While we’d technically flown into Rome and boarded the Royal Princess cruise ship at Civitavecchia we only really had one stop in Italy and that was in Naples which is where we found ourselves on the morning of our second day on board. Naples didn’t look a particularly nice place if I were to be completely honest but the mix of architectural styles that I could see from our balcony was pleasing with elements of modernity mixed in with some distant, ancient buildings and some gorgeous brutal design in the port area. The weather was a little overcast and it had been raining just prior to our arrival.

The brutalist design present in the impressive but abandoned Casa Del Portuale building (architect: Aldo Loris Rossi) was the stand out piece on view…

…unless you count Mount Vesuvius which could be seen from up on deck, of course.

We’d booked an excursion with Princess Cruises for our day in Naples as we like to make sure we’re taken care of and in safe hands for our first time in any new port (we talked to some people at dinner that evening who had headed to Capri on their own but had run into traffic problems on the way back, had to ring the ship to let them know they might be late (but nobody answered the emergency number!), and had their taxi driver weaving in and out of vehicles at over 100 kph to get them back on time).

The main point of our excursion was to visit the nearby excavation of the buried town of Herculaneum (photos and review in the next portfolio post) but as is the way with many cruise ship trips there was an initial stop to allow people to be persuaded to part with more money for things they never thought they wanted. In this case it was a cameo-making workshop which couldn’t have interested us less on paper but was actually quite fascinating to take a look at up close. We got to hear a little bit of history about making cameos and there was no denying the skill involved but the pieces just weren’t to our tastes.


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