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TravelValue: Bella Napoli (Naples, Italy)

In TravelValue: Bella Napoli (Naples, Italy), CombatCritic takes you through the ancient streets of Naples with an extensive "underground" of cisterns and catacombs, Roman ruins, historic buildings and statues, stunning views of Mount Vesuvius, the Bay of Naples, Sorrento and Capri, and close to Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento, three nearby islands (Capri, Ischia and Procida) and the beautiful Amalfi Coast.
Follow Me To TravelValue In Bella Napoli (Naples, Italy) ....

HISTORY

Control
The Greeks first settled in Naples 2,000 years B.C., becoming Neapolis in the 6th Century B.C. (that's 8,000 years ago for the mathematically impaired) with the Romans enjoying Greek culture here for centuries. The Normans, Byzantines, Spanish, and Bourbons all ruled here before becoming the Neapolitan Republic in 1799. In 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Naples, then, finally, in 1860 the Kingdom of Sicily gave up possession, creating the birth of the new Italian state, the United Kingdom of Italy.

Pizza
In 1889, three different pizzas were made for the visiting King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. The queen's favorite was a pizza containing the colors of the Italian flag — green (basil leaves), white (mozzarella), and red (tomatoes), this combination became Pizza Margherita in her honor and remained a Neapolitan favorite ever since.

WWII
During World War II, Naples was the first Italian city to resist the German occupation and in 1943 Naples was liberated by the population, now referred to as the Four Days of Naples (Quattro Giornate). Mount Vesuvius erupted violently in 1944, my father having flown over Vesuvius as it was erupting on his way home from serving with the 5th Army in the Italian Campaign.


Present Day
Naples is known for many things, one being the Camorra, organised crime, the Mafia of Naples. But Naples has many positive things to offer, having lived here for three years, including excellent food, the best pizza in the World, wonderful people, beautiful and historic architecture, famous pieces of art, the Bay of Naples, Mount Vesuvius and the surrounding areas of Pompeii, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, Capri (do not forget to visit the less known islands of Ischia and Procida), and Rome less than two hours away.



Benvenuti a Napoli ... Welcome to Naples!




RESTAURANTS

Trattoria da Concetta
Via Speranzella 19
80134 Naples, Italy
Centro Storico/Quartieri Spagnoli
Website: None
Prices: €€€€

Simple, bright trattoria open for lunch and dinner just two short blocks up the hill from the Naples Metropolitana's architecturally heralded Toledo Station.

They open relatively early for dinner by Italian standards, around 7:00PM or 7:15PM, depending on where you look. I had been sick for three days, not eating much and was suddenly famished. I had seen "Da Concetta" the previous evening on my way to the farmacia to get some drugs, but it was early and they were closed. Returning the next evening, the lights were on and bright, almost too bright, and there were guests sitting in the exterior, clear plastic walled tent. I entered.

I had made a reservation on a competitor's website - who shall remain nameless, but has a much bigger presence in Europe than Yelp (e.g. this trattoria was not even listed on Yelp, but had 160+ reviews on this "other" travel website). In making my reservation through that website's new reservation service, I also received a 20% discount ... HOOAH!
When I entered, they knew who I was, possibly from my profile photo, stating in Italian: "You have a reservation ... yes". I showed them the reservation and was seated. The trattoria is very clean, bright, and trendy by Italian trattoria standards with the "cameriere" ("waiters" - it is a direct translation because most "servers" in Italy are traditionally male, so don't get your knickers in a twist) wearing black pants and "Dodger Blue" (HOOAH) uniform shirts with the trattoria's name and logo on them. My "server" brought a rolled-up paper bag and placed it on the table ... odd.

I started by ordering a bottle of aqua minerale frizzante (sparkling mineral water - €1.50) and mezzo litro di vino rosso della casa (1/2 liter of house red wine - €2.50). They were brought post haste and in an uncouth manner taught to me by my grandfather and despised (along with "scarpetta" - more on that later) by my wife, I dipped some of the bread (yes, that was what was in the paper bag, not poop as first entered my mind) in the deep red wine and savored every bite ... YUM!
The paper bag contained bread of course because every restaurant in Italy serves bread with the meal (except for places that are strictly "pizzerias" and, therefore, not "restaurants" by definition). They were out of Spaghetti Carbonara (€6), so I went with the server's suggestion, Vermicelli alla Nerano (€7), vermicelli pasta tossed in a sauce of sliced zucchini sauteed in olive oil and topped with Parmigiano Reggiano and basil. Unlike some recent experiences, this pasta was a bit bland, so I asked for some extra grated cheese which helped immensely. I wolfed it down.
I decided on a traditional Neapolitan dish and one of my favorites, Salsiccia di Maiale alla Brace (€6 - grilled pork sausage) and a side order of Friarielli (€3 - broccoli rabe, "rapini" in Italian, sauteed in olive oil and garlic ... BUONO!). The sausage was good, a tad too pink pork-wise for my liking, but I took the chance and somehow survived. Taking a little friarielli, which you will find primarily in the Naples area, along with a bit of sausage, I mopped-up the excess olive oil with my bread from the plate ("fare la scarpetta" - literally "making the little shoe") and shoved it all in my pie-hole. Quando facio la scarpetta (when I make the little shoe), it is always frowned upon by my wife, put particularly in public where any self-respecting Italian would NEVER fare la scarpetta. Being American, the grandson of a shoemaker, and NOT a self-respecting Italian, I make the scarpetta anywhere I damn well please, in public or not, because it is the highlight of almost any meal.


With the 20% discount from the nameless travel website's reservation system (hint, hint Yelp), the bill came to €17.20, a bargain for two courses, a 1/2 liter of wine and water, and "coperto" ("cover charge"which includes bread, silverware, napkins, etc.). There was no "servizio" (tip, but literally "service") included, so I left a generous tip * by Italian standards, using the undiscounted amount (€21.50) as my basis.
My meal was very good, the environment clean, although a bit too bright for my eyes, and the service excellent. My only concerns and the reasons for my deduction of "Bombs" are as follows:

1. How could you be out of carbonara?
2. The pasta was a bit bland, needing added parmigiano
3. The sausage was too pink and we all know what undercooked pork and chicken can do to you ... Gordon Ramsey would have had a shit fit!
4. They did not seem overly impressed when I gave them my card and explained who I was ... Don't they know how popular my blog is ... WTFO?


