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We were well rested and ready to go on our Naples excursion. The tour I picked for the day was "A Taste of Naples: PIZZAS & PIAZZAS". It was a four hour tour that took us to the heart of Naples and dropped us off in front of the Piazza Plebiscito. I'm reading now that we were to tour the Royal Palace, but that didn't happen.
During the drive into town, we passed a shanty town full of lean-to's and cardboard homes. It was sad and depressing and I told Michael "no wonder my family left Italy". The tour guide had the bus driver drop us off right downtown, across a busy street was a famous coffee shop. That's were we were headed. We had been warned on the ship that pick pockets were very aggressive and very good and to be aware of our surroundings at all times and I was nervous where they left us. I had my cappuccino fredo of the day and a sweet roll and Michael had a local beer.
After we were done we decided to walk up the street next to the coffee shop and window shop and take some photographs. The street was pretty shady (no pun intended) though, and I'm really not happy with the way these photos came out. I ended up with just a handful instead of many pictures, but I think I caught the essence of Napoli as I saw it.
the shopping district
the view up
Once our free time was up we found our tour guide who led us with a picket sign with our group number on it. We then drove up a mountain and got out to enjoy a beautiful view over Naples.
After that, we headed back to town for the culinary part of our excursion: Real Napoli pizza. I wasn't impressed so much with the pizza, it wasn't even nearly as good as Grotto's pizza at the beach or Crossroads here at home.
During the excursion, I told the tour guide that my family were immigrants to the US and he asked what their last name was. I told him it was Innamorati in Italy, shortened to Morati at Ellis Island. Innamorati means "lovers" in Italian. My heart skipped a little beat when the tour guide told me Morati means love.. I felt welcomed, at home in a way. But also, I wonder what the Innamorati's did for a living back in Italy? Or maybe their parents - my great grandparents were love birds when they came through Ellis Island and that was the name they were given? Mom says she remembers being told the name was shortened at the harbor.
Whatever the story, I started to feel a heart connection with Italy here in Naples. Despite the warnings of pickpockets and muggings. lol!
Tomorrow... ROME, the Catacombs and another private lunch.
Once again, there are many more photos on Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wishingforpar/sets/72157630471716434/with/7530956822/