10.07.2021 – Naples, Italy

Via Diodato, Naples, Italy

From the second that I stepped off the FlixBus, I knew this trip was going to be the worst out of all of my Europe stops in 2021. Scratch off the discomfort at the hostel in Spain, the ankle pain I endured after Versailles, and the creepy fellows of downtown Munich at night. Leave it to the Italians to challenge my love for their country. It brought back memories of landing in Athens, Greece and wondering if I had been transported to Tijuana, Mexico instead. Now, I don’t usually give myself airs about certain things, but Naples had that downtown Los Angeles ghetto feel and smell the moment I stepped off that bus. The internal cringe settled in and did not budge the entire trip. I’m sad to report most of the Italians that I came across did not help improve my initial impression. It was an internal tug-a-war for me. The American rolled her eyes and said “whatever, nevermind” alla Kurt Cobain style. The Mexican said, “I dare a bitch to try me today.” The cultured Brit was totally disgusted. If I didn’t develop multiple personality disorder while in Naples, then I’m good.

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One of the main shopping and tourist streets.
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There was nothing particularly wrong with the FlixBus. It was just a long and tiring trip since the connection was exhausting. Though, I will add that the bus driver was nice, but very strict with the COVID-19 vaccinations. And, when I arrived in Naples, it was dark and cold and raining. And, with the streets close to the hostel looking a bit run-down, I was on edge until I settled into my hostel spot. Hostelworld helped me with the booking of my bed at 6 Small Rooms. Okay, so this place is interesting if a bit chaotic. Obviously by this point, I realized how much the descriptions and pictures from Hostelworld vary from the actual hostels once you are there. Not enough travelers go back and give reviews and pictures of locations, myself included. I realized that the equivalent of “catfishing” in dating happens with these hostels. 6 Small Rooms is not strictly a hostel in my opinion; it’s an odd hybrid between a Frat House, a bed and breakfast, and a hostel. There were a lot of younger travelers staying for weeks and months at a time that seemed to make this place home. That came with little nuances and pet peeves of longer-term residents. Thankfully, I was out a lot. The reservation amount was $13.68 and final balance €73.58.

A different view from one of the main shopping and tourists streets.
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At 6 Small Rooms, the check-in dude from London that was volunteering in the country to get some work experience gave me a very informative map of Naples. Even though it was not what I expected, the city does take touring and tourists very seriously. The map had everything marked for a safe trip. If you stuck to the map, you would be okay. So, I did just that and I got through with all my limbs intact. It was great to walk around the city, eat some good food, reach the edge where the coast was visible. One surprising note in all this, whatever happened to COVID-19 worries? So many tourists everywhere! Naples was crowded AF and we were supposedly in a global pandemic. Social distancing was non-existent in the crowds. I obviously opted to wear my mask but not many travelers gave others the same courtesy. Anyway, that was just the first day and a half of my stay in Naples, Italy. By the time I got back to the hostel to rest for Pompeii, I thought my feet would fall off. It was a secret blessing that the shower water ran hot steadily at 6 Small Rooms.

A worn-out me after walking a few miles through Naples to the coast.
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