CombatCritic Gives Trattoria da Concetta 7 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
* Many Italians do not believe in tipping because cameriere (waiters) in Italy are part of a proud and respected profession - food is extremely important here - and are paid fairly well (much better than in the USA), but some will leave a Euro or two no matter what the amount of the bill might be. Additionally, Italian etiquette suggests that if you are served by the owner of the establishment, you should not leave a tip because it is considered a bit of an insult.


Seven Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "Shits & Grins"

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Title: Naples, Italy: Pleasant Surprise In Napoli's Quartieri Spagnoli - A Good, Reasonably Priced Trattoria

Key Words: Naples, Italy, Quartieri Spagnoli, Spanish Quarters, Spanish, quarter, trattoria, Trattoria da Concetta, Concetta, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, , review, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook


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Pizzeria 400 Gradi
Via Concezione a Montecalvario, 12
80134 Naples, Italy
Phone:
Website: None
Prices: €€€€


Great little, VERY reasonably priced take-out pizzeria just steps (up the hill) from Napoli's infamous Toledo Metro station.
I was staying in a room in an Airbnb palazzo (palace) just up the street, feeling a bit out of sorts (mild cold) for a couple days, I needed nourishment Napolitano style ... PIZZA!
They also have sandwiches (panini), salads (insalate), and deep-fried Neapolitan delights (frittura Napoletana) such as crocchè (potato croquettes), sciurilli (zucchini flowers), scagliozzi (polenta slices), pasta cresciute (fried bread dough) and zeppole (fried bread dough with algae - sounds disgusting, but they are great).
Their prices are very low (€4.50 for a Margherita and salame - salami to you Yanks - pizza) and the pizza quality high, meaning Pizzeria 400 Gradi is a definite TravelValue ... HOOAH! 
If coming from the Toledo Metro, take the steps to the right as you exit toward Via Toledo and straight ahead (less than 50 yards) the Via Toledo pedestrian zone comes to an end. The narrow cobblestone street to your left is Via Concezione a Montecalvario. Head up the hill past the first two side streets (about 100 yards/meters) and on the left, just before a small piazza leading up the hill to your right (toward Via Francesco Girardi), you will find 400 Gradi on your left. They are open during lunch and again around 6PM (until late - midnight or later), so you will not even know it is there unless they are open because there is no exterior signage.
For these reasons and because there are no tables (take-out only), I cannot give them my maximum rating even though this is probably the BEST PIZZA VALUE in Naples ... and I have eaten a shitload of pizzas in Naples.

CombatCritic Gives Pizzeria 400 Gradi 9 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Nine Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"


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Title: Naples, Italy: BEST PIZZA VALUE IN NAPLES ... If You Want Take-Out

Key Words: Pizzeria 400 Gradi, pizzeria, pizza, 400, gradi, Via Toledo, Toledo, station, stazione, Montecalvario, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor


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La Taverna del Buongustaio
Via Basilio Puoti 8
80134 Naples, Italy
Centro Storico
Phone number: +39 081 5512626
Prices: €€€€

A small taverna just off Via Toledo halfway between the Dante and Toledo Metro stations, Buongustaio (translated "gourmet" in one case) does not quite live up to its name, but I was pleasantly surprised by the food and value.




At €6.50 ($7.67) for a primo (pasta) or secondo (meat dish), the prices are quite reasonable and €4 for a half liter of vino della casa (house wine) ain't bad neither (how's that for lousy English?).

The small place (10-12 tables) was packed save one table for two tucked in the corner, so we grabbed it. The service was quite friendly and efficient, my top-2 priorities, and we were quickly brought our drinks (wine and water) and a basket of fresh Neapolitan bread.
My wife's Penne alla Genovese (a dish you would probably associate with Genoa, but will rarely find outside Naples), comes in a sauce with onion, mostly onion, carrots, celery, and white wine, then simmered with beef and was very tasty. Unfortunately, the kitchen served it just a tad too "al dente" (1 Bomb deduction #1), a mistake you rarely see in any Italian restaurant or home for that matter. It was too chewy, but hot and tasty nonetheless.
My Bucatini alla Siciliana, a thick, hollow spaghetti tubes baked in a tomato sauce with eggplant, mozzarella, and pieces of meatball, was also delicious, but obviously cut straight from a pan and not nearly hot enough, call it lukewarm (1 Bomb deduction #2).



For secondi, my wife had the Provola alla Piastra, a gooey slice of smoked, grilled cheese that was also delicious but nearly cold (1 Bomb deduction #3). The highlight of the meal was my Braciola al Ragù, a nice portion of thinly sliced beef rolled around herbs and pine nuts, then smothered in marinara sauce. I was perfectly heated and seasoned, much like my nonna (grandmother) and Zia (aunt) Gina used to make ... one of my favorite dishes.
Good food and fair prices, although €36 in not a €€€€ meal, this trattoria needs to pay a little closer attention-to-detail, ensuring dishes are served at the right temperature and pasta cooked "al dente", not break the dente.
CombatCritic Gives La Taverna Buongustaio 7 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!


Seven Bombs Equates To:

"Shits & Grins"

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Italian

French
English

Title: Naples, Italy: Good Food And Fair Prices, But Lukewarm Entrees And Undercooked Pasta Left Me Bewildered
Title: 

Key Words: La Taverna del Buongustaio, la, taverna, buongustaio, Napoli, Naples, Italy, trattoria, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, Via Toledo, pasta, review, Yelp, Zomato

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Antico Trattoria da Peppino
Via Trinità degli Spagnoli, 8
80132 Naples, Italy
Plebiscito/Centro Storico
Phone number +39 081 407649
Facebook Page
Website: None
Prices: €€€€

One of very few restaurants in Naple's centro storico on Christmas Day Eve, so I cannot complain too much. I saw the lights and banners up a side street in Quartieri Spagnoli from Via Toledo, so I went to have a look. The lights were on, but the place was empty at 7:15PM, not unusual by Italian standards. A guy at the door said: "prego, prego", which means "you're welcome ... come in here and spend your money tourist".

I walked in and they sat me at a table, but the way they were looking at each other, whispering, and people (employees) putting their coats on and leaving, I had the feeling they were closing so I asked if I was still welcome. "Si, si" (yes, yes) I was told, so I waited and waited and waited while employees came and went. I did not feel very welcome and not having seen a sole in 5 minutes, got up to leave, but the cameriere (waiter/server) came back, ensuring I was welcome, so I sat back down.


