Back to Naples - September 2015

I returned to Naples in September 2015 for visit number five, this time with my 19 year old son, his friend and my mum. I have said before that I love the Lungomare district - well this time around we stayed somewhere else - the Spanish Quarter in Hotel Il Convento. I can't fault the hotel - flawless service in a building that was a former convent, and right in the thick of things with the tiny cobbled streets at your feet and the Centro Storico across the road.

We did a great mix of exploring and relaxing and I saw a few places that had been on my 'Naples bucket list' for quite some time. Take a look.



Every visit to Naples starts with a beer from the vendor's cart on Via Nazario Sauro on the Lungomare. Where in the world can you pay 1 euro for a beer and see a view like this?
That's my family (Jack, Robert and my mum, Catherine)


The Spanish Quarter looking along Vico Tre Re A  from Via Toledo - Jack and Robert are on the left



A second-hand dealer's cart in Porta Alba in the Historic Centre. A jumble of personal photographs, trinkets, rosary beads, jewellery and paintings.


The beautiful Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore 

 Above and below
San Gregorio Armeno - the famous presepe street


A courtyard off San Gregorio Armeno




Above and below
Ribbons of blue sky slice through the Spanish Quarter


 Above and below - the haunting Fontanelle Cemetery in the Materdei district of Naples
Closed in 1969 but re-opened recently. It is free to visit. Read up on its history here:
http://www.napoliunplugged.com/location/fontanelle-cemetery-naples



 The Hotel Il Convento's exterior


I saw this man walking his dogs last time I was in Naples. He also makes an appearance in 'Naples: A Way of Love' (Carla Coulson & Lisa Clifford) - one of my favourite books
I find it fascinating that the leads don't get tangled and the dogs just walk along with him, becoming part of the vivid colour of Naples


Baba and other assorted Naples dolce - if you love sweets, then this is your city!


Where in the world can you be alone with Caravaggio?
'The Seven Acts of Mercy' in Pio Monte della Misericordia where we were lucky enough to join the Mass that was in progress and receive communion in front of this masterpiece.


The crypt of San Gennaro in Naples' Duomo

 The Porta Alba gate which takes you from Piazza Dante into the Historic Centre. A great place to buy second hand books


The view of Naples from Castel Sant'Elmo


Castel Sant'Elmo's battlement/walkway - no one is here! Why?


Naples' most iconic view - from Castel Sant'Elmo. See the Historic Centre seemingly sliced - this is Spaccanapoli (split Naples) - a mix of streets - Via Scura, Via Croce, Via San Biagio dei Librai to name a few. The church with the green roof is Santa Chiara. Rebuilt after being heavily bombed in World War 2.

The enormous walls of Castel Sant'Elmo - that is Robert at the base of the wall



Above and below
The sumptuous baroque interior of San Gregorio Armeno
We were here for Mass
Photo above is locals lining up to kiss the relic of a Saint



Above and below
Naples astonishing Duomo
We were here just after September 19 - the Feast of San Gennaro



The more I visit Naples the harder it is to leave.  I have a feeling that one day these photographs will be full of tourists, as things are now in Rome, however at the moment Naples is still undiscovered and avoiding mass tourism. Makes you wonder why, when it is a city so rich in history and culture. For those looking for the 'real Italy' - this is it.


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