We arrived at Napoli after sleeping with our mats and bags in the boat. If we continue with this path, we will have to change the name of the blog and putting “Poliki Poliki Itsasontzian”, “little by little in the boat”.
We met with Francesco in the afternoon. He was our WarmShower contact in Napoli. And meanwhile we could enjoy the Napolitan hospitality.
Napoli has a reputation for being a dangerous and chaotic city, but the influence of all the cultures that have passed by it and their current reality, give it a special charm. From the first minute, we felt that we were in the South of Italy, where people are more spontaneous and they are very curious. They like know about you.
In the Piazza del Plebiscito (a Borbon gift by his many years of invasion), we met Mauricio. With him we started to know a little about of the Neapolitan reality, history and idiosyncrasies and he let us clear the Italian southern has little to do with the North. He gave us his telephone number, very easy.
We also realized very soon that for the Neapolitans, that the authentic pizza is from Napoli. It is the best pizza in the world. Knowing this does not take us long to try it.
The volcano Vesuvius is part of the Neapolitan landscape and according to them has a great influence. They say that the Neapolitan people live the day without thinking much about the future and that the cause is that Vesuvius is asleep and at any time can wake up. So it is better don’t worry to much about tomorrow… from time to time it could be a great idea have a volcano close to you.
We spent our days in Napoli at home of Francesco, Federica, Elisa, and Sara. They live in an old quarter of Napoli, in a House that has four hundred years. Spend these days in this neighborhood has brought us very good sensations, the environment that exists in it is being lost in many other places. It is a neighborhood alive, full of small shops where you can find everything you need for your everyday life, bakery, fishmongers, butchers, greengrocers, Church, pizzeria, upholstery, car workshop and the wine shop… they give a nice color and special heat to its streets have no price in this 21st century. Ah! in the pizzeria, pizza to 2.5 euros… and bonissimas.
We had the luxury of having Francesco as a night guide and one more time we were understanding that Napoli is different, with their customs, their own language and their way of looking at life that, in some cases, can be chaotic, making you reflect where we are going and how we are going…
It was also interesting to hear the stories of this biketraveller, pioneer in Napoli, and learn a little of the culinary traditions of the South of Italy and especially of Napoli. Here the pasta and its preparation are a religion, as well as the amount of pasta types and combinations that have . It was a pleasure to be able to try them out and enjoy the moment.
A few days later we went to the East towards Bari. We decided to leave Naples by train because we feel that entrances and exits to the big cities are unprepared for bicycles and for us.
We take the train direction Potenza and we feel like in Andalusia… White villages and castles…olives trees…
Large areas of plantations typical of southern Europe, which were brown when we started the trip in Andalucia almost four months ago, and which now has its characteristic green colour.
Again we enjoyed the hospitality of the people, it was easy to find place to sleep. We were safe once again from wind and rain. This time we spent the night on a farm where we could drink milk newly ranked.
Many people have come to ask the typical questions that we like to respond.The horns tend to be an interesting thermometer to feel the hospitality of the place. Although sometimes we get scared much…
We arrived at Bari, where Paco, Alesandra and Bianca were waiting us. Their welcome so close and loving, makes us reflect once more on the amount of excellent people that exist in the world.
We walk the narrow streets of the old quarter, with Paco, who he explain us the history and reality of this maritime city, a key city in the time of the Crusades and many people still consider it as the gateway to the East. In Bari we felt also, that the people of the South has a different philosophy. As in Napoli, Bari is filled with small shops that are very alive. Think, that they opened a Carrefour and they had it to close… Well done!
The economic, social and political reality of Italy that we have known, make us think that they will still get many changes for the lands where Don Quixote and Sancho, rode at ease.
In Bari, Paco puts us in contact with Katherina, a Greek girl who gives us contacts and references of his country. She says that his mother already is waiting for us in a small village in the North. We do not know how to say thank to her, but we are already feeling Greece.
Well, we hope this is the last ship in a long time. We are going to Igoumenitsa, in the North of Greece to try to go slowly towards Turkey, although we are aware that winter is here and that the cycling will be “different”.