The Insalata Caprese (€8) sounded good, so I told him I would start with that. A quizzical look came over his face, he turned around, went to the kitchen, and came back saying "la mozzarella e finito" (the mozzarella is finished "gone"), So I ordered the Bruschetta (€2). I am glad it was only €2 because it was one large slice of bread cut in half, grilled, brushed with garlic and topped with chopped cherry tomatoes, oregano, and EVO. Not bad, not great.

I decided to try one of my childhood favorites as my main course, Pasta e Fagioli (€10 - aka Pasta "Fazool" in my family and Neapolitan dialect), but this version had mussels, which I also like but never had in pasta fazool. The serving was massive with every type of leftover pasta in the house and cannellini beans in a broth of tomatoes and olive oil, but I could not find any mussels although I could smell them. I finally found six or seven single shelled mussels, a bit stingy based on the €10 price tag (pasta fazool is a peasant dish and usually very cheap). The flavor was OK, but bland, so I asked for some grated Parmigiano which helped immensely. I used the bread, from a bag again, to "fare la scarpetta" or "make the little shoe", a Neapolitan phrase that means that you use the bread to mop up sauce from the plate or bowl and shove it in your pie hole. 
The 1/2 liter of house wine was €5 (it was €2.50 at a trattoria down the street the night before) and the carafe was not even full, and the "coperto" (cover) was €2, bringing the total to €20.50, not a terrific bargain for what I got and what I got was not all that impressive. I did not feel very welcome here, but will give them an extra Bomb for being open on Christmas ... grazie mille!
CombatCritic Gives Antico Trattoria da Peppino 6 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Six Bombs Equates To:


Translation for Civilians: "Good To Go"

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Title: Naples, Italy, Antico Trattoria da Peppino, antico, trattoria, Peppino, Trinità, Spagnoli, Naples, Italy, Centro Storico, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook


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Le 3 Sorelle
Via San Giacomo, 6
80133 Naples, Italy
Phone number +39 081 19339202
Website: None
Facebook Page
Prices: €€€€

There were more places open on New Year's Day than on Christmas Day, one of them being Le 3 Sorelle (The 3 Sisters), but all of them were packed to the gills. Le 3 Sorelle has only a couple of table inside and they were taken, but there were a couple open on the sidewalk, so I grabbed one. They had a couple standing propane space heaters, but they were not on and it was a teensy-weensy bit chilly on this early January evening, but at least I could get some chow.


The service was not friendly, but they were busy, so I will give them that. I did have to wait about 15 minutes for someone to take my order and, even then, I had to make eye contact and indicate that I was ready. In the interim, a group of seven Italians arrived (well after me) and already had their drinks before I had even ordered, so they must have been VIPs.
It was late by American standards, around 10:15PM when I got there, so I was hungry but wanted something quick. What better than pizza Napolitana which takes just 90 seconds to cook in a wood-fired oven? Well, it took another 10-15 minutes to bring my 1/2 liter of vino rosso della casa (house red wine - €7) and at least another 15 minutes to get my pizza. OK, they were busy.
I ordered the pizza "Terra" (€7 or $8.50 - "ground/earth"), my favorite pizza with friarielli (broccoli rabe sauteed in olive oil and garlic) and sausage, but in this case they used provola, a local smoked, soft cheese similar to mozzarella in consistency, rather than the more traditional fior di latte (fresh mozzarella made with cow's milk). The pizza was hot and good, but a little "olio piccante" (hot, spicy EVO flavored with peperoncino), which you cannot find in other parts of Italy by the way, added some extra flavor and heat.
I was neither happy with having to wait so long to order, being ignored over other arriving guests, nor the long wait for the wine and pizza, but the pizza was very good. The prices were also much higher than other comparable, small pizzerias and trattorias in the area with the pizza being about €2 ($2.40) more than elsewhere and the wine about €4.50 ($5.45) more expensive, so my meal was not a great value either. With the additional €1 ($1.20) coperto (cover charge), my total came to €15 ($18.10), making this place, by Neapolitan standards, rather expensive and otherwise pretty "average" ... cosi cosi (so-so).

I will be somewhat more generous in my rating than I normally would be just because they were open on New Year's Day, they were very busy, and the pizza was pretty good.

CombatCritic Gives Le 3 Sorelle 5 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Five Bombs Equates To:


Translation for Civilians: "Continue Mission"

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Title: Naples, Italy: Mediocre Service, High Prices, Decent Pizza - Open New Year's Day Eve!

Key Words: Naples, Italy, pizza, pizzeria, trattoria, Le 3 Sorelle, sorelle, San Giacomo, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

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Antica Pizzeria Prigiobbo
Via Portacarrese A Montecalvario, 96
80134 Naples, Italy
Phone: +39 (081) 407-692
Website: None
Prices: €€€€

I found this little, inexpensive trattoria/pizzeria after being accosted by the rude owner of a place just down the street, so I told him he was an ass (stronzo) and walked away. The place looked simple, and quaint, the kind of place where you "eat well and pay little" ("mangia bene e pagha poco"), but that was not the case here. The menu  is very limited and they did not have a few of the things I wanted (Maccheroni all' Amatriciana and Gnoccho alla Sorrentina - two of my favorites), but "flexibility is the key to Air Power" ... right?

The place has an average of 4.5 Stars out of 16 reviews on Yelp (usually a reliable sign of excellence), but I should have noticed that nobody mentioned the trattoria side of the house, the pasta and meat dishes, only the pizza. Anyway, I should have had the pizza, which looked good, because my pasta and meat dishes were not good, probably the worst I have had in hundreds of restaurants in Italy.

My primo (first course), Maccheroni alla Sorrentina (pasta with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil - €4.00), was rather flavorless and the pasta not drained properly with water in the bottom of the dish. I would expect this in a bad Italian restaurant stateside, but this was a first in Italy. The pasta badly needed some grated parmigiano (parmesan), but I could not get the owner/server's attention long enough to ask for some because he was too busy running around. 
My secondo (main course), the Pizzaiola (beef steak topped with tomato sauce and olive oil - €4.50) was pork, not beef, and gristly with several small bones (see photos). The sauce was decent, but there was too much olive oil and I could have used more bread to mop it up (scarpetta). Unfortunately, the server was, again, too busy to bring more than the two small slices of bread he brought when I sat down.

