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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

July 9, 2016

Day Two: Naples Old Town

8th July


Today was an amazing day; from walking through narrow underground waterways, eating pizza and gelato, to meeting with (well, seeing really) Dolce & Gabbana. It was an extremely packed day!! (as all our travel journeys tend to be;)) I hardly made it back to the hotel!!

The view from our hotel room balcony. We look out over a mountain top, which is covered with houses. 
Our closest metro station, Leopold station. 
We began the day by eating a huge, Italian, buffet breakfast. It was really nice, but I just don't know how to eat enough food without over-eating breakfast ... Our Italian breakfast consisted of toast with prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato and smoked mushrooms, delicious fruits, and many tempting pastries. Oh, and my mum and dad loved the expresso cappuccino, Italian style!!

After that we (by we, I mean my mum, Harri and I, as my dad has a conference during the day) took the metro to the main station in Naples, where we all bought an 'arte card', which gives you three days of transport and three attractions for free. This has been definitely been super handy! 

We walked to the old town, after walking aimlessly through rubbish-strewn streets where a lovely sales attendant gave us directions to somewhere more worthy for tourists ;)

Old town street.
In the lovely old town streets we saw countless, 
amazing pictures of Italian sceneries
More paintings.
We were starving by this point, (2 p.m.) as we could not find any pizzerias along the way. Luckily we just rounded on a pizzeria, where apparently there was "the best pizza", but really they all say that, and the most important thing ... air-conditioning :) 

Positano Pizza, with ricotta (the bits looking like squiggles), ham and mushrooms. It was amazing!!
When we first arrived, it was very quiet. A few minutes later a bunch of older Italians came in, and it was all loud talk and laughter. It was fully packed!! Lunch in Italy must be at 2 p.m. :D 

As we were starting to eat our lovely pizza, suddenly there was loud music. This guy that you can see in the picture starting playing with his tambourine and singing, and the Italian group joined in singing :) Definitely an authentic Italian feeling ;)
We then left the pizzeria and continued down the old street. 

This was a lovely little vase that I thought I would try to make when I get back home. 
More old town streets.
We then stumbled upon a private tour of the underground, which we decided
 to do. Harri had planned what he wanted to do in Naples, and this was one of the things to do on his list, so we blindly agreed to whatever lay underground. I told Harri that I didn't want to do it if it was scary, but he said it wasn't. I still wasn't sure though ...

To begin with they led us down 121 giant steps (the early Greeks must have had giant legs when they built this because the steps are two-step steps). No, I didn't make a mistake, the Greeks did build these stairs. This underground was originally built by the Greeks in 470 B.C. !!!!!

When we arrived at the bottom of the 121 steps, which is the correct amount because my mum counted and can confirm, we were taken into this large room where we were told the history of the underground, which is under the whole city of Naples. Apparently, it was originally an aqueduct, carrying materials all across Naples on water, from higher points to lower points. It was then used as a rubbish dump, some time after that the rubbish was squished down and new walls were created on top of the rubbish, and then water-proofed and used as a bomb-shelter during world war II.

To continue the tour, we were given some candles to hold, in order to see our way through dark tunnels. We were taken through some extremely narrow walkways, which were originally used as "cunicoli" waterways. We were led to some wells which were lifted up to the surface through large holes in the roof of the underground), one smaller private one, and one larger public one. The water was crystal clear, and would have been amazingly cool in the hot Italian summer heat!!

Walk through the narrow "cunicoli" waterways. As you can see in the image, to the right of the candle, there are footholds. These were used by the "well men" who cleaned the wells and waterways.
After this tour, we were shown some ruins of an old Roman stage in the old town. It was built upon, because there was a law at that time saying that buildings had to be made within the city walls. I was wondering why there would be this law, and my dad suggested it helps the Neapolitans to defend themselves easily. hmm ... Well, that tour was very interesting!!

These were the types of nativity scenes that the Neapolitan had in the olden days. These scenes either depicted everyday life, or religious scenes. 
Another nativity scene. 
Walking back down the old town street, after the tour guide told us that these streets, along with this emaculate stage with regal red, were for a Dolce & Gabbana fashion show, we came upon a large crowd. The crowd seemed to be hovering around some people. We assumed it was some famous person, but we hadn't seen anyone yet. My mum decided to ask one of the body guard who the famous person was, and he said, with a you-should-really-know attitude, "Dolce & Gabbana"!!

So, we saw Dolce & Gabbana ;) Well, I only saw one of them. ha :D

The crowds around Dolce & Gabbana. There was this lovely shop selling paper flowers nearby. I was so amazed to discover that they were made from paper!! 
 After walking for sometime, we found ourselves in a piazza.

'Chiesa del Gesu Nuovo' church. I wanted to capture the way that the light was shining. 
Toledo Metro Station.  
A lovely shopping centre we happened to walk past. 

The day ended eating gnocchi with salmon in our hotel room.

Now you are uptodate,

Laura

xoxo

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