We caught the overnight train to Naples and Ischia (an island in the Bay of Naples pronounced EES-KEE-YAH). After we arrived Naples (at the Napoli Centrale Station), we took a 45-minute walk to the Port of Molo Beverello and then a 1.25-hour ferry journey to Ischia. Our first glimpses of Naples was litter everywhere, scooter riders darting here and there in the traffic, honking horns constantly, traffic chaos, and parking in every conceivable spot, no matter where. We tried crossing the roads and just had to take a deep breath and walk - no rules.
Ischia is interesting, with houses built up the sides of every hill, and it has been renowned as a place to come for the thermal waters since the Roman times. Our resort has a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi with thermal waters piped in (#2256 – not ideal, but okay). Not a lot of English is spoken, but there were surprisingly a lot of German tourists, with menus in Italian and German. We awoke on our first morning to the sound of gunfire, but it was the just the locals hunting wild doves in the woods nearby. Ischia Porto is nice, with lots of little streets opening into plazas lots of shops, cafés, etc. We had lots of pasta and ice cream.
We spent another wonderful day looking around Pompeii and caught the Circumvesuviana train from Napoli Centrale, passing Mt. Vesuvius, and then going on to Pompeii. This was such an experience. The city dates back to the 6 or 7th century AD; was badly damaged by a violent earthquake 62AD; and then on 24 August 79AD, was buried under ash and rock. This has been an ongoing excavation site since 1748, and it still continues to be one today, with a lot still remaining to excavate. It was an advanced civilization, especially in the arts, with a lot of painting still remaining on interior walls of the houses. You can still see the wheel tracks worn into the stone roadways. So great! Next time I would also like to visit Herculanium nearby.
Another day we set off on the 40-minute ferry to the island of Capri. This is much smaller in area than Ischia but where all the beautiful people holiday. There were lots of white houses on the sides of hills again. There were also great views from Anacapri in the hills and Porto Capri on the coast.
We decided to spend Saturday looking around Napoli and investigated Museo Archologico Nazionale to see their world-class, exquisite treasures from Pompeii.
Rome is just under a 2-hour train journey from Naples.