Venice & Naples

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IMG_3472Okay, so Naples is in the title, but full disclosure, “Eating in Naples” would be a more appropriate way to describe our brief visit to the city. Our flight from Venice left out of Naples, so after taking the train from the Amalfi Coast we had just enough time to arrive at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele right as it was opening for the day to grab a pie before making our way to the airport. It’s a pretty safe bet that almost any pizza you’ll eat in Italy will be some of the best you’ve ever eaten, but by some accounts this is in fact THE one not to miss.

The pizzeria got lots of attention for being included in Eat Pray Love, and based on the amount of people that arrived first thing in the morning, it doesn’t seem the popularity has slowed at all – and for good reason. Walk in and grab a seat. Wait patiently and one of the gentlemen will come take your order. There are only two types of pizza to choose from: Pizza Margherita (with double mozzarella as an option, go that route) or Pizza Marinara (which is just tomato, garlic, oregano and oil, no cheese). Each pie will run you 4-5 euro and is big enough to be shared if you’re not that hungry, but you might want your own.

IMG_3553Our pitstop in Naples was brief, which was fine with me because it meant we were on our way to Venice. I had been before, but it’s one of those magical places that, with winding streets that suck you in and beautiful old buildings around every turn, feels brand new each time you’re lucky enough to make it there. We stayed in a small hotel, the only room on the top floor that also housed a rooftop deck where we enjoyed breakfast the following morning.

Venice is the perfect place to get yourself lost exploring old streets, bridges and canals, shops and cafes. There are never-ending options for fresh Italian food and small spots to stop for a drink. Look for locals and choose your next stop based on where they seem to be hanging out.

There are certain times that I’m happiest exploring on my own, but in older cities I love a little guidance. We did a free walking tour in Venice and our host was a young local who took us to parts of the city you wouldn’t see on a typical tour. She guided us through old – but not packed with tourists – parts of Venice and shared the history of these places, her favorite local spots, and even provided a map of places carefully selected to take us beyond the “usual” spots. With less than 24 hours in this magical place, we made full use of our time, exploring as much as we could before heading onto the next leg of our journey.

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