The famous phrase was pronounced for the first time by Goethe, the German poet wrote it to celebrate the beauty of the southern Italian city.
I have visited for the first time Naples in July 2019 with Francesca my dear partner in travel. We travelled there, via train from Bologna. As soon as we arrived at the train terminal we felt the high vibe of the city. Full of people everywhere. Running, walking, selling … everything there, happens on the street.
We move straight on the bus that took us to the area of our hotel.
We had decided to visit Naples, in addition to its disarming beauty, to attend the concert of the classical music master Ludovico Einaudi at the magnificent Arena Flegrea.
Once arrived at the Hotel and left our luggages, we rushed out to taste the first Neapolitan meal. Naples is one of the most famous city all over the world for its traditional cuisine. In point of fact, a part from the Pizza are many the exceptional dishes coming from the Campania region. Fried fish in foil (Fritto al cartoccio), Peppered mussels (Impepata di cozze), Luciana octopus (Polpo alla Luciana), Artisan pasta seasoned in a thousand ways… and then the desserts, the Sfogliatella, Babà etc… in Naples there is really something to lick your fingers.
For our first lunch we decided to eat fish by the sea. We walked Borgo Marina in front Ovo Castle where the fishermen leave for the sea for they fishing day. I remember we both ordered a plate of fish based pasta accompanied by a white wine. The place was rustic, family run, but the atmosphere was great and you could make out the touch of traditional Neapolitan cuisine. After the proper espresso coffee we move to search for a beach.
From the seafront, after a walk of about an hour, we reached the beach of the Nuns (Spiaggia delle Monache). In the direction of Posillipo. We enjoyed a good swim in the water and the wonderful view. The beach nestled between the houses overlooking the sea, creates a unique landscape. Fairly cooked by the sun, we decided to return to the hotel around 6 pm.
After a break in the hotel, with a shower and a rest of about an hour. We get dressed to go to have dinner. As usual, first, we did not miss a wine-based aperitif. The night in Naples is vibrant (not that the streets are quiet during the day – mind you), but during the darker hours the street of the center get filled with people who eat at the outdoor tables. The atmosphere was lively and we were thrilled for our first Neapolitan night. A little tired, certainly from the trip and the day at the beach, but we still wanted to enjoy the center as much as possible since the next day we would have the concert. We decide to stop for a pasta with shrimp in a very nice place in a street near the Duomo. Between a bottle of wine and a second of fried fish, dinner comes to an end. Finally, we opted for a walk and a last drink in Piazza San Domenico Maggiore. We opted for a walk and a last drink in Piazza San Domenico Maggiore. After a chat and some more laughs the night was over, and when the clock hitted the midnight we moved to the bed. The next day would be full and to be lived with complete energy.
The following day we started with a great breakfast. Then put on your tennis shoes and set out again towards exploration. Apart from the downtown areas we decided to see Naples from above. We walked to the Pedamentina staircase. Staircase dated back to the fourteenth century with 414 steps. Well what to say … the effort is fully rewarded by a breathtaking view.
Once we got off we visited the royal palace square. Historic building located in the Piazza del Plebiscito, in the center of Naples. And in no time at all, it’s lunchtime. This time we opt for a pizza. You can’t go to Naples without trying pizza!
After having delighted our palate and filled our stomachs we take a couple of hours to relax before having to go to the Fuorigrotta area where is the Flegrea arena. As stated on their Facebook Page, the Arena Flegrea is the most prestigious and famous location for concerts and outdoor shows in Southern Italy. It represents one of the most conspicuous and praiseworthy works of the Mostra d’Oltremare, as well as the first building of its kind built in Italy.
Arrived at the arena around 7.30pm the atmosphere was great. It was my first time to attend a classical music concert of that magnitude. And to be honest, I couldn’t have wished for anything better than doing it in such a special place with an artist of the caliber of Ludovico Einaudi. Einaudi of Piedmontese origins is probably the most internationally famous Italian composer alive. His music often intertwines different genres in a marriage of experimental mixes. His compositions have been used as soundtracks from various international hit films including: Intouchables (2011), Samba (2015) and others…
Well we had a blast!
Of course I come from the culture of electronic music clubs, which is a whole other way of experiencing musical events. But listening to live classical music makes you travel with your mind and emotions even if your body is still. And all of this is a great feeling!
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