That allowed us to correct two flaws from our first visit. We hadn’t managed to get to the famed Naples Archeology Museum, and we hadn’t quite made it to the spectacular ruins of Pompeii. I’d seen Pompeii in my European backpacking trip 29 years ago, but I probably appreciated it a little more this time. It’s incredible to see so much of a city that was buried in ash 2,000 years ago. And the museum in Naples is an amazing complement with its vast collection of mosaics and household objects from Pompeii and statuary from throughout antiquity.But we especially just enjoyed wandering around in this utterly unique, chaotic, and colorful city. It teems with life. Every stereotype of Italy, good and bad, is on overdrive here. On the surface, Naples often looks surprisingly like a developing country; you could practically be in Egypt or Jamaica. We stayed right smack in the center of historic Naples, a vast area that feels a bit like a slum. But it’s a slum with Italian flair, overflowing with crumbling monuments, religious shrines, and endless culinary temptations.
So this morning we’ll board a fast train for Rome, where we’ll have just enough time for lunch before we head to the airport. And tomorrow morning we’ll land in Bangkok for a whole new chapter in this great adventure.