Showing posts from January, 2009

At a loss in Naples

The center of the city and not the Docks at Naples was what we were looking for when we arrived in Naples late the night of October 10, my 69th birthday. The docks are a poorly lit jungle of dead ends and warehouses that we escaped only when a kindly policeman came to our rescue and told us how to get back onto the highway and what exit to take.

Described on its web page as "situated next to Piazza Garibaldi, in the heart of Naples, only 200 meters from the central railway station," the Hotel Garden on Corso Garibaldi. should have been easy to find but the area around the railway station was such a confusing tangle of dim and dirty streets that it took three phone calls to the Hotel receptionist before we found the modest little hotel situated within a block of buildings on one side of the Piazza.

Though "parking" was listed as a hotel amenity, we could find no hotel parking lot so we pulled into an empty place across the street. “Oh you must not park there,” we were…

Don't do Naples on your birthday

On my 69th birthday, we left Rome for Naples. This was not a wholly good idea, unless one thrives on travel tension.

October 10, 2008 started off innocently enough. We took a taxi to the Termini station where Avis has a rental pick up. Easy right? The taxi ride yes. Renting the car anything but.

Walking several blocks from the rental desk to the pick-up garage would not have been a problem if the carts we rented worked. But they didn't. When the first cart's wheels locked, we got another. When this also refused to move, we complained. The response? Termini’s luggage carts were not allowed outside the building. Their wheels lock automatically. So much for luggage carts.

Our largest suitcase, which handle broke at Fiumicino airport the night we arrived, together with our other medium- and small-sized suitcases, made a do-able situation difficult. When Bill's attempt to transport three bags collapsed onto the sidewalk, I turned back to the desk.

"We need to have the car dr…

Those gorgeous Italian women

At the small restaurant on Via Mario Fiori we checked the prices for breakfast -- 25€ ($38) for an American breakfast, 35 € ($53.20) for an English breakfast, 18€ ($25.70) for a continental breakfast.The cheapest breakfasts are eaten at a café bar – standing up. Order your coffee and biroche, pay the cashier, eat at the bar. Sitting down costs more. At the open air café on Via Frattina, we decided to sit anyway. I wanted to watch the people on that busy street, especially those gorgeous women of Rome who make jeans and a button down shirt look glamorous. Of course those jeans are often worn with high boots or stiletto heels (how they manage to stride so elegantly in those ankle-breakers is beyond me). The jewel-toned scarves they’ve tossed loosely over their shoulders or about their necks add just the right touch as do their shiny leather bags large enough to hold computers.The men weren't so bad either! These police in formal dress certainly cut an impressive swath along Via Frat…