Monday, July 05, 2010

Day 19: Naples

We were given a quote from a mysterious German author that sums up the time in Naples: "Naples is paradise, Neapolitans are devils."  Naples is an interesting city.  It's not the cleanest nor the safest but has some interesting sites.  I spent most of the day on a full length city orientation that included a tour of the famous Teatro San Carlo as part of an FDP for the musical theatre class (I'm not in the class but tagged along).  We started off with a walking tour of the "downtown" region of Naples including a large public square built by Napoleon that is bordered by the Royal Palace.  There are a bunch of neat little cafes around and we got a chance to stop in for some good Neapolitan coffee/espresso/cappuccino/whatever they call it.


After this we had our tour the the opera house.  The Teatro San Carlo is absolutely magnificent.  It is the largest and oldest opera house in Europe and seats over 2000 people in the unique "horseshoe" style auditorium.  The theatre was recently renovated and was really neat to be around a place where so much musical history has been made. 


Following the San Carlo we boarded a bus for the "panoramic" portion of the orientation.  There were some great views of the semicircular Bay of Naples and on the way down we made a gelato stop near the beach.  After returning to the center of town we continued the walking tour by visiting a few of the better known churches, the gothic Cathedral of Santa Chiara and renaissance Gesu Nuovo Church.  After this we made our way back to the ship.


I had a few minutes to shower and recover before grabbing a quick dinner.  After rounding up Daniel, Lacey, and Heather we made the sketchy walk to the Naples train station and embarked on our 9.5 hour overnight train adventure.  I have to run for now but there's much more to come...


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