It seems as though the "trattoria" part of this place is an afterthought because the food was not good, substandard by Italian standards. They did not have half of the things on the menu and my contorno (side dish - cold, zucchini, bell pepper and potatoes - which should have come with my main) came before my primo with the two small slices of bread. So, if you come, order pizza, forget the pasta and meat dishes, and ask for "il conto" (the check) because I did not and got overcharged:

Maccheroni alla Sorrentina - €4.00
Steak (Pork) Pizzaiola - €4.50
1/2 Liter of Wine - €2.50
Contorno - ? (Bo? - Price not listed on menu)
Total - €11
There was no "coperto" (cover) or "servizio" (service/tip) listed on the menu, but when I got tired of waiting for the check, I gave him a €50 note, receiving €35.50 in change. My side dish must have cost €3.50, very high compared to the primo and secondo (comparatively speaking, it should have been €1.50 - €2 max), so I was either overcharged or there was an unadvertised coperto or servizio charge included, In any event, €14.50 for this mediocre meal was NOT a TravelValue.

I should have eaten the other half of the sandwich I made from the night before or gone to one of the pizzerias down the street where I could have had a much better meal for €2 to €4.50. Shoulda, woulda, coulda ...

CombatCritic Gives Antica Pizzeria And Trattoria Prigiobbo 3 Bombs Out Of 10 ... And I Am Being Generous Because I Have Had Much Worse Meals Outside Of Italy ... More Bombs Are Better!
Three Bombs Equates To:
Translation for Civilians: "Situation Normal, All Fucked Up"

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Title: Naples, Italy: Non Ho Mangiato Bene (I Did Not Eat Very Well)

Key Words: Antica Pizzeria Prigiobbo, Via Portacarrese A Montecalvario, 80134, Naples, Italy, pizzeria, trattoria, Prigiobbo, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu,  review, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook


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Frittole


Via Leonardo Bianchi 2

80131 Naples, Italy
Phone number: +39 081 0012440
Website: frittole.it 
Prices: € € € €

Much better than under previous management, the pizza is very good and the vino locale (local wine) is cheap and refreshing. The ambiance has improved with a nice outdoor patio as you enter and upgrades to the interior with a medieval theme, including servers with period costumes. 



The pizza is their specialty and they do it very well, eat in or take out. They also have other choices, but, honestly, I have only had the pizza which, by Neapolitan standards is above average. My favorites are the pizza salsiccia e friarielli (sausage and broccoli rabe) and salami (salame in Italian) with peperoncino, both of which I have had several times. Prices are extremely fair, with four pizzas, a bag of zeppoline (fried dough balls), and a complimentary glass of wine while waiting for our takeout coming to just €24 and as they would say in Boston ... what a bahgain!
Pizzas are made in the traditional Neapolitan way, all ingredients fresh and local, then baked in about 90 seconds in a brick oven reaching over 500 degrees Fahrenheit, being turned every 30 seconds by the pizzaiuolo (pizza maker) to ensure even cooking. 
The pizza salsiccia e friarielli is made with a special Neapolitan dough recipe (you will not find pizza dough like this anywhere else in the world), provolone cheese, friarielli (broccoli rabe sauteéd in olive oil and garlic), then topped with sliced or crumbled sweet Italian sausage (peperoncino optional) and some extra virgin olive oil (EVO). 
The pizza salame piccante is made with the same dough, then basted with fresh tomato sauce (made only with San Marzano tomatoes, grown only in the fields of Agro Sarnese-Nocerino and just below Mount Vesuvius), then topped with fior di latte (fresh, locally made mozzarella) or mozzarella di bufala (mozzarella made only in the Naples area from the milk of the Italian Water Buffalo), thin slices of local salami, EVO, and peperonicino (also optional).
Quatro Stagione
Pizza Napolitano is different than pizza found anywhere else in Italy. The baked pizza dough is very thin, but holds-up well when cut into "American-style" slices (Italians normally eat pizza with a knife and fork, not with the hands) as Italian pizza is never served cut, only whole. The crust is thick, but very light and you will find an occasional small burnt spot or seven on the pizza bottom from the scorching hot oven. Frittole prepares their pizzas in the traditional Neapolitan way and the pizzaiuolo can be seen making and baking your pizza through the door into the dining room.
Salame Picante
Their house wine is wonderful and I normally buy it by the bottle for meals at my mother-in-law's home just down the street. The wine is a deep red, slightly fizzy and mildly sweet, served chilled as many local/house wines are because they are not made with added sulfates. A bottle (.75 to 1.0 liter - depending on who bottled it) normally only costs a couple Euros. My only gripe and the reason for my one BOMB deduction is the owner's hesitance to sell bottles of wine for take-out unless you return with the bottles in-hand. I am not sure why, maybe there is a shortage of bottles because they serve it in decanters, but I seem to get an attitude every time I show-up bottle-less.
Ham and Mushroom (White - No Sauce)
One of these days, maybe before we leave this time, I am going to try some of their pasta and meat dishes. If they are as good as their pizzas, I should be quite a happy camper.

CombatCrtic Gives Frittole 9 Out Of 10 Bombs ... More Bombs Are Better!

Nine Bombs Equates To:


Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)

Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



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Read Chris S.'s review of Frittole on Yelp


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: Naples, Italy: Frittole - An Imaginary Tuscan Village - I Could Not Imagine Pizza So Good

Key Words: Frittole, ristorante, pizza, pizzeria, pasta, Pompeii, Napoli, Naples, Italy, Rione Alto, rione, alto, medieval, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp

Translation for Civilians: OOH-RAH! = "U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"




ATTRACTIONS

Learn How To Make Pizza ... Napolitana Style!

Pizza Experience
Pizzeria Rosario Piscopo
Via Egiziaca a Pizzofalcone, 100
80132 Naples, Italy
Phone: +39 333-439-2629
Prices: €€€
Naples is considered the home of pizza, particularly pizza "Margherita" which was named after their former queen. Whether it was invented here or not, most will agree, in Italy and elsewhere, that pizza Napolitana (Neapolitan pizza) is the best you will find ... anywhere.

Thanks to my Italian roots and, having lived in Naples for three years while assigned to NATO's Southern Region Headquarters, I have wanted to learn how to make a proper Neapolitan pizza for a long time. Visiting Naples for a month on this particular occasion, I had plenty of time on my hands and a birthday to celebrate, so my wonderful wife bought me a "4-hour" pizzaiolo (pizza maker) course at Pizza Experience (not far from Piazza Plebiscito above) ... HOOAH!

