Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Italy Day 5: Naples

On our fifth day, we bid farewell to our beloved Sorrento and took the ferry over to Naples. The port in Naples was  a 15 minute walk to the Palazzo Decumani hotel, which felt longer because we were dragging our suitcases across cobblestone pavement while dodging dog poop. Needless to say, by the time we got to the Palazzo Decumani, we were cranky, tired, and a bit sweaty.

Since we only had 18 hours in Naples, our only plan was to do some shopping at La Reggia designer outlet and eat some delicious pizza. Unfortunately, getting to the outlet was more challenging than it should have been. According to the website, there are shuttles leaving Naples from 9:30am - 3:30pm everyday. I thought that meant there would be several shuttles running throughout the day in between those times so we arrived at the stop at 12:00pm. Turns out that there are only 2 shuttles - one at 9:30am and one at 3:30pm. Doh! We ended up wasting a lot of time and money taking a train and cab to get to La Reggia. Even though the shuttles are still 10 euros a person, it's still the best way to go.

The only stores I was really interested in checking out were Prada and Valentino, as I was looking to add to my Italian designer handbag collection. I wouldn't recommend designer outlet shopping for fashionistas that like to be on-trend. I can't pull off most trends anyway, so I don't worry about having the latest fashion. At these price points, I want to pick classic styles that I know I'll love for years to come.

As a point of reference for you global outlet shoppers - the Prada outlet at La Reggia was a lot smaller than the ginormous one in Arezzo but bigger than the one in Hong Kong. Back in 2011, a lot of the large leather Prada and Miu Miu totes at the outlet in Arezzo were 500-600 euros. This time around in La Reggia, I saw similar styles (and in some cases, the exact same styles) for approximately 50-100 euros more. I didn't find one that was right for me, as they were all large and slouchy and I was looking for a medium-sized structured bag like the Saffiano tote or satchel. They did have plenty of Saffiano wallets in a variety of colors. I got a blush colored saffiano wallet back in 2011 but it started peeling at the corners after 18 months so I decided not to get another one. I'm really careful with my luxury leather goods, so I was disappointed that the construction was so shoddy. So in retrospect, maybe it was better that I didn't find a Saffiano tote.

Luckily, I found a lovely Valentino tote for a great deal. It's an old style from a few years ago but I think the duffle bag style is simple and classic enough to be fairly timeless. At least I think it is, I can't guarantee people won't see me with this bag and think "omg she is so 2010!" Ah well, I never claimed to be on trend. :)

I typically only buy leather bags that can be worn on the shoulder and this duffle bag breaks both of those rules - but for 180 euros (marked down from 600 euros), I'm okay with that! I love that the black lace is different from anything else I own (not that I own very many bags to begin with) but is still practical (waterproof!) and easy to match. It's a little slouchy, which I normally dislike but somehow in this style, it works. I checked the label to confirm that it was made in Italy. After all, what's the fun of a European designer handbag if it's not actually made in Europe?

I don't really follow Valentino fashion so I'm not quite up to speed on their latest styles. I've seen lots of bloggers with Rockstud heels and bags in the last few seasons, which I didn't see at the outlet, but I did see some Rockstud sunglasses at Valentino. Ultimately, I decided to pass, as I knew that I couldn't pull them off. I would have liked to buy a few more things at La Reggia, given the steep discounts but I wasn't going to buy something just because it was a really good deal. Plus, my idea of good deal is not always the same as Jeff's! But even he agreed that the Valentino bag was a very reasonable price. 

We got back to Naples at 6pm, feeling hungry and ready for some delicious pizza. We decided to walk by the pizza place Elizabeth Gilbert raved about in Eay Pray Love, L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele. We had heard about the infamous long lines and resolved to skip it if the wait was more than a few minutes. After all, there had to be more than one delicious pizza place in Naples, the birthplace of pizza. Luckily for us, no one in Italy eats dinner at the ridiculous hour of 6pm so there was no line at all!

We ordered two normal margherita pizzas, as we love cheesy pizza. Looking back at these pictures, we probably should have tried a double mozzarella. But normal was still good! The dough was salty, which Jeff complained about. But he was in a bad mood from shopping and from all our transportation mishaps of the day so I think it skewed his perspective of our meal. He feels like I should know better than to fall for luxury branding and ridiculous price markups - after all, I work in marketing! A conversation for another day...:)

After a long day, we went back to the hotel and redeemed our free drinks at the bar. The staff was also gracious enough to serve us complimentary sfogliatelles - they were delicious! And with that, we made our way up the winding staircase to our room and concluded our final night in Italy. While I'm not typically big on old world charm, I thought this was a really cool view.

This trip to Italy was pretty short but still awesome. I can only hope that we're lucky enough to return to Italy one day!


  1. I'm glad you didn't find any Rockstuds, actually---I feel that even though the style is on trend right now, bloggers have overdone it and these items will look dated within a few years. Your choice is much more subdued and less likely to lose its luster next year.

    Another Beautiful Thing

    1. That's what I was thinking - thanks for the validation! ;)