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Easy Going

Travel stories + tips from seasoned explorers

Father – Son Trip to Naples

October 5, 2018

Naples, Italy is truly one of the most magnificent cities of Europe where splendor and squalor meet in crowded and historic streets in stunning juxtaposition to Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples. My parents’ old family photos of their wonderful time in Naples, Italy – the city of my birth – inspired me to ask my good friend Claudia Reynolds Harris of Adagio Travel to plan my first return visit as an adult. It was a particularly special trip for me because I also took along my 16 year old teenage son and all I can say is that Claudia’s planning exceeded my expectations and dreams.

We spent two days and two nights in Naples and Claudia booked us at Grand Hotel Excelsior, which was located on the waterfront with a stunning view of Mount Vesuvius. The hotel exuded old world elegance with crystal chandeliers and marble floors and with the large and beautifully appointed rooms it felt decadent and was a nice respite from the city. My son and I were able to walk along the waterfront and visited the Castel d’Ovo, a 1,000 year old fortress guarding the harbor. Morning runs along the waterfront were the perfect way to begin each day followed by a fabulous and groaning breakfast buffet.

Naples also serves as a fantastic jumping off point for a visit to Pompeii where Claudia booked us a private tour of the ruins. The frescoes and mosaics and museum tell the tale of this ancient city where life stopped abruptly in 79 AD during an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Our guide contributed to our understanding of Pompeii’s excavation and place as one of the world’s greatest archeological sites. We ended our visit to Pompeii with a visit to the brothel where depictions of sex acts to be had in each of the rooms brought home the fact for me – and my son – that brothels do indeed embrace the oldest profession which was well regulated and considered unremarkable at that time.

At the end of each day Naples offered many options for classic food and drink but there is nothing like Neopolitan pizza so each night we went in search of the best that Naples had to offer (Naples is a designated World Heritage site for its pizza). Of particular note was Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo on Via Partenope 1, where long lines form early to allow entry to one of Naples best pizzerias. We were not disappointed and left with a feeling of satisfaction that only the best pizza and a bottle of Chianti can provide. Note that Sorbillo has branches in Milan and New York as well!

In short Claudia’s arrangements for Naples left me with a long to-do list to go back again one day and spend even more time in this charming city and in places nearby.