One word: Spontaneous.
With one extra day to spare, we weren't sure about how to spend our last day in Italy. Do we stay in Rome? Do we go back to Florence to visit the Uffizi or Accademia Galleries? Or should we head south and explore Naples? With the day full of possibilities, we decided to get ready for the day and just go with the flow.
My brother found some train tickets departing Roma Termini towards Naples (also known as Napoli) at about 11:45am, so we decided to head further south of the Italian peninsula for our final day of vacation. After a quick stop to Sant' Eustachio Il Caffè, for some Cappuccinos and pastries for breakfast, we made our way to the train station.
After experiencing a minor delay with our train, we were finally on our way. The ride lasted a little over an hour, and offered beautiful and scenic views of the countryside.
When we arrived, it was time to get some lunch. After losing our parents for half an hour, my brother found them standing in line for Zia Esterina Sorbillo, a local hotspot for fried pizza. My mother was pretty excited to be trying something new, and up until this point, fried pizza was a very foreign concept to us. When we got our order, we were met with a large, crescent shaped, hot pocket like fried pizza. It was delicious, light, crispy on the outside, and crisp on the inside. The pizza bread reminded me a lot of a pizza since the crust was so thin. Nonetheless, everyone enjoyed the meal.
Fried pizza from Zia Esterina Sorbillo.
After lunch, it was time to head to Santa Lucia. Considering the wider streets and heavier flow of traffic in the city, we were actually shocked that Uber was unavailable. As opposed to taking a taxi into the coast, we decided to walk instead.
40 minutes later, we arrived at Santa Lucia, the beautiful costal region of Naples. The water was this rich turquoise color, and there were empty row boats just floating in the water. We thoroughly enjoyed the area as the breeze was fresh, the views were gorgeous, and the dock was peaceful. That was the first time that we saw water on the western coast of Italy. It was absolutely beautiful!
After spending about 30-40 minutes on the coast, we decided to head to Quartieri Spagnoli, a popular area in Naples for local shopping. This area reminded me a lot of the cliché vibes that a lot of us foreigns think of when we think of Italy. The clothes changing across the buildings, narrow street ways, lots of vespas and vehicles, and of course artisanal and high end shopping. We managed to do some shopping before our train back to Rome, which was quite nice.
The indoor shopping mall architecture was exquisite. The roof was a glass dome and and the brick buildings nicely complimented the overall design of the mall. I was blown away.
At approximately 6pm, it was time to head back to the train station. We boarded the train at about 7:25pm and headed back to Rome for our last dinner in Italy.
Our last dinner was quite hysterical. With many places already closed, we settled on a mom and pop Italian restaurant. I was so tired, I can't even remember the name of it. We were greeted by the host as if we had just entered a Disney theme park. The loud music was that of what you would hear from a cliché version of an Italian restaurant, and the decor was a bit hokey. Nonetheless, we had an excellent dinner and some final laughs to wrap up our trip. Afterwards, we headed back to our hotel to rest up before our flight home the next day.
The following morning, we woke up early and departed for the airport at around 8am. It was a busy time, as we barely made it to our check-in time for our layover in Zürich. Once in Zürich, we did what any chocolate lover would do and stocked up on some delicious Swiss chocolates before boarding our flight home to Los Angeles.
After a 12 hour flight, we finally made it home. I skipped dinner and went straight to bed from exhaustion and jet lag. It had been an extremely long day. I'm slowly getting better as we speak. I think I'm almost 100% better. Looking back, I had the most incredible trip of the year, and was glad to have been able to spend it with my family. It was nice to be able to introduce them to a part of the world that I love.
Coming back to California, I couldn't help but feel a little bit sad. By the end of any trip, I'm usually so elated to return home. I genuinely had an amazing time on this trip, and I think part of me wanted to stay longer. Of course, it does feel good to finally be back home. I'm already getting the urge to travel again, but I think I'll wait a little bit longer before I take another big trip.
Where should I go next? London? Brazil? Cuba? Tokyo? Greece? Morocco? Let me know your thoughts and recommendations! If you have any questions about anything from my travels, please feel free to reach out to me via Instagram or Twitter via @Tran_gerine.
Until next time!