Espresso served hot, rich, never bitter and with a creamy head, like a caffeinated, non-alcoholic Guinness. In Napoli they have their own sweet and savory versions of coffee drinks, their quality roasts are never acidic or dull, they would never dream of serving up a cappuccino (sometimes) Roma-style – lukewarm with 20 minute old foam – but are hot, foamy, and always fresh. And they have this divine beverage: nocciola, espresso with ground roasted hazelnuts and a little sugar made into a hazelnut cream.

I have to restrain myself in Naples cafés otherwise I would stalk the café barkeeps and photograph and video their coffee making and ask them a hundred questions on their process in really bad Italian. A wonderful thing about Naples cafés are their wonderfully low key, around the corner neighborhood places to imbibe espresso and the most luxurious, art nouveau paradise, extra fancy grand caffes to choose from. Sit down after a long day of walking or sightseeing, or stand up at the bar as locals do, and pay half price!

As far as worrying about visiting this old Grande Dame of a city; as long as you keep your valuables in your hotel or rental safe and don't wear flashy watches or jewelry (pickpockets) you'll be fine. Granted the city has it’s grotty moments like any ancient city or city with an employment and crime issue but if you have your wits about you, stick in touristy areas at night, stay out of ghettos, see the old Greek neighborhood Spaccanapoli, hang at Piazza Plebiscito day or night, hit Caffe Gambrinus, get chocolates at Gay Odin on (noisy, dusty, busy but family filled Via Toledo) and see art and sculptures at Archeologico and Capidimonte, admire the architecture, and then you'll have a great time. The best part is taking day trips island to island on Capri, Ischia, Proccida, or around the Amalfi Coast. Pompeii is a hop, skip, and a jump away. There are so many funny, hilarious, crazy, cool moments in Naples, just go already. And drink the coffee and eat the delicious fresh local food!

Rebecca PriceComment