver was getting impatient:
    ‘Ma dove e questo B&B, signorina?’
    ‘Er.. Qua, signor: San Arcangelo a Baiano, vinte quatro. Lisa, please help.’
    Lisa knocked at the door of what we thought could be it and a friendly man answered the door. He looked like my dad.
    ‘Ciao, signorina. Mi chiamo Gennaro. Welcome to I Colori di Napoli,’ he said with a huge smile.
    The taxi driver started getting our suitcases out of the car, muttering something in what I thought was in Napolitan.
    ‘Sono €38,’ he reached out for the money.
    ‘Grazie,’ I said and just handed him the money.
    He left without a grazie. Ungrateful git, I thought.
    Lisa was already speaking with Gennaro, who luckily spoke a bit of English.
    ‘Vieni, vieni. Your room is in the terrace.’
    Terrace? Uuuuhhhh…. I looked at Lisa and she winked.
   ‘See, every cloud has a silver lining.’
    ‘Yeah, yeah. What are the odds of everything be just smooth from now on, eh?’
    I was so right. Our “room in the terrace” was on the top floor. No lifts, narrow, spiral stairs to the top floor. Suitcases weighing 30 kilos each. Poor Signor Gennaro, over 70 years old. We had to carry our suitcases upstairs ourselves.

    The room was beautiful. Huge, with doors to the shared terrace and air conditioning! Yay!
    We were starving, so we decided to look for a place to eat.
    ‘So, my dear adventure partner. What do you fancy?’
    I looked at her incredulous.
    ‘What do you mean, Lisa, what I fancy? Pizza, of course!’
    We put our arms around each other and laughed.
    Thirty minutes later, we went back to the B&B. Still starving, and having already learned that you just don’t walk around the centre of Napoli at 10pm. Especially if you’re a girl.
    We passed by the kitchen, in the hope that someone would have “forgotten” something in the fridge.
    ‘Carolina, look. The table is already set up for breakfast!’
    We didn’t even need to think twice.
    I can only say that we had a very comfortable, happy first night at the B&B, after two cornetti with Nutella each, some juice and the air conditioner buzzing quietly all night…


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