Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Napoli and Matera, Italy - OMG - UPDATE

We left this morning at 7 am and it is now 8 pm and we have just arrived at our new place. Getting here was hell. The train was fine and fast and we got into Napoli at about 10:30 am. We had until 2:30 pm to catch the bus. I had little idea where to catch the bus or where to buy the ticket. I saw the Marina bus and tried to talk to the driver. He brushed me off and said he spoke no English. So I used my little bit of Italian and he pointed to the train station. Finally I found where to buy the bus ticket and then we still had agouti 3 1/12 hours to kill.

I found a place to get a cappuccino and croissant - standing at the counter to dine. It was fine but I was lugging a backpack, Seymour's new carrier and Seymour in his old carrier. We then walked around the train station looking at the stores and then ventured out into the street. That is where the OMG comes in. What a mess. Napoli, at least where we were was like a NYC that had no trash pick up. I will take a picture - it is unbelievable. My friend Lynne told me it was like no other place in Italy and she was right! There are people everywhere trying to sell you things. There were few stop lights but there were crossing lines so you just had to take you chance and walk out into the street. Scary. I did use my hidden money pouch there but it is a bit of a pain. I also bought a new small purse to replace the one I've been using because it is falling apart. I have already decided that I will spend most of my time going to other places when I'm staying in Napoli. If they have a tour bus, I'll take that around the city. At this point, Napoli is at the bottom of my list or the top for most disliked city.

There is some good news. I went into a restaurant and ordered a pizza because I had to get a pizza from the place where pizza's originated. It was really big and really good. One of my favorite things here is prescuitto and melon, so I also had that. That was the best part of Napoli so far. UPDATE: I took a picture of my pizza but can't post it when I use blogger, so I will post it in my newest blog using the other software)

Anyway, when it was time to get on the bus, I boarded and the ticket person came on and said I had to buy a ticket for Seymour. No other place in Italy made me do that. So it cost me 19 euro and Seymour 17 euro. When I went back to get the second ticket, the guy behind the counter shook his head in disbelief. The thing that pissed me off was that they assign seats so my seat was 7 and Seymour's was 28! I said "Where am I supposed to sit" and the snarly bus driver said "pick one". So I paid for 2 seats but could only use one. Unfortunately I will probably have to use the same bus service going back to Napoli but I'm going to try to get away with only buying one ticket. They say southern Italy is very different from northern Italy and I am sure finding that to be true.

After 4 1/2 hours on the bus, we arrived in Matera. Stephania picked me up at the bus stop in Matera and she is really nice; she works in theater. I was very surprised to see how big Matera was; it has a population of 60,000 people and loads of traffic. She lives in the old part of the town and that is the other OMG! It is beautiful! She has one of the best views of the old city from in front of her house. I am in the upstairs apartment and she and her boyfriend live downstairs. So I have a combo room that is the living, dining and kitchen (with a microwave - UPDATE: It is not a microwave, it is a toaster oven!). There is a loft bedroom that I haven't gone up to yet and then a nice bathroom. I will take pictures tomorrow. I expect that I will just spend the whole week exploring this city - both the old and the new sections. I am so glad I came here.


  1. You're not planning to stay in Napoli are you? If so, you may want to change your plans as they don't sound like pleasant people there. Your current place sounds nice. Enjoy your next three weeks! Love, Sharon and Art

  2. Yes I have a week in Napoli but I am right at the wharf where the ferries come in. From the pictures, it looks nice. The trolley is also a few minutes from his place so I think it will be fine. I do hope they have one of those "on and off" tour buses that we can take (free for Seymour) around Napoli. It is a culture shock, but I had to see it myself.