Last time we were in Naples, we didn’t see much of the city–instead, we took the train to Pompeii. This time, armed with our Rick Steves guide, we stayed in town and wandered.
National Archaeological Museum
This took up most of our time in Naples: getting to it, and actually exploring it.
It should’ve been simple: take the subway to the Museo stop. However, signage in Naples is not the greatest, and our lives were complicated by the fact that the closest subway stop to the cruise terminal, Piazza Municipio, was under construction.
Tip: Piazza Municipio is directly across from the fort-like structure near the cruise terminal. This is Castel Nuovo. If Piazza Municipio is still under construction, the subway entrance will be to the right side.
Once you find the subway station, simply take it 3 stops north to Museo. The museum is huge and there are good signs on this end to guide you.
Navigating the museum was a bit complex and I highly recommend getting the audio guide (5 EUR) to get the best explanations. Even then, the numbering systems and map were confusing.
There are two major things to look for in this museum: the Farnese Collection and the relics from Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The Farnese Collection is a set of marble sculptures collected and/or commissioned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (later Pope Paul II). The collection spans a number of years and includes works by various artists. The most popular is the Farnese Bull, said to be the largest sculpture carved from a single piece of marble.
As for the Pompeii relics, I strongly suggest visiting the ruins of Pompeii first, so you can place the items in context. You will find the original Dancing Faun as well as the Alexander mosaic, both from the House of the Faun, among many other relics.
This is Naples, Italy–birthplace of the Neapolitan pizza. Obviously we had to have some. We did a short self-guided walk around Naples and Pizzeria Trianon was a definite highlight. It’s one of the oldest pizzerias in Naples. This is about as authentic as it gets!
We got the Chef pizza, which consisted of an incredibly thin crust (it was impossible to pick up), lots of olive oil, ham, mushrooms, basil, and cheese. There was no tomato sauce in this pizza, and I found I didn’t miss it. Unless you’re starving, a single pizza should be enough to share.
Greek Islands Cruise Roundup
Naples was the last city in our Greek Islands cruise. The next day, we docked early in Rome and made our way to the airport to fly home. We had visited Rome before, so we opted to not stay–though that’s definitely one of the cool options about a Mediterranean cruise!
As a refresher, here are all the places we visited after we sailed from Venice:
- Olympia (Port of Katakolon)
- Athens (Port of Piraeus)
- Ephesus (Port of Kusadasi)
In all, the ten-day journey was a marvelous experience.
But we’re not quite done with this cruise series yet! I’ll be sharing what it’s like to live on a cruise ship for 10 days, particularly on Holland America’s MS Zuiderdam.