WWOOF Italia: Napoli Hotel Reservation Fail (Part 1/2)


Be careful when booking a hotel in Naples, Italy. Specifically, one near Garibaldi Train Station.

After five days in Rome, I took a Saturday morning train (the slow, 4-hour train) to Naples where I would spend a couple days knockin’ about until I arrived at my WWOOF destination in Ischia, which is an island twenty miles away.

In 2009, I stayed at Hostel Bella Capri near the port, and had an excellent time. However, on this particular day, I couldn’t book a room online. One of the cheapest options available was Hotel Viola, which was a short walk from the train station. The area is a bit sketchy, but I wasn’t worried as I only needed a place to sleep. So I made a reservation, packed up my bags and returned to ol’ Napoli.

I arrived in the early afternoon carrying my backpack, day bag and computer case. Once I found the Hotel Viola, the man at the front desk gave me a blank look after I told him about my reservation.

“No…no reservation.”

“No, I DID make a reservation this morning.”

“Booking number?”

I didn’t print out my reservation.

“I paid a down payment for a reservation this morning.”

“No..no. Niente. Mi Dispiace.”

It was important to realize where I was. I couldn’t start an argument at a run-down hotel in Naples, Italy. I thanked the gentleman and walked away. Bella Capri. I could get a room at Bella Capri, right? There must be a bed that I can sleep on for a day or two. One would think that, anyways, and not expect to hear “All of Naples is booked.” More on that later.

So, I took off through the filthy streets of Naples, and began sweating immediately. It was a slow sweat; it was an all-out aggressive drip-sweat that soaked my clothing enough for people not just stare, but laugh. Aggressive drip-sweat. Perhaps I miscalculated the distance a tiny bit, and ended up taking the long way down the port since I didn’t want to get lost. The best part of traveling is getting lost…just not in Naples with a massive backpack.

By the time I reached the port I was struggling, and only about halfway to Bella Capri. Over the course of the next month, I would become a great Naples mind and navigate the streets with skill, however on this day I was the anti-Magellan.

It’s a strange feeling to be mentally stressed and physically tired, but looking out at the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. I sat down to have a smoke, and searched my bags. Where was my passport? I usually kept it in my small backpack, and it was gone. I left it at Hotel Viola? Panic. I had to go back, and was confident the man at the front desk would not know anything about my missing identification.

For a moment I thought my WWOOF experience might be over before it even began, but I reached in my back pocket and found my wallet. It was one of those small joys in life where you feel like you can do anything. I looked up at Vesuvius, and continued on along the port where my family left for the United States 107 years before.

Little did I know that I could end up sleeping on the streets of Naples that night.

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WWOOF Italia: The Beginning

WWOOF Italia: Strictly Personal

WWOOF Italia: Hollywood To Rome

WWOOF Italia: The Rome Regrets

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2 Responses to WWOOF Italia: Napoli Hotel Reservation Fail (Part 1/2)

  1. I feel for you brother, what a nightmare.
    But did you get your passport?
    People in Naples are nice people but I think, if you had booked online
    through http://www.touristhotelbookings.com you would not have had that
    experience with hotel booking in Naples.The company partners major
    booking sites and cover most countries. They are great and find the
    cheapest hotels if cheap is what motivates you. .

  2. One of my BEST friend shared this page with me because in the year 2009 I was with pride the Manager of Hotel Bella Capri so in a way he made me VERY Happy!!

    I say in a way because I am happy about guest comment about the experience he had with us in our Hotel but on the other way I am unhappy to read about the guest comment about my city.

    Now that I left Bella Capri and I own and run a Hostel with my wife right across Naples central train station ( Piazza Garibaldi ) is bad for me to read unpositive comments about the area because my property Hostel Mancini http://www.hostelpensioneancini.com lies right in front of the main station.
    My wife and I as Hosts are always happy and willing to help people exploring the city and it’s beautiful sourroundings but we know that it could be done something more from our local institution’s to make it much easier.
    Our Hostel since is family run makes travellers feel at Home!!


    Hostel Mancini
    Via P.S. Mancini 33,
    80139 Naples,

    Tel./Fax: +39 0815536731
    Sito Web: http://www.hostelpensionemancini.com