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We arrived to Naples a day before the start of the Amalfi Coast tour to spend more time exploring the area. After we unpacked at the hotel, we walked around our neighborhood to find dinner and found Osteria Da Carmela.
Naples wins for the city with the best food. A lot of people may find Naples “ghetto” and “dirty” and just a place to stop before heading out to the Amalfi coast. I say give this city a chance and stay tune for more Naples post.
Osteria Da Carmela
Via Conte di Ruvo, 12, 80135 Napoli, Italy
First plate (Primi piatti) – Mezzanelli al scarpariello
Second plate (secondi piatti) – Brasato alla Genovese con Funghi Chiodini
The following night, we met with our tour group at the hotel and had our first dinner at this pizzeria nearby. As you can see, Napoli style pizza is the pizza we are more familiar with in the U.S. — thicker crust and loads of toppings. Also a personal size Napoli pizza is 10 inches in diameter.
Via dei Tribunali, 379, Napoli, Italy
Margarita pizza with burafa (mozarella from buffalo milk) cheese. Throughout our stay in Southern Italy, we ate a lot of burafa.
Lemon granitas — seems to be a specialty dessert in Southern Italy and Sicily.
Fritto misto di mare (mixed fried seafood) — my favorite snack! Found this in some alley in Naples. There’s fried bread, fried squid, fruid anchovies, and fried shrimp.
They were not kidding you can find good gelato everywhere you go. There’s not really a recommended place to go, we ate gelato almost everyday and we had our reasons: long urban hike, long hill hike, it was hot, we’re waiting in line, try a new flavor, etc — all acceptable reasons to eat gelato everyday.
The most expensive gelato would to this one gelateria in Amalfi. These piccolo cones were 5 euros each but they were the largest “small” cones we had. An average piccolo cone would range from 2-2.50 euro for up to two flavors.
Left: Hazelnut (nocciola) and Amalfi — I guess Amalfi has their own flavor.
Rome: These are the average sizes of a piccolo cone.
Left: Mango and blueberry (mirtillo)
Right: Strawberry (fragola) and chocolate (fragola e cioccolato)
Pistachio and…I don’t remember this one. Pistachio was my favorite flavor for the whole trip. K liked mango and coffee the best.
Left: Coffee (caffe) and stracciatella
Right: Chocolate rum (rhum cioccolato) and lemon sorbet (sorbetto al limone)
Left: Mango and coconut (cocco)
Right: Fig (fico) and mint (Menta) — probably the most interesting combination of flavors. I didn’t find a fig flavored gelato in any other gelateria.
Do you have a recommended gelateria in Italy or anywhere else? Or do you have a favorite or interesting gelato flavor you’d like to share? Comment below!
Who wouldn’t smile seeing the world’s largest rubber duck (and its tiny sibling) hanging out at the harbor?
This photo was taken back in August 2014 at the San Pedro Harbor. I’ve seen this duck in photos in Hong Kong and at that time I just left Hong Kong when it arrived. I’m happy to see that this duck made its way to Los Angeles. I asked my fiance (now husband) if we go drive from Van Nuys to San Pedro after work because the duck was leaving in a few days. I’m glad we ventured out through the traffic because it was worth it.
The duck’s journey around the world.
Map of the vaporetti routes
Venice has 118 small island–a lot of them are separated by canals and linked by bridges and then you have islands that are far apart such as Lido, Murano, and Burano. Khoi and I purchased a vaporetti day pass to do some island hopping and cruise around the Venice Lagoon. It’s worth checking out because the islands are all so different and each have a unique history. While you’re cruising, you’ll also notice some ruined buildings floating alone on the lagoon which makes it look like it came from a dream or maybe a movie set.
Lido (population: 21,645)
Lido is very different from the Venice island. It’s basically a suburb and you almost forget you’re on an island. If you are looking to stay and eat in Venice for cheap, then Lido is the place to lodge. On the other end they have an actual beach.
Notice the sign says “camping”.
Treporti (population: 12,897)
Treporti is not an island, but a peninsula in Northern Italy that divides the Adriatic Sea and the Venice Lagoon.
We did not stop at Treporti but it is one of the places we passed on our way to Burano.
Torcello island is the birthplace of Venice. Before this use to be the largest populated area in Venice back in the 10th century. Today there are 10 residents living in Torcello. We wanted to stop at Torcello but very few vaporetti stop there. This photo was taken from the vaporetti on our way to Burano.
Burano (population: about 2,800)
The rainbow ends in Burano — that’s why it’s so colorful. This island is also known for their lacemaking.
…Then there were a bunch of floating ruins along the way to Murano…
Murano (population: about 5,000)
Unfortunately we did not go to Murano to check out the glass factory — we simply did not have enough time.
Here’s a photo from the vaporetti.
We almost did not plan to go to Venice because a lot of people say it’s “okay…but you still need to go.” We weren’t sure about going to a place where people were so underwhelmed upon arrival, but we’re glad we decided in the last minute to book that train ticket to Venice. We were impressed ourselves. It’s a beautiful and very unique city. It made me wonder why people were not impressed with Venice in the first place.
Some blocks, particularly closer to the Grand Canal and St. Mark’s Square were packed with tourists. If you venture a little further out you’ll find some cheaper prices for food, coffee, and souvenirs.
A map of Venice is good to have to help you find and reference landmarks, but it’s so small even if you wander around, you’ll always find your way back to the Grand Canal, Venice’s version of “Main Street”.
How to get there: We took a train from Rome and stopped at Venezia St. Lucia. Expect at least a 3 hour train ride.
Just outside the St. Lucia train station.
Thoughts: Venice deserves another day. We only took a day trip to Venice and just walked around. A majority of our day trip was island via the vaporetti (highly recommended!). On a future Europe trip, we’ll come back to Venice and explore more of the island itself.
People asked us if the water smelled. Not at all. Maybe they came in at the wrong time?
St. Mark’s Campanile – the bell tower
Taking the Vaporetti
The vaporetti is Venice’s public transportation system in a boat. It can take you around the larger canals of Venice or you can go island hopping around the Venice lagoon. Instead of checking out museums in Venice, we decided to check out the smaller islands of Lido, Burano, and Murano (will be on the next blog post). The vaporetti is a cheaper alternative to taking the gondola rides.
The vaporetti ride is pretty neat because you get a nice view of the Venice skyline floating on the water — it looks very magical.
View from our train leaving Venice.
Happy Anniversary to us! It did occur to me this week we’ve been married for a year. Khoi surprised me on Friday by showing up to work during my lunch break. He had to really make sure I wasn’t travelling that day. Today he also arranged a surprise brunch with our friends.
One year went by so fast. Where did it go?
Rose Bowl Half marathon – On a hot February day.
Adopted Teddy — he looks so little in this photo. He gets cuter everyday.
Italy – Still continuing the series. I don’t need to post photos on this entry. We realized we’ll never be on the Amazing Race so why not just venture out to the world. No auditioning required.
Lake Tahoe and enjoyed the (very little) snow in December.
Yosemite –– I plan to post more Yosemite photos, I promise.
We bought a house — It was very exciting and very scary. We had to get use to the idea we were no longer paying $500 per month per person for rent — this means significantly less disposable income. We also had to deal with the realities of home ownership like taking care of all the utility bills, saving up for future renovation projects and furnishings, and overall maintenance of the home. We couldn’t have it any other way because this house could have easily gone to an investor who would flip this house and doubled the value. I’m glad it’s our :-).