In September 2008, Doug Bartlett set out with his family to travel the world. First stop: Italy. Doug’s chronicle of this experience in his blog, Inspire and Shine, offers many useful tips to parents who may plan to chart a similar path. As you can see from the below blog excerpt, fun and adventure await in the city of Naples with kids! (And don’t forget to check out the very useful Napoli Green Map Doug recommends.)
We caught the train in from the Pompei Scavi (Villa Dei Misteri) stop. The train had lots of stops, and about 45 minutes later we arrived at Piazza Garibaldi. There we found the 201 bus to take to the National Archeological Museum. The Arte Card kit has a set of bus route maps which came in very handy.
We hopped off at the Piazza Cavour, which happens to be a train (subway) station, and found a delightful children’s playground. So the kids had a run and a swing and a climb on some interesting structures. We grabbed a caffe’ and gelati at a small caffeteria by the playground, then headed for the National Archeological Museum, which was closed! Should have read our guidebook I guess. So we walked on to the main east-west street(s) Via Toledo, Via E Pessina, Via S. Teresa Degli Scalzi and squeezed onto the bus going to the Capodimonte Museum.
Hopping off before the museum grounds, we walked a short way up the road, looking down over Naples and lots of old clothes hanging in the trees. Yes, there were old clothes hanging in the trees, looking as if they’d been thrown there off the road, but why? The museum grounds (grass and trees) were extensive, so we made a note to look around there after our visit.
Our visit to the museum was a little hurried: both Liam and Joseph were antsy and didn’t want to spend time admiring the paintings. I was intrigued to find a small-scale reproduction of Michelangelo’s Last Judgement (from the Sistine Chapel), and Kylie and I were entranced by “Venus and Love” (which we also tried unsuccessfully to find a poster of in the bookshop).
Outside, Joseph joined a group of older kids playing soccer while Liam went for a walk with Kylie. Then back on the bus and down to Via Toledo. Our next idea was to visit the castle of St Elmo (to see if it is bright red and furry like, well, you know who). By luck the street I chose to walk down led us straight to the base of the hill where we took a ride on the Funiculare, a sloping tram that goes up and down the Montesanto.
But St Elmo was also closed! Even though the Arte Card book said it should be open. We could have viewed inside the Certosa Di San Martino but decided instead to walk down the hill using the stair that leads off from the Certosa. The views offered a photo opportunity. Eventually, we found our way back to Via Toledo, and then followed the signs to McDonalds at the Piazza Municipio. That McDonalds had a large underground dining area with small playground so again appetites and play needs were satisfied.
We decided to make our way back up the Via Toledo, window shopping, toy shopping (the boys found a large two-storey toy shop), and luggage shopping, and then eating gelato. We purchased two very cheap trolley suitcases (€20 and €25) at one of the luggage shops, and later caught yet another bus back to the train station ready for our next blunder: yes, this time we were at the right platform, but I interpreted “SRNO” to mean “Sorrento” when in fact it was the Sarno train. Shortly after departing we figured out we were on the wrong train so changed trains at Barra. The first change only went as far as Torre Del Greco, so then we had to wait for another train to get us to Pompei Scavi. Three trains and some time later we were home.Add to favorites