On U.S. election day, we flew from Athens, the birthplace of democratic ideals, to Naples, Italy, the land of emperors and Roman conquest. There’s an omen here, folks!
That night, we went to bed as America started voting. We woke at 5 am to learn that a stunning outcome was about to be confirmed. We were in shock.
We wandered Naples all day feeling like strangers in a strange land. And we felt our real home had become a strange land, too. We were grieving.
But even grievers gotta eat! We were in the birthplace of pizza after all. We waited an hour on line outside one of the top rated pizza tavernas in the city–Pizzeria da Michelle. When we were finally seated, we discovered there was exactly one item on the menu. No variations, no salad, nothing but margarita pizza. We ordered two. The sauce was amazing, the cheese was scattered over a thin blistered crust. You eat with a fork and knife and you say “”so that’s Neapolitan pizza!”
We returned to our room, listened to more heartbreaking news. We forced ourselves back out to visit the archaeological museum where giant roman statues of autocratic rulers and mythic gods in the evening-darkened rooms fed our sense of doom. Best to eat again!
Dinner was a garlicky comfort of pasta with clam sauce and grilled fish. Followed by gelato and pastries. Hey, we’re all alone here grieving.
The next day we explored all of Naples. It’s both a beautiful, historic city with spectacular views of Mount Vesuvius and the gleaming port and a gritty, less tourist-oriented urban center. What we could have done without is the “underground tour of Roman ruins.” Best ruins are above ground.
We catch a five pm, 45 minute ferry from Naples to Sorrento where our ginger gum helps reduce our motion sickness in the pre-storm waters.
All day yesterday, A. was feeling like he was getting sick. By night in Sorrento, he was. We had a good dinner at the port and went straight to bed.
Today, Friday, it is raining. A. is definitely sick, I am fighting it. However, we are resting quite comfortably in our genteel hotel facing the sea with clear views of passing ferries, shocking rainbows and intermittent downpours. Its quite pretty and quiet here after bustling Naples.
I wash a few things in the bathroom sink. I write this blog post.
We are waiting for the sun to come out!
I mean this both literally and figuratively. We are ALL waiting…
One lesson of this trip, don’t travel out the of the country during presidential elections.