In case you missed it, here was my first wedding recap post about how we went about planning our wedding in Italy:
Arriving in Italy: Naples
As mentioned in my previous post, we had some legal things to take care of when we first got to Italy, so we made sure to get there at least 4 days before our wedding day. We left St. Louis on Wednesday, June 6th, had a layover in Frankfurt, Germany, and then finally arrived in Naples around noon on Thursday, June 7th.
Pretty much our only mishap of the entire trip (besides my bedside fan blowing up when I plugged it into the converter later that same day) happened when we arrived at the Naples Airport.
Having 2 weeks worth of luggage + a rather cumbersome wedding dress to lug around, we thought it would be a good idea to get a luggage cart. However, you needed euro coins to get a cart and all we had were bills. So naturally, Justin went off to see if he could break one of the bills for change, and after about 40 minutes of waiting I became concerned…
When he finally returned, I found out he had walked outside some automatic doors, not thinking it would be a problem to come back in the same way, but as you can probably guess, he happened to be incorrect about this. Instead, when he tried to come back in he was grabbed by the Italian police who started yelling at him in Italian (at which point it occurred to Justin what he had forgotten to bring on the trip–basic Italian speaking skills).
Luckily, Justin finally found someone who spoke English and they told him that he would have to go back all the way back around the building and through security. During his adventures, Justin did not happen to acquire any change for a cart, so carry our luggage like pack mules we did.
Mules may be stubborn, but they are strong. Remember that.
First we checked into the bed and breakfast that we would be staying for the night and took a quick power nap.
(Regarding jetlag: I did feel like I hadn’t slept in a century when I first laid down to take a nap, and I felt like I had been dead for that long when I woke up about 2 hours later, but after I got up and showered, I felt completely back to normal)
This was the door to get to our B & B. It’s hard to see but there was actually a normal size door within the big door. I felt like Alice in Wonderland or something (although the food in this land did not require a little note with instructions to eat it, I just did that all on my own, no prompting necessary).
Feeling refreshed and energized from our nap, we were ready to start exploring!
After just a short walk and we were at the Piazza del Plebiscito, the center of modern Naples. On the piazza is San Francesco di Paola, a huge domed church.
And Palazzo Reale, the Royal Palace, is across the square:
There was so much to see and learn about Italian culture in just the first ten minutes of exploring.
A great way to sight-see in Naples is to take a stroll along the Lungomare, Naples’ seafront promenade. The Lungomare extends for nearly two miles, curving along the Gulf of Naples from the Mergellina neighborhood to the Castel dell’Ovo, Naple’s oldest castle.
As we walked towards Castel dell’Ovo, we saw that there were some places to eat there, which I thought would be cool. We even got to hear some lovely violin music being played by a cute little old man as we walked.
The closer we got, however, we realized that he was not so little and also not so cute–especially when he took a swipe at Justin with his violin bow for snapping a picture.
I guess they don’t care for the paparazzi in Italy, either. Anyway, the promise of authentic Napoli pizza really helps put things into perspective (pizza>violin bow assault).
And oh, the pizza. One of my favorite memories of Italy, and where else to experience our first bite of it than outside a castle in Naples with a street musician playing the accordion accompanied by a dog singing along in the background. Check it out!
After dinner, we went a different way than we came, and enjoyed the sights just as much (for some reason, we didn’t snap as many pictures though, I think we were still thinking about the pizza).
One of the views I did not enjoy as much was the dramatic PDA that is apparently a popular pastime of Napoli teenagers and young adults. We saw numerous teen couples that would be strolling along and then as if on cue, stop abruptly to partake in said PDA (abruptly as in we almost ran into a few of them). Please note the couple in the middle of the street.
When I first saw the above picture, my heart briefly stopped because I thought that the guy to my left was Jude Law. After zooming in I discovered that I was in fact mistaken, but it was a nice thought while it lasted.
On the way back we did take another stroll through Piazza del Plebiscito. Looks like a completely different place at night!
Even though we were only in Naples for one day, I feel like we were able to do and see a lot! Definitely a nice welcome to Italy (aside the airport debacle).
Then it was off to bed. A car service was coming to pick us up bright and early the next morning to take us to the United States Consulate in order to take care of a few more items in the process of making sure our marriage would be legal.
After our appointment, it was time to take the long, winding trip up the Amalfi Coast to the little town of Ravello, where we would be married in just three days:)
To be continued…