I was 16 visiting southern Italy on a Geography field trip, and we were quickly shuffled away from ‘dangerous’ Naples to the tourist safe haven of the Amalfi Coast. Ever since, I drew a mental no-go zone around the Campanian capital, and despite the lure of history and food, I felt a sense of unease at the thought of a visit.
Now, I am living in the Italian region of Abruzzo for three months, just 3 hours east from Napoli. It wasn’t long before the lure of the world’s best pizza was too strong to keep me away, so my boyfriend and I hopped on the bus and headed west.
We booked a highly-rated B*B — Buonanotte y Buongiorno — for four nights, from which we planned to explore the best of Naples and its surrounds. We had read about the wonderful owner and his Tripadvisor-famous breakfasts, and we were sold.
Built into the side of the mountain, with outstanding views over Mount Vesuvius and the city centre, Buonanotte & Buongiorno is a welcome escape from the craziness beneath, yet it’s within arm’s reach when you are ready to re-enter it.
Just across the street from the funicular station, which takes you one very fast stop down to Montesanto, you have access to a lively market street that took me back to Asia and your pick of authentic bars and restaurants.
The only downside of the location is that the funicular stops running at 10pm, after which you’re left with a very steep and dark walk back up the mountain.
When you walk into Adreio’s place, you can tell it has been lived in and loved. Which it was for 10 years. We booked the twin room, which was charmingly decorated with colourful art.
After meeting with Adreio the following morning at breakfast (we had arrived late so had been left a key to let ourselves in), he kindly moved us to the split-level double room as no one else was arriving. Wow. With a mezzanine level for the bed and unobstructed views over Vesuvius, we were chuffed to say the least.
To top it off, it was a full moon that evening and the moon rose perfectly above Vesuvius’ central cone. After messing around with exposures and what not, we agreed that it was a moment a camera simply could not capture — so we sat back and soaked it up along with our bottle of Prosecco.
Bed, bathroom, and all the things you sometimes forget about when the view is so great, were more than you could expect for accommodation at this price range. And after witnessing our little Prosecco-out-of-a-mug session the night before, we arrived back to wine glasses in our room the following evening. We got the hint.
As promised, breakfast was fantastic. Like many non-Italians, I was still getting used to the idea of a sweet breakfast, but, when in Rome (or Naples…). Each morning, Adreio picked up a variety of fresh handmade pastries from the local forno, and offered us our choice of coffee. The highlight, though, was the breakfast chit-chat.
I’m generally not much of a talker in the morning (or any time, really), but Adreio really knows Naples. He is the sort of knowledgeable local you dream of bumping into at the start of every trip. For every suggestion we had, he came back with a better, local version of it. In other words, minus the tourists and minus the entrance fee.
All in all, I highly recommend a stay at Adreio’s place next time you visit Naples. There are a variety of rooms, including a dorm room if there are a few of you. The price is more than reasonable, the location is spot-on and you leave feeling like you experienced something a little bit extra special.
Oh, and the pizza was great — of course.