Description from their website * :
Pizza Experience: Pizzaiolo for a day  
"A training workshop translated into several languages (also in Neapolitan) for those looking for an experience of pleasure and culture. 
The " Fatte 'na Pizza " workshop foresees the preparation of pizza with the help of an expert pizza maker from Naples who will take participants for four hours on an interactive journey. You will abandon the civil robes and become a pizza maker with a personalized apron designed for the occasion, we will talk about the "right" raw materials, we will prepare the dough with your hands in the flour to understand the right consistency , spread the dough on the counter of pizzaiolo and, after having covered it with tomato, Campana bufala mozzarella, basil and olive oil, the participants will be ready to bake it as tradition dictates in the old wood-fired pizza oven. Finally, everyone will eat the result of their work , the wallet pizza (folded in four). The last hour leaves room for conviviality as the Neapolitans love. Everyone at the table to discuss pizza, food, in front of course tasting Neapolitan pizzas of tradition signed by our Masters who will be accompanied by beers or wines from Campania.
Both pizzerias will be closed for the service to allow an exclusive experience. All will receive a certificate of participation, a personalized apron, and not least the energy and philosophy of Neapolitan life. 
What makes Pizza Experience unique:
  • A training workshop translated into several languages ​​(also in Neapolitan) 
  • A journey through the ancient culture of Neapolitan pizza 
  • The evocative locations in the cultural center of Naples open exclusively for the participants 
  • An interactive path to learn the secrets of pizza and replicate them at home 
  • The emotion of preparing a Neapolitan pizza and cooking it in a wood oven 
  • A tasting of the great classics of Neapolitan pizza and the best seasonal pizzas
" Fatte 'na Pizza " Laboratory Program

  • Welcome coffee made in the Neapolitan style 
  • Introduction to Neapolitan pizza - History from its origins to today 
  • Selection of raw materials and description of basic equipment 
  • Demonstration and realization of a dough by hand 
  • Insights on leavening and maturation of the dough 
  • Preparing a wood oven and cooking your own "wallet" pizza 
  • Tasting at the table of two Neapolitan pizzas paired with beer, wine or soft drink 
  • Delivery of certificates of participation and gift gadgets with souvenir photos 
  • A warm greeting to all the members will follow with the final toast
Participants: Min 2 - Max 12 
Duration: 3-4 hours (including tasting) 
Timetable: 10:30-14:30 
Cost: € 100.00 per person; € 65.00 (6 to 16 years); € 0.00 (0 to 6 years)"

Now, I will go through the objectives of the course above one by one, addressing each in-turn:

1. "Welcome coffee made in the Neapolitan style"

- I was in-fact offered a welcome coffee ... bravo!

2. "Introduction to Neapolitan pizza - History from its origins to today"

- I did not receive any history of Neapolitan pizza, only some small talk and some sparkling water.

3. "Selection of raw materials and description of basic equipment"

- I had to ask about the specific ingredients that go into making a Neapolitan pizza as well as how the oven works, at what temperature, where to place the pizza ... etc., etc. ... and was not given a description of any equipment. They had the ingredients ready and told me how much of each (weight in grams) I should add, but I had to inquire specifically 

4. "Demonstration and realization of a dough by hand"

- I was shown how to mix the ingredients as well as how to knead the dough. However, I had to ask about the amount of some ingredients and Rosario, "il maestro" (the master and/or teacher) and "pizzailolo" (pizza maker), was very impatient with me. If I made even the smallest mistake, he would jump in, take over and complete the process, giving me little practical experience. He seemed in a hurry to get the lesson over with so he could go about his day, making pizza and more money.




5. "Insights on leavening and maturation of the dough"

- Again, I had to ask questions about the length of time the dough must rise and rest as well as several other specifics related to the dough making process.

- I was told on more than one occasion: "There are many videos on YouTube depicting the process(es), so we don't need to spend more time on that now". However, I did not receive any information regarding the location of said videos prior to my departure.

6. "Preparing a wood oven and cooking your own "wallet" pizza"

- The fire in the oven had already been started and, once again, I had to ask how to build the fire, how big it should be, where it should go, what to do with the ashes and so forth.

- As far as making the pizza, again, Rosario did most of the work because I was not doing it exactly the way it should be done. After all, he has been doing this for 20+ years and I for less than an hour.

  

7. "Tasting at the table of two Neapolitan pizzas paired with beer, wine or soft drink"

- I did eat the pizza I, partially, made and was offered another, turning it down because one Neapolitan pizza was more than enough and I had no room for a second. I also received a large glass of house red wine to drink along with my pizza.
  
8. "Delivery of certificates of participation and gift gadgets with souvenir photos" 

- I received my certificate, a t-shirt that was two sizes too small for me, a gift bag and some postcards with Pizza Experience advertisements and pizza recipes on them. The souvenir photos were for their website and Facebook page, and I did not receive one. You should also know that you will be asked to sign a photo release waiver, something I do not recall reading on the website and not told about until it was put in front of me at the end of the class.

9. "A warm greeting to all the members will follow with the final toast"

- There was no toast, but my send-off was warm and the experience decent all things considered.

A few additional things from the narrative that need to be addressed:

1. "You will abandon the civil robes and become a pizza maker with a personalized apron"

- Makes it sound like you get an apron with your name on it, maybe with a logo, to take home with you as one of the "gadgets".

2. ... "after having covered it with tomato, Campana bufala mozzarella (actually, it is "mozzarella di bufala campana"), basil and olive oil, the participants will be ready to bake it as tradition dictates".

- I was told that they do not use mozzarella di bufala (water buffalo mozzarella) due to its watery consistency, using fior di latte

The website stated that students would spend 3-4 hours in training, but between my facilitator being 15-20 minutes late, a few cigarette breaks, and doing nothing while allowing the dough to rise, I was there for just two hours, one of which was actually spent in pizza-making related activities.

I must clarify that I was the only student that day, due to a family of three cancelling last minute as a result of their child's illness (the reason the facilitator was late - a reasonable excuse), receiving one-on-one attention in the pizza kitchen rather than in the dining room next door with 3-11 other students where training normally takes place. I would not expect them to spend 3-4 hours with me alone, but just an hour of training with little practical experience due to the pizzaiolo's impatience left me feeling slighted. With a €100 price tag, I expected more hands-on training, having walked away feeling that I did not learn nearly as much as I could have.

With some fine-tuning, following the objectives promoted on their website, and showing more patience with pizzaiolo novices, the course would be well worth the €100 registration fee. 
In the end, I learned much more than I knew before I arrived, thanks in-part to my inquisitive nature, and can take the knowledge and skills home to practice pizza making on my own.

CombatCritic Gives Pizza Experience A Very Average 6 Bombs Out Of 10 ... Not Horrible, Not Great ... More Bombs Are Better!
Six Bombs Equates To:


Translation for Civilians: "Good To Go"

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "Gold Elite" '14/'15/'16/'17/'18 - 650,000+ Views A Year

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)


Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie - Over  1,890,733 Review And Photo Views

View my food journey on Zomato!


