Rethinking Naples (and Sorrento)

If you’re headed to the Amalfi coast and would like to save on accommodation expenses, you’ll need to stay somewhere nearby.  These are my 2 favourite bases and why they are also worth a visit in their own right.

Naples

Reading up on Napoli, the recommendations weren’t good. Firstly, its the birthplace of many Italian stereotypes. Its described as a busy, dirty and dangerous city (much like Johannesburg, which is why I was skeptical about this). The city that took me by surprise and one that left me wanting more.

I only had time to touch on the historical centre of Naples. There, I found a market selling many ceramics and limoncello. There was also a Banksy painting and art museum with 2 works by Andy Warhol.

Naturally, I had a Margherita pizza (also the best pizza I’ve ever had). The prices were very affordable in the south, from food to gifts. I loved the liveliness and felt safe (no pick-pockets during my 3 months in Europe). Next time I’m here, I’d love to take (what seemed to be) an adventure tour through the castle and to explore the subways, which are filled with art and reflective of all of the different influences that have touched the city.

Maybe I loved it because it felt authentic; somewhat untouched by time and tourism. Maybe I loved it because in some strange way, it reminded me of home. Overall, a winning combination of a busy city, food and art.

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Sorrento

Getting closer to the Amalfi coastline is Sorrento, a small costal town. It’s pretty all on its own, with a village centre filled with shops selling sandals and lemon-flavored everything. If you want to be at the coast in a relaxed, charming environment, with plenty of easy access to nearby areas, this is the place to stay.

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