Subject: Re: Naples, Italy in March 2003
Hi Frances, Inspired by your plans, Catherine and I beat you to it - but you get the benefit of our debugging!

Just a few hints based on our trip to Naples # the deal from Alitalia is really good!
>From the airport to the Domitiana, the cheapest and most direct way is to take the special airport bus (fixed fair of 2# valid for 90 minutes on all transportation). It leaves every 30 minutes on the half hour. Then get off at Piazza Garibaldi (it's the main bus terminal and the first stop) and take the 152 bus. It goes right along Viale Kennedy and you get off at Edenlandia (an amusement park). The Domitiana is across the street. A cab ride will cost about 25#. And the hotel is pretty good # we've stayed in far worse. My web search showed the Domitiana to be about 500m from the Campi Flegrei metro stop. Caution # they're using new math for this one; it's about 3 times as far. But it's only 100m from Edenlandia station on the Cumana line. We found that to be the most direct route into Central Naples (one-way tickets 0,77#, again valid for 90 mins on all transportation). But the terminus (Montesanto) is down a back street # you'll never find it if you don't know where it is, so take your first trip starting at Edenlandia and then take note of how you get to the main street (Toledo). I've never noticed it before, but although the cars drive on the right, the trains are on the left # I'd always thought the trains were on the right too. Unfortunately, this line doesn't run after 10:00 p.m. # in fact it stops to Edenlandia before then, although you can get a connection to Mostra until 10:00 (it's the station before, and very close to the subway Campi Flegrei; i.e. 15 min walk). The subway runs to at least 10:30, but stops before 11:00. The closest metro stop to Domitiana is Cavalleggeiri Aosta (on Line 2), but it's a `can't get there from here' deal. The Cumana line blocks all road traffic, so you have to cross it (at Edenlandia) using a pedestrian bridge (40-50 steps). Then the metro is about 200m east of the bridge down a side street (near a Eurospar supermarket). Again, I suggest you try this in daylight first! You can also switch between Cumana and Metro at Montesanto. The metro is about 200m North of the train (but you can't see one from the other # have to jog around buildings). And a taxi from `downtown' Naples to Domitiana will cost around 10# (about 12# after 10pm # there's a surcharge). I know you've done your research, so won't add to Marco's list except to say our favourite sights were the National Archaeological Museum (rainy day destination) and the Cappella San Severo (spectacular sculptures, but 5# admission). For food # you'll get tired of Pizza, so my recommendation is Taverna Dell'Arte on rampe San Giovanni Maggiore (approach from Mezzocannone). But this is `authentic' rustic food. No pizzas, but sausages and meatballs (best I've ever had). And it's packed. Reservations essential (we got the last table on a Monday night). Unfortunately, the area around the hotel doesn't have exciting restaurants. The best we found was `new math 400 meters' # actually over a kilometre away. It's off the NE corner of the square in front of the football stadium (Campi Flegrei metro; Mostra train), on a side street running roughly N-S (possibly via Gonzaga # we got lost finding it) and is called Gambero Rosso (short street, maybe 150m long; restaurant has canopy outside). No credit cards but simple fare well prepared # the pizza was pretty good too. And wine was cheap. I'm sure you'll take in some of Herculaneum, Pompeii and Sorrento. They're all on the same rail line (Circumvesuviana) and the `easiest' transfer is at Piazza Garibaldi. However, you might consider getting on at the terminus (previous station; Garibaldi is the next stop). Why? Because Napoli pickpockets are world famous and all the tourists change at Garibaldi! They work in teams, and you don't stand a chance. Our encounter was at the station. As the doors open two (at least) push on first, then one stops and turns round immediately, while the second blocks the way to the seats. Then the rest push on behind you. You know it's happening but are probably 5 teamed (at least). Then they all get off at the next station. I've no idea how many pockets were hit, and Catherine's bag was unzipped. But we lost nothing as all our money and valuables were in inside or hidden pockets (the Tilley purchases just paid for themselves). You can risk it if all your valuables are secure, but to be safe just get on a station ahead # the terminus, where there's no rush to get on. But it doesn't connect to the Metro. Another hint! On Saturdays and Sundays you can get a 5# unlimited travel ticket which covers both Naples and all SITA transportation as far as Amalfi (you connect with the `blue' bus at Sorrento). A great deal. The Sunday service is less frequent and Positano is pretty much shut down on Sunday, but you can get good seats on the bus then. We got off in Positano, then continued to Amalfi # except the road was closed because of a landslide/falling rocks, so returned to Sorrento # not a problem! And Capri! You'll love it or hate it. We didn't like it. VERY high prices for the worst food on the trip. And much of it is closed down until the `season'. Check your guidebooks for opening dates. Every restaurant in ours was closed. On that topic, our favourite book was Fodor's Naples, Capri and the Amalfi Coast. The 2002 edition is in the library. Have a great trip. We can compare notes at the next GTG.

Alan Gardner