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*Extracted from https://www.pizzaexperience.it/descrizione/ on January 3, 2018.

Title: Naples, Italy: "Pizzaiolo For A Day" More Like Pizzaiolo For An Hour

Key Words: Naples, Italy, Pizza Experience, pizza, experience, class, event, pizzaiolo, Napoli, pizzeria, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, service, review, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook


Copyright 2018 - 3rd Wave Media Group, LLC and CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

























ACCOMMODATIONS

Fiori di Napoli
Sunflower Room 
€ 30 - One Person (Discount for long stays)
Private Room in Bed & Breakfast
Quartieri Spagnoli, Naples
Contact: Ivo

Airbnb Description: "Sunflower room is located in the heart of this amazing city, close to the historical centre, few steps from the Royal Palace, the San Carlo Theatre, the Castle Maschio Angioino, Spaccanapoli, the sea , the Pignasecca market. It is well connected with all public transports (Funicolare, Cumana, Underground both lines).Daily cleaning of the rooms is provided. The towels will be changed every 3 days."
Palazzo


Amenities
Washer
Heating
Wireless Internet
Breakfast
Smoking allowed
Iron
Hair dryer
Hangers
TV
Room-darkening shades

House Rules
Check-in is anytime after 8AM
Check out by 11AM
You must also acknowledge: Dog(s) live in the house
Spanish Quarters
Nice, clean, simple room, Il Glicine, in a palazzo (palace) in the heart of Naples, just a couple blocks from the architecturally infamous Toledo (Metro) Station and Via Toledo shopping district.






Located in Quartieri Spagnoli, literally "Spanish Quarters", this B&B is not actually a B&B unless your reservation states "Breakfast" is included, otherwise it is €5 per day and very simple from what I understand (coffee, toast and marmalade - typical Italian breakfast). There was some confusion as it was advertised as a "B&B", but my host, Ivo, told me that breakfast was not included in the price of the room I booked on Airbnb, which was very inexpensive by the way, but we made a deal so I could make coffee and buy my own breakfast. Non ce problema (not a problem).


B&B Fiori di Napoli is actually a very large apartment where a few other people, not exactly sure how many, and a sweet dog, Greg, live. The neighborhood is Naples at its best with narrow cobblestone streets with drivers on scooters, cars and trucks honking at each other in the traditional Neapolitan way.

I read about some concerns about safety in Naples, particularly Quartieri Spagoli, in previous Airbnb reviews as well as from my wife (who grew up in Naples) and mother-in-law (who lives in Naples), but I had no worries having lived in Naples for three years while serving in the military. The palazzo is actually a great base for exploring centro storico (the historical center) with easy access via the Metropolitana (Naple's Subway) to adventures in Naples and beyond (READ MORE On My TravelValue: Bella Napoli Webpage)
Ciro

There is a great little mini-market (Maielo Ciro) right across the street with basic supplies, a deli counter, and a friendly, honest proprietor (Ciro). If eating out, one of the best and cheapest pizzerias in Naples, a city famous for its pizza, is just down the street (CLICK HERE To Read My Review Of Pizzeria 400 Gradi) and there is a great little trattoria, Trattoria da Concetta (CLICK TO READ REVIEW), with decent prices, good food, and excellent service within 200 meters of your room. Less than 350 meters and a 5 minute walk away (toward "Dante" Station) is another good little, and I mean little, trattoria by the name of La Taverna del Buongustaio (CLICK TO READ REVIEW) with low prices and good, traditional Neapolitan food.




The room had everything I needed, including a comfortable double bed, two nightstands, a large wardrobe, shelves, an LCD TV with cable (BBC News in English), a large refrigerator/freezer and microwave. I stayed for three weeks and was very comfortable except for some relatively cold days and nights, but Ivo was very hospitable, turning on the heat (radiators) anytime I asked.

Naples can get rather warm in the summer months, so keep that in mind because there is no air conditioning that I am aware of. The apartment is also on the third floor (U.S. - second floor for Europeans) of the palazzo and this palazzo has 12 foot ceilings. The walk up the three very long flights of stairs was a bit of a workout because there is no elevator, so you had better be in decent shape or take it very slow.

I felt very comfortable and safe with Ivo and Manuela and their dog Greg was quite sweet and very quiet. At just $21 per night, you will not find a better value, particularly in Naples' historic center. 

CombatCritic Gives Fiori Di Napoli 9 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Nine Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "GOLD Elite" '14/'15/'16/'17/'18 - 650,000+ Views A Year

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)


Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie - Over  1,890,733 Review And Photo Views

View my food journey on Zomato!


... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Title: Naples, Italy: The Flower Of The Spanish Quarters - Clean, Inexpensive, And Central

Key Words: Naples, Napoli, Italy, Italia, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, hotel, accommodation, Airbnb, room, apartment, palazzo, Quartieri Spagnoli, review, fiori, Yelp, Google, Facebook


Copyright 2018 - 3rd Wave Media Group, LLC and CombatCritic - All Rights Reserved




Navy Lodge (Gricignano)
SS7 Bis
Gricignano di Aversa, Napoli, Italy
Phone: +39-081-813-3443
Website: Navy-Lodge-Naples.com
Prices: $$$$

When it comes to TravelValue, this place sucks. I have stayed at hotels, military and otherwise, all over the world and this was the poorest value ever. I can get a room at a military resort on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii or Tokyo Japan for the price we paid for a room in a shithole like Gricignano.
Beautiful Gricignano ... NOT
Air Force Inns are much nicer and I have never paid more than $60 for a room, suite, even an whole apartment. I assumed the price would be similar, but when I saw the charge for the room after checking-in - $116 - I was flabbergasted. We were so tired after driving all day that the last thing I wanted to do was hunt for a reasonably priced hotel, so I signed-off and we spent the night. By the way, I paid nearly 1/6 of that amount (just $21 per day) for a nice room in the historical center of Naples (during the holiday season) on Airbnb.

The TV did not work, the NEX closed at 9PM and there were no vending machines, so we drank water out of the tap for dinner. Breakfast, supposedly why they charge $60 more than Capodichino, was a disgrace with just bagels, wheat bread, generic cocoa puffs, Oreos, some fruit, coffee and juice. The bathtub/shower faucet is in the middle of the tub at knee level, sticking out so far that I banged my bad knee on it. Talk about Hotel Nightmares!



