2019 HAL World Cruise
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
We visited Naples, for the first time, 35 years ago. At that time, we were here for business. Now that we’re retired, we return for pleasure! It is always fun and interesting to explore the joys of Southern Italy as well as the gorgeous islands. You can search the “Archives” for many photos of Italy—we come here often—and I hope you’ll enjoy them! But on this visit, with time limited, we basically did a sweep of an historic café, Gran Café Gambrinus; a famous pizzeria, Brandi; an exquisite shopping mall, Galleria Umberto I; and the eye-candy shopping streets of Via Chiaia and Via Toledo. The photos follow:
The ship docked directly in front of the Castel Nuovo. What a fabulous location. Just cross the street and you’re in the heart of Naples!
Castel Nuovo, situated at Piazza Municipio and the city hall (Palazzo San Giacomo), was erected in 1279. It was the royal seat for kings of Naples, Aragon, and Spain until 1815.
Our first destination is Gran Cafe Gambrinus. Founded in 1860, it flourished as a meeting place for intellectuals and literary figures such as Hemingway and Oscar Wilde until 1938 when it was shut down by Mussolini for being an antifascist haunt.
We paid about $20 for 2 cappuccinos and a plate of miniature pastries–but it was truly worth it!
The private dining area–closed to the general public–and I don’t know the rules for entry.
Fruits awaiting the juicer…..
…..and the customers clamor for their juice!
So many pastries to choose from!
Not all are sweets; some are quite savory.
They even have a beautiful assortment of gelatos!
The Gran Cafe Gambrinus is located in Plaza Plebiscito. The Fontana del Carciofo is in front.
The Church of San Francesco di Paola in the Piazza del Plebiscito. The public square also has the Royal Palace. The plaza was named for the plebiscite taken on October 2, 1860 that brought Naples into the unified kingdom of Italy under the House of Savoy.
The Royal Palace of Naples. Today, a palace, museum, and historical tourist destination. Construction of the palace began in the very early 1600s. When Charles III of Spain came to Naples in 1734, it became the royal residence of the Bourbons.
This is the pedestrian shopping street, Via Chiaia.
The cafes in Naples pop up everywhere! One can never be thirsty!
This staircase is called the Gradoni di Chiaia and leads to an upper street (Naples is quite hilly) There is, also, an elevator further up Via Chiaia that will take you there.
We took the elevator and exited on Via Giovanni Nicotera.
Looking down on Via Chiaia from the Ponte di Chiiaia.
Looking down to Salita Sant’Anna di Palazzo. The Pizzeria Brandi is just up the street.
Brandi, opened in 1780, gained its famed in 1889 when Queen Margherita of Savoy, wife of Italy’s King Umberto I, particularly enjoyed the pizza created for her by Brandi’s pizzaiolo, Raffaele Esposito, using the colors of the Italian flag.
Today’s pizzaiolo still makes the Pizza Margheritia using the same San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala Campana, and basil. (The red, white and green representing the Italian flag.)
I do believe the best table in the house may be this one on the tiny balcony overlooking the Via Chiaia.
Of course we ordered the Pizza Margherita accompanied by Birra Moretti and Pinot Gris!
And the musical interlude was pleasant, also!
We continued, after lunch, to enjoy the browsing and shopping along both Via Chiaia–as with this jovial greengrocer….
…..the boutiques along Via Toledo…..
…..and the grand ambiance of the Galleria di Umberto I.
After a pleasant day along the streets of Naples, we returned to the ship, passing the Castel Nuovo.
Stopping in the terminal, we try our luck at free WiFi (slow) and have a couple of local brews. Rog is having a Peroni.
I am trying a Nastro Azzurro. They were both good.
Nastro Azzurro Birra
We left Naples around 7:00pm. Now we are on our way to Barcelona, Spain.
Our next stop: Barcelona, Spain.