9 of Europe’s Best Funicular Railways

Funicular in Bergen

They go up, they go down, and they show a side of things you can’t get anywhere else. Sure, funicular railways might have their roots in yesteryear, but they’re still one of the most sought after attractions on the tourist trail. From heritage cars to sleek, modern cabs, Europe sports some of the most visually spectacular funicular rides on the planet. Here’s a bucket list of ten of the best ... Read Full Article

Sfogliatelle – Naples’ Delicious Pastry


  Sfogliatelle is the hard-to-pronounce name for a delicious filled pastry that is as Neopolitan as Neopolitan pizza. Food lovers in Naples might traverse the town, sampling from the most famous pasticcerias (pastry shops) and comparing the sweet fillings and flaky crusts.  But me? I first discovered sfogliatelle quite accidentally when I wandered into the café attached to the Napoli ... Read Full Article

10 Best Souvenirs to Bring Home from Napoli

Pasta Shop in Naples

  In the heart of Naples’ historic district, three narrow streets filled with antique stores offer unique handmade souvenirs and gifts at budget-friendly prices. You will also find a classic Italian experience entirely free. In the midst of temptation, I discovered ten great Neapolitan gifts for 10€ or less. Just off Via Duomo, Via dei Tribunali runs past the San Lorenzo Maggiore ... Read Full Article

Hidden Treasures in Naples’ Santa Chiara

Santa Chiara Cloister's Columns

  I had never considered becoming a nun. In fact, in my on-going quest to decide on a career, it may have been one of the few occupations I had not entertained. And yet, in the courtyard of the Santa Chiara Cloister, tucked away from the busy streets of surrounding Naples, sitting on a bench painted with a vivid blue and yellow ship sailing into a lemon-framed port, smelling the orange ... Read Full Article

Hiking to the Top of Mount Vesuvius

Mt. Vesuvius from a distance

  Mount Vesuvius in August was dry, dusty, hot, and absolutely worth the effort. By the time the rusted clock at the Pompei Scavi train station ticked around to noon, I had already spent four hours in the ruins of Pompeii and was therefore thirsty, footsore, and sunburnt. From the station platform, Mount Vesuvius loomed in the distance, a dark blue outline in a pale blue sky. I ... Read Full Article

Where to Stay in Naples: Editor’s Picks

  Deciding where to stay in Naples, Italy isn’t as easy as in most European cities. Naples has some iffy neighborhoods, rife with pickpockets. These neighborhoods are also home to incredible pizzerias, mom and pop stores, and ancient churches; and they give Naples its vibrant atmosphere, making it one of my favorite cities in the world. Still, you’ll probably want to visit these ... Read Full Article

A Sacred and Strange Walk through Naples

I planned to let my feet lead me on my walk through Naples. But first, I dug out the Alibus schedule I had acquired upon arriving at the Capodichino Naples Aeroporto and rode the worn-down and aptly named Alley Bus through a honeycomb of narrow streets cramped with double-parked cars and impromptu street café seating.  Horn-bleating scooters flitted carelessly amidst the battered buses and fleet ... Read Full Article

Where Myth And Reality Meet: Capri, Ischia, and Ponza

  Several islands are located within a short ferry-ride from Naples, Italy; and Capri, Ischia, and Ponza are the most popular. In choosing which island to visit, it’s helpful to know their personalities because each is unique. To begin, the islands can all be reached from either of Naples’s ferry terminals. Molo Beverello is the larger terminal, located on the eastern section of Naples’s ... Read Full Article

Planning Your Italy Vacation: From Rome to Lecce

  In the last edition of Planning your Italy Vacation, I wrote about traveling north from Rome, with Venice as the final destination. In this post we’ll explore the alternative: traveling from Rome southward. This alternative will be attractive to travelers who have already seen the major sights in the north of Italy, and to travelers who prefer to tread the less-beaten path. I suggest ... Read Full Article

Mattie Reviews Six Pizzerias in Naples, Italy

If you’re only in Naples for a few days and want to eat the best pizza and avoid disappointment, these reviews offer a few good options. One word of advice: If you approach a pizzeria and there’s a line out the door, as there often is, do not hesitate to push your way through the crowd and get your name on the list; it’s the only way to secure a table. My love affair with Neapolitan pizza began in ... Read Full Article