Okay, where were we. Alitalia is going bankrupt. Not sure if they even fly out of Chicago anymore. Rome is in a state of emergency. Venice is so far underwater that extreme sports people have descended on the city to take advantage of the water. Oh yes, our decision to fly into Naples.
When I bought the tickets online, I found really cheap tickets from Chicago to Rome. “Well,” I thought, “If they have cheap tickets to Rome, then maybe they have cheap rates to other cities as well.” Chicago to Milan? No. Costs more. Chicago to Venice? To Florence? No, and no. Chicago to Naples? Hey, I just saved $400! And Naples is farther south, so it will be a warmer place to stay. What a great deal! At this point the little voice inside my head must have been blinded by the $400 and sunshine so that it was not asking the obvious question, “The airline wants to fly you to Rome and then put you on another plane to Naples. And they will give you $400 to do so. Why are they trying to get you to Naples?” Who cares? Just buy the ticket.
Then we started our planning. We checked out all the travel books from the library. We scoured the internet for information. And we started reading things like, “If you travel south to Rome [assuming you are starting your trip in the north of Italy] and you find that you have had enough of Italy, turn around and go back. It only gets worse.” Or the one about Naples being the hub of organized crime in Italy. That was a good one. Or the time we started to look for a place to stay in Naples and we read, “We can’t imagine why anyone would want to stay in Naples, but if you must . . .” My favorite was one of the travel books that began its section on Naples with the heading, “Naples: A Tough City to Love, But It’s Worth the Effort.”
That $400 was starting to look like a bad trade.