This is Emely. Hailing from scenic Sweden, she was one of seven winners from the #Explore100Cities international competition hosted by FREE NOW.
The competition was held in August over the brands’ social media channels and called for users to share pictures or videos answering the question, “What makes your city special?”
Emely’s entry stood out among hundreds of others and landed her an amazing prize — a weekend trip for two to a FREE NOW city of her choice, which meant that she got to choose between over a hundred cities across nine European countries!
After some careful thought and discussions with her mother, who was her definitive plus one, they decided on Naples, Italy. Why Naples, you ask?
According to Emely, the pair had never been there, and they were aching for a destination that offered good food, amazing wine, and a combination of city sightseeing and relaxing moments by the beach — and Naples seemed to fit the brief!
Upon her return, Emely wrote to us accounting each day of her travels. Here’s her itinerary for a weekend trip to Naples, Italy:
Wednesday, Sept 18
We arrived around noon at our hotel, NAP Luxury Guesthouse, which was located in the city centre, close to the harbour and surrounded by restaurants and shops. The hotel staff offered us a cup of cappuccino as they recommended must-visit sights and activities in Naples.
After settling in to what would be our cozy home for the next few days, we packed up and headed out to explore the city centre, old Naples. We had the most delicious pizza at a restaurant close by which was affordable and served amazing wine! It was such a treat to dine outside and enjoy the weather in all its 28 degrees celcius glory. We headed back to the hotel after a good time soaking up the atmosphere; we were exhausted from the early flight and had been up since 3AM.
Thursday, Sept 19
We woke up early on Thursday morning to get some breakfast, and soon we were ready to see what Naples had to offer. Our initial plan was to go to the beach but since the weather forecast predicted rain and thunder all day, we decided to explore the city by foot instead. We walked by Castel Nuovo, down to the harbour, climbed up to Castel dell’Ovo and had a breathtaking view of the harbour and Mount Vesuvius.
By that time, we had built up an appetite and we were ready to feast on some traditional Italian food — and that’s exactly what we did. We had lunch consisting of clams, caprese salad, risotto with mussels and of course, wine! It’s more economical to buy an entire bottle of wine instead of just two glasses. *wink wink
After a very satisfying lunch, we walked back to the city and headed to a popular shopping street called Via Toledo. I had gelato, which is always a good idea! We sat down for some italian fika; cappuccino, aperol spritz and baba. Baba is a typical Neapolitan dessert which is essentially a soft cake with rum (very delicious!). The coffee break was followed by a shopping session.
We consider ourselves lucky, because on that particular day, the Italians celebrated San Gennaro, a festival widely celebrated with city officials attending the ceremony, including the Mayor, the President of the province of Naples and the President of the Campania region.
Naples’ most famous pizzeria is Sorbillo Original.
Unfortunately for us, there was a very, very long waiting list to get in (yes — it’s THAT famous) so we had to dine in the pizzeria next door, also called Sorbillo. These are two different pizzerias with the same name, and perhaps owned by the same family. It was by far the best pizza I’ve ever had in my entire life. Naples really is the homeland of pizza!
Friday, Sept 20
We finally got out our much anticipated beach day on Friday! The beach, Bagno Elena, was only about 20 minutes from our hotel. We spent the whole day there, as it was so beautiful and there were not many people. The water was warm and nice, and the view of Mount Vesuvius made everything better. For lunch, we had caprese sandwiches at a restaurant close by. In the evening, we went to a really cozy restaurant in the Old Town, called Monsu. There were lights strung up along the walls, and the summer heat made the evening so wonderful. We enjoyed some wine accompanied with pasta and mussels, and for dessert we had tiramisu. And like the previous days, we ended the night with gelato!
We couldn’t have imagined a better way to wrap up our Naples experience. With so many things to see and do, we definitely recommend a 3 to 4 day trip so there is more time to experience the beautiful city!
“A big thank you to the team at FREE NOW for organising this wonderful giveaway — you’ve made a lot of winners so extremely happy!”