Another day, we got up really early and headed back to the Termini train station to go to Naples. This time, we knew where to look for the train schedule and we did not arrive way too early. :) Because we mostly wanted to stay in Rome and not have to move from place to place, we thought we would just take a couple of day trips and return to our apartment at night. When looking at the map from home months before, it seemed that Florence and Naples were both doable. We'd heard mixed reviews about Naples, that it was dirty and that there was not that much to do, but on the other hand, we also read that it was a great place to visit and there was lots to see, not to mention home of supposedly the best pizza! Rich and I decided, hey, we can probably find plenty to do just wandering around, right?!
Some of our travel mates were not sure they wanted to go and offered other suggestions but it seemed that it was getting too complicated or we'd have to go farther than we wanted in one day. We considered going to Pompeii, not that far from Naples but we'd have to get another train to Pompeii and back to Naples, which seemed like it would take more time than we could spare. Plus we were not sure about all the walking Mom would have to do. Eventually, Rich and I kind of overruled everyone else and said we were going to Naples, but they were free to do what they wanted. As it turned out, everyone decided to go, either because they just gave in or decided they didn't want to venture out on their own, or whatever. :)
It was a rainy and chilly day, to start with. Upon leaving the train, we caught the metro on the way to the National Archeological Museum. We got off the train and still had to walk a good distance in the rain, then wait in a fairly long line to get in. There were a ton of school kids there on field trips, but luckily they had their own line!
The Archeological Museum was very interesting, with artifacts from Pompeii and a huge number of statues, paintings, and sculptures. We spent quite a bit of time there, but I have to admit that after awhile, I get a little weary of wandering hallway after hallway looking at art work. Part of me was itching to get out on the streets and see Naples!
Meanwhile Rich had done some research to find the places that were recommended to have the best pizza so he, Mom, Vesta and I caught a cab to the restaurant in the #1 spot. Our cab driver warned us that there would be a long wait, and sure enough, as we approached, we could see a line down the block. It was still rainy and chilly and we had no idea how long it would take so we blew that off pretty quickly and walked across the street to another restaurant that was not even on the list, but oh well! And, you know what, it was probably just as good!
We set out for the water, thinking there would be some interesting
sights or shops there, but it was more industrial appearing, at least
the part we came to. We looked for some markets and shopping areas and
had little luck. At some point, we ended up in a rather "seedy" area of
town, which I think kind of worried Mom and Rich but I kept saying,
"This is probably just where the 'regular' people live!"
Mom stayed at the station with the others and Rich and I went back out to another sidewalk cafe so I could have some hot tea. Then it really started pouring down rain so we were stranded there awhile. Back at the train station, I had the brilliant idea that maybe we could change our tickets to an earlier train to Rome, but after waiting in line to talk with an agent, I was told that the only way we could do it was to pay the large difference in fares, which was not worth it to us.
While waiting, we enjoyed several people playing piano in the station and witnessed a man and a woman get into a fight, which was quickly broken up by a security guard. He sent the man outside but the woman kept yelling at the guy from a distance and trying to start things up again. :)
After a very long and not that much fun of a day, we caught our train back to Rome and decided "Naples--been there, done that."