Sunday, June 6, 2010

Saturday Stroll - Downhill

It was a late night Friday night. Well, to be honest, the night ended early Saturday morning. It was a Paella and Sangria spettacolo at what is becoming one of our favorite haunts in Fuorigrotta, the Pitagoras Restaurant. The food was great, the flamenco dancers (from Andalucia) were fantastic, the guitarist and singer reminded me of our time in Andalucia, Spain, and the Sangria did its job.

Arriving home late, we found the crowd at the JenLine pub below our apartment had thinned out so we sat down to catch up with some old friends. Antonio, who you met on last Saturday's stroll was in the mood to reminisce about his childhood, the years just after WWII. Times were tough then, tougher than most of us can imagine now. His five brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents, ten in all cramped into a on room apartment in Casale di Posillipo. Some days the only thing they had to eat was a small piece of bread and broth made from discarded pea and bean pods. Meanwhile, the rich would crowd into the restaurant that is now Reginella's and the young kids would stare into the windows dreaming of what it would be like to have a real meal.

We finally made it upstairs just a few hours before sunrise and put our weary bones to bed. A cool breeze snuck through the window shutters waking us up just before noon. Stumbling to the kitchen I put on the caffe, and we followed it with a hearty Neapolitan breakfast of melon, prosciutto crudo, and fresh squeezed OJ. Shaking the self-induced cobwebs from our head we started the day. Normal stuff, you know, the life of a twitter, blogger, apartment dweller in Napoli.

As the bright afternoon sun started its descent, we grabbed our cameras and headed out the door. Since we  took a right and headed up the hill last Saturday, we took a left and headed down the hill. Not only do we love the views this way, we also both knew that at the end of this journey, we would find a Cappucino Freddo and Caffe del Nonno waiting for us at Chalet Ciro in Mergellina, one of the best pasticcerias in the city.

There are no "you have to see" monuments this way, with perhaps the exception of the forever photographed Palazzo Donn'Anna.

There is, however, an endless and priceless panoramic view of the Gulf of Naples, the city, Vesuvio and Capri. Flowers are everywhere, whether they're in gardens, on terraces or simply in boxes on the many balconetti along the way.We pass restaraunts setting up for the receptions of the many June weddings here. We catch a glimpse of Castel Sant'Elmo looking down on the city. 

Further down we walk by Bagno Elena,  Bagno Sirena and Bagno Ideal, three of Naples best bathing beaches. It's still early in the season and the chairs are lined up like red, yellow and blue soldiers. 

The beach has been smoothed, and the only footprints you see were made by the sand zamboni operator.

One last turn, a walk around Largo Sermoneta, and we have a seat at one of the yellow tables at Chalet Ciro. See you next Saturday!

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