Flying into Naples, Italy on a clear day is a treat. The airport is located near the city center and the landing flight path often goes right over the Naples. Sometimes it’s too hazy to see clearly, especially during summer months, but over the years I’ve spotted the gardens at the Royal Palace of Caserta, the islands of Ischia and Procida and enjoyed some great bird’s-eye views over Naples. Last week on the way back from London it was a beautiful day with blue skies and a fairly clear view thanks to north winds. I was glued to the window as the plane made a large bank coming into the Naples airport. I caught a glimpse of Ischia out the opposite window and knew soon I would be able to see Capri. As the plane leveled, I squinted my eyes into the blue.
There in the distance I could make out the faintest outline. My eyes traced the familiar curves of the island from the peak of Monte Solaro down to Capri town sitting in the saddle and over to the sheer cliff dropping off from the Villa Tiberius. The view was faint, but I knew it was there. Not long after I looked down to see the oddly shaped islet Nisida. It is of volcanic origins, which is what created its circular shape and the round little bay that make it so easy to spot from above.
It’s fun to try to spot as many landmarks in Naples while flying over on a clear day. That little port there on the right is called Mergellina, and it’s a pretty part of the city overlooking the bay.
I try to see how many castles I can spot in Naples while flying over. Below you can see the Castel dell’ Ovo in the late afternoon sunshine.
And then there’s Castel Sant’Elmo in the Vomero above Naples. Can you spot it below? It was clear enough that I could make out the white facade of the church at the Certosa di San Martino. What a view!
Coming over the centro storico, I always look for the glass dome of the Galleria Umberto I and the green roof of Santa Chiara. Can you find them below? (Hint: The dome is on the right and Santa Chiara is under the wing of the plane.) How many other sites can you make out in the photo?
There were some very large cruise ships in the port of Naples last Monday, but one was exceptionally large. I think gigantic is appropriate. I couldn’t believe how big it looked, even from so high and far away!
As the plane came in to touch down, there was Mt. Vesuvius in the distance. It’s always there to greet you when you land in Naples. It would be more reassuring, I suppose, if it was a dormant volcano. But I’m awfully fond of it nevertheless.
What has been your favorite or most memorable experience flying into Naples?