I am shocked that the DoD lets this place charge so much to military, retirees and civilians. The poor young family of four (parents and two young kids) from Germany that checked in before me had to pay $150 for a "suite" when they could have had a room like ours for JUST $116 (two queen beds). When the young enlisted father saw the absurd charge for the room, he balked saying "my wife won't like this", but was told "it's too late, you already checked-in". 

It is not wonder the place is empty and we were told: "don't worry, you don't need a reservation, we have plenty of rooms" when I called that morning. The only plus were the staff, except for the front desk clerk who ripped-off the young family, were very nice and professional.

CombatCritic Gives Navy Lodge Naples (Gricignano) 2 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Two Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "Tits Up" 

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16/'17 - 650,000+ Views A Year

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)


Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie - Over  1,890,733 Review And Photo Views

View my food journey on Zomato!


... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: Gricignano (Naples), Italy: Navy Lodging - Overpriced And Underwhelming


Read Chris S.'s review of Navy Lodge on Yelp

Key Words: Gricignano, Naples, Italy, Navy Lodging, Navy Lodge, overpriced, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, hotel, lodge, accommodation, review, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

Copyright 2018 - 3rd Wave Media Group, LLC and CombatCritic - All Rights Reserved




Hotel Camaldoli

Via Gabriele Jannelli 586
80131 Naples
Italy
Phone number +39 081-546-6836
Website: hotelcamaldoli.it
Prices: €€€€

A nice, simple, reasonably priced, clean hotel just north of Vomero in the hospital zone (Zona Ospedale - hospitals Monaldi and Cardarelli) and close to two Metro stops (Policlinico and Rione Alto) as well as shops, markets, restaurants and pizzerias galore.
You can walk to both Metro stations (Linea 1 - Line 1 - Yellow Line), taking you to Vomero, downtown (Centro Storico - the historical district), shopping areas on Via Toledo and Via Roma, and the port as well as the main train station (Napoli Centrale) and Piazza Garibaldi. At Napoli Centrale, you can take trains pretty much anywhere in Italy and Europe, either slowly (Regionale) or very quickly (Freccia Rosa and Italo), getting you to Rome in an hour, Florence in two, and Venice in five. You can also travel locally on the Metro from Piazza Garibaldi (adjacent to Napoli Centrale), taking Linea 2 (Line 2) to Mergelina and Pozzuoli. Linea 4 (Line 4 - Circumvesuviana) to Herculaneum (Ercolano), Pompeii, and Sorrento is actually in the basement of Napoli Centrale, so follow the signs or inquire at an Information Booth if needed. It is also quite easy to get to the islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida by ferry in addition to Sorrento or even Sicily if you have the time.

CLICK HERE FOR A NAPLES METRO MAP

Breakfast is included at the hotel and is served from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM daily. It is a typical, light Italian breakfast, serving cornetti (a fresh, flaky croissant filled with sweet cream and sprinkled with powdered sugar - indigenous to Southern Italy, Naples in particular) and coffee as you like it (cappuccino, espresso, caffe latte, etc). They also have juices, water, cereal, croissants, tarts, toast and an assortment of jellies as well as Nutella and butter.
Most rooms have balconies although the view is limited to surrounding buildings and the neighborhood's high rise apartment buildings and shops. Our balcony was spacious with a table and chairs to relax and get some fresh air. Our room was large with an entry vestibule to hang coats and umbrellas and store luggage. We also had a medium size wardrobe with four drawers, a small desk, two chairs, and a TV (only useful if you understand Italian because there are no English language channels - e.g. CNN, BBC, or Sky). The bed was an "Italian king size" (two twins pushed together on a king size frame


There is Wi-Fi, but it is a bit slow. You can stream videos, but they sometime pause as the video is buffering. Wi-Fi on the ground floor is spotty at best as it seems the wireless routers are on the upper floors. The staff are very friendly and helpful, attending to our every need. There is almost always someone at the front desk or in the breakfast area/bar where they have a limited selection of spirits.
There is no elevator, so handicapped access is a problem because even the lowest floor of rooms is 8-10 steps up from the front desk. Large bags can also pose a challenge, particularly if you are located on any of the upper floors. Our room was on the 1st floor (2nd floor in the U.S.), a trek of over 30 steps up the staircases from the lobby and even I was a touch winded after dragging two large bags up to our room.

A simple, pleasant hotel on the outskirts of Naples, yet well connected through the Metro system, Hotel Camaldoli is a good option if you do not have the need or desire to stay in the main tourist areas and want to get acquainted with the true Neapolitan way of life.

CombatCritic Gives Hotel Camaldoli 7 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Seven Bombs Equates To:
Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)

Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Read Chris S.'s review of Hotel Camaldoli on Yelp


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: Naples, Italy: Simplicity And Value On The Outskirts, Yet Well Connected 

Key Words: Hotel Camaldoli, hotel, Camaldoli, Naples, Napoli, Pompeii, Sorrento, Roma, Amalfi, Italy, Italia, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, review, Yelp, bed, breakfast

Translation for Civilians: S&G = "Shits & Grins"


























SHOPPING

Maiello Ciro Mini-Market And Deli
Via Francesco Girardi, 11
80134 Napoli 
Website: N/A
Phone: (081) 405203
Prices: €€€€

Ciro, the proprietor, is kind, friendly and honest, a rare find in the historic center (centro storico) of Naples. His store does not have a lot, but a little of everything, including wine, beer, water, milk, cookies, laundry products and a nice deli with a choice of Italian cold cuts (salame, prosciutto, mortadella, provolone, mozzarella, etc.).
Ciro
His prices are very fair considering the size of the place and he is extremely honest. I found out that he lives in the palazzo across the street where I am staying, so he serves the neighborhood, seeming to know everybody that passes, even yelling, a Neapolitan tradition, across the street to a neighbor who was about to receive a delivery from his store.


If staying in the area or in need of some groceries, water, a sandwich, or a snack, walk up the hill from Via Toledo (near Toledo station) and say "ciao" to Ciro.

CombatCritic Gives Maiello Ciro Mini-Market And Deli 9 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Nine Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Read Chris S.'s review of Maiello / Ciro on Yelp

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16/'17 - 650,000+ Views A Year

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)


Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie - Over  1,890,733 Review And Photo Views

View my food journey on Zomato!


... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Title: Naples, Italy: Maiello Ciro Mini Market And Deli - Good Value, Friendly Service

Key Words: Maiello Ciro Mini Market And Deli, friendly, Maiello, Ciro, mini, market, deli, delicatessen, Via Francesco Girardi, Napoli, Naples, Italy CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, business, review, Yelp, Google


Copyright 2017 - 3rd Wave Media Group, LLC and CombatCritic - All Rights Reserved

"DAY TRIP QUIPS" ™


DayTripQuip™: If you plan on visiting Naples, Italy (Napoli) there are an abundance of day trips available including Pompeii, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, the islands of Capri and Ischia, Pozzuoli, Mount Vesuvius, or less than two hours by train south, the seaside town of Marina di Ascea. 

Spend the day at the pristine beaches with soft sand and award winning "clean" water or hop on a bus and visit Zona Archeologica di Velia (read full review by clicking this link), just ten minutes north of town. Entry to the site is just €3 ($3.40) where you can see well preserved and maintained Greek, Roman, and medieval ruins all in one place!




Read More Reviews By CombatCritic On Yelp And Zomato ... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Title: DayTripQuip™: Napoli to Ascea and Zona Archeologica di Velia (Scavi di Velia)

Key Words: DayTripQuip, day, trip, quip, Napoli, Ascea, Zona Archeologica, Velia, Scavi di Velia, scavi, ruins, Roman, Greek, medieval, mosaic, fresco, villa, bath, travel, value





DayTripQuip - Italy: Naples To Pompeii, Sorrento, Amalfi Coast And Capri


When in Naples, do as the Neapolitans do! A nice day trip from Naples can take you to Pompeii, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, the beautiful island of Capri and points beyond if you so wish. It would be next to impossible to do it all in one day, but you can easily pick one or two destinations and break your day trips up over multiple days.

Pompeii
To visit Pompeii from Naples, take the Circumvesuviana line from the Napoli Centrale (main) train station (click here for schedule), making sure you arrive at least 10-15 minutes early as the Circumvesuviana platforms are a short walk and escalator ride away from the main platforms. You must buy your ticket at the entrance to the Circumvesuviana and, like all trains and buses in Italy, validate your ticket (at the yellow metered boxes) before getting on the train. Even with a valid ticket, if not stamped at one of the meters, you will be fined if a conductor checks your ticket and it does not have a stamp with the proper automated date and time. Once on the Circumvesuviana platform (normally Platform 3), make sure that you get on the "Sorrento" train and get off at the Pompeii Scavi - Villa dei Misteri station, taking about 35 minutes to reach.
Mount Vesuvius Looms In The Background - At Pompeii
When leaving the Pompeii Scavi station, go the the right on the street in front of you and ignore all of the crooks trying to sell you tours. Follow the signs toward the "Archeological Site" and about 100 yards (meters) down the road you will see the entrance on your left where you can buy an entry ticket for €11, adding an audio tour nearby for a few Euros more. There is an information booth next to the ticket window where you can find maps of Pompeii as well as information booklets (A Guide To The Pompeii Excavations) in several languages which provide detailed explanations of the main attractions within the archeological site. 
Famous "Dog - Do Not Enter" 
You do not really need an Audio Tour because Pompeii is broken-up into nine zones on the map and you will find signs with Zone and Site Number in front of each individual attraction (villas, baths, amphitheatre, stores, etc.) , making it easy to find the corresponding explanation in the guide.

There are toilets and cafeterias inside the site, but you can take food and drinks along with you and have a picnic at the place and time of your choosing. Make sure that you note the closing time when buying your ticket because you would not want to find yourself lost and locked into the site after dark as you do not need to scan your ticket when exiting, making it impossible for them to know if there are lost tourists still within the vast complex of streets and alleys. You must also ensure that you exit the same site from which you entered because there are numerous exits which, if used, would leave you with a difficult journey back to the station and a high risk of getting lost.

Sorrento

Another wonderful DayTrip is to the ancient seaside town of Sorrento, just a little over an hour and a half away on the same train. Instead of getting off at Pompeii, continue to the end of the line and the beautiful clifftop city of Sorrento (schedule below or CLICK HERE).


Il Duomo - Sorrento's Cathedral
The train station is actually at the bottom of the cliff, so follow the signs up the steep hill toward "Centro Storico" (historical center). Once at the top of the hill, the main town will be off to your right where you can head down the main street toward the Duomo or turn right onto one of the many streets or alleys filled with restaurants and shopping galore.

Naples-Sorrento Train Schedule
View from Sorrento to Port and Train Station
Another option is to take the fast ferry from the Port of Naples (Molo Beverello - See Map Below) via Alilauro to Sorrento (or Capri, Ischia, Procida, Positano, and Amalfi among others).

To get to Molo Beverello, take the Metropolitana to Stazione Municipio and head directly east toward the port, about 500 meters (1/2 km) away by foot, an easy walk.

The ferry is a bit more expensive than the train, but is much quicker and hassle-free.

Positano and the Amalfi Coast

From Sorrento, take the blue SITA bus (click here for timetables) from the main piazza to scenic Positano, about 40 minutes away and a white knuckle ride along the scenic Amalfi Coast's main road. You can exit at Positano and explore the hillside town or continue on to Praino, Conca, or Amalfi (50 minutes past Positano). Return to Sorrento the same way you came, ensuring that you have enough time to catch the last train (at the very latest) or else you will find yourself looking for a hotel and spending the night in Sorrento.

You can also take the Alilauro ferry directly from Naples as described above. There are also ferries going to Positano and Amalfi directly from Sorrento if the bus frightens you or have motion sickness and the sea is calm. 

Capri

From Sorrento, you can go down to the port and take the hydrofoil for a relatively short ride to beautiful Capri for a day of exploring, shopping, and/or eating on this lovely and somewhat expensive tourist destination (click here for schedule). Again, return to the port early enough to go back to Sorrento by hydrofoil and catch your train. Another option is to buy a one way (solo andata) ticket for the hydrofoil from Sorrento, buying a return (ritorno) ticket for the hydrofoil that takes you back to Naples (click for schedule). Once in Naples, you can find a Metropolitana (Metro) station, either at Piazza Garibaldi (if arriving by train) or near the port, for the return journey to your original point of departure.

You can also take the Alilauro ferry to Capri directly from Naples as described above.
Enjoy your day ... FOLLOW ME TO TravelValue™

Title: DayTripQuip - Italy: Naples To Pompeii, Sorrento, Amalfi Coast And Capri

Key Words: Napoli, Alilauro, ferry, ferries, Circumvezuviana, train, Metro, Metropolitana, day, trip, quip, Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, coast, DayTripQuip, Italy, Naples, Pompeii, Positano, Sorrento, Capri

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