Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A few hours in Naples

The trip from Positano to Napoli can be accomplished by a combination of bus and train, or, if you're willing to spend a few more Euros, by taxi.

We were fortunate to find Michele of Ravello taxi. He gave us a great rate and drove us safely from the Hotel Pasitea to the Museum of Archeology in Napoli, after stopping at the airport to store our luggage (six Euros a bag - ouch!).

We hired a guide at the front door to give us a 90-minute tour through the highlights of this huge museum. We only noticed later that Dr. Pina Esposito is recommended by Rick Steves. She gave us a great overview of some of the major sculptures and incredible mosaics in this building.

One of Brian's personal favorite moments was setting eyes on something he'd read about many years ago in Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels, the mosaic of a dog found at Pompeii, with the inscription Cave Canem - Beware of Dog.

The Secret Cabinet of erotic art reveals that sex was an obsession even before Hollywood invented it.

We then walked a couple of blocks over to Ristorante Bellini for our final meal in Italy. Not bad!

We navigated the subway as far as the Stazione Centrale but time was short so we grabbed a taxi. Just our luck to get the kind of driver warned about in the guidebooks. First he has the meter covered and says he'll drive us to the airport for "about" 20 Euros. When we call out "metro" and open the doors he pulls the newspaper off the meter with a lot of money already on it. More coaxing and he sets the meter to 0 and then spends the ride singing to us and saying repeatedly "Americans made of gold - Italians poor."

After what we suspect was a roundabout ride to the airport we stiffed him with about a one-euro tip (his English suddenly improved - "not enough for a cup of coffee!"), picked up our bags, and readied ourselves for our Lufthansa flight back to Munich.

Arrivederci Bella Italia, but good riddance to crooked Neopolitan taxi drivers.

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