Venice and Naples are polar opposite. I was warned that things will get messier as we travel south. It was very true. While I enjoyed the serenity in Venice, Naples gave me a huge surprise as it was totally out of my expectation. Many may know that Venice is filled with canals., but I guess only a few knows that it is like a maze too. As for Naples, I think that the whole place and its society is quite in a chaos.
If you have the opportunity to travel around Europe, Venice should definitely be on your list. It is one of the most beautiful and unique city/island in Europe. Coming from an urban city, it is amusing to see how the residents commute around by feet or boat. No cars or roads at all. You can imagine how laid back the life in Venice is. It is difficult to understand how the resident managed to earn a living. Most businesses seems to be retail and F&B.
The buildings on the island are packed very closely together and every alley looks almost identical. It took some effort to identify the alleys that would lead us to the main attractions. Although I would love to take a Gondola ride, I think it was quite ridiculous to pay 50 euros for it. Instead, we took the public boat ride which cost less than 10 euros. It was worthwhile as the ride made a big round and traveled to the offshore island. It lasted for more than an hour and covered plenty of areas.
Naples is the most corrupted and shady European city I have ever visited. I was in a horror when we first stepped out of the railway. The streets were full of Africans trying to sell "branded" items or having their gamble stores. It was a common sight to see people flipping through the rubbish. It was surprising to see that their main shopping district was jam-packed on a weekday afternoon.
If you intend to visit Naples, you need to have some guts and be alert. It is always best to keep your valuables in the inner pockets and beware of anyone who try to cut your queue. When I was queuing for the train tickets, I met 2 rowdy girls who wanted to try their luck. Although I managed to get my way through, they continued to push me away from the counter and made a lot of noise in their language. Fortunately, the attendant was standing on my side and gave them a scolding.
Nevertheless, I did not regret making our trip there although the place was in a mess and we had 5 hours delay due to an accident where our high-speed train (driving over 300 km/hr) smashed into someone. It was an adventurous trip for me and we managed to see Pompeii. In 79 CE, Pompeii was entirely buried after a volcano eruption. It was only discovered 1500 years later. Human bodies appeared to be small as people from that era were generally in this kind of size.
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