When I decided to go to Spain last year, I was sure I wanted to visit one of those Medieval Spanish cities. Then after some research, I found Girona, and for my surprise, this wasn’t any medieval city, THIS WAS THE CITY WHERE GAME OF THRONES WAS FILMED! Yep, all in caps so I make my message very clear. lol
If I’m not mistaken most of all season 6 was filmed there. You get scenes from Bravos, Oldtown and Kings Landing. It was fantastic to stroll through all the streets and lanes from this place and remember of scenes from the show. You can check here my Google Maps with the main spots, plus some extra historical sites that Girona has.
What we did then
Plaça de la Independència
Very pleasant space on your way to the Medieval city, with many restaurants and cafes around. Perfect for a quick coffee before you go and explore the city.
We decided to spend a day exploring the region; we took a train in the morning: from Florence to La Spezia, and then another train to the first city in the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore (check here my Google Maps).
Our idea was to do the complete hike from Riomaggiore to Monteresso, however, due to the bad weather on the previous days, 70% of the path was closed! Bummer!
Sadly enough, you only get this kind of information when you are already there.
But that doesn’t mean we did nothing, we did a lot and I’m about to show you what!
What we did then
Our first stop, so we decided to buy the Cinque Terre Card, which gave us access to the trail and unlimited train travels between the 5 cities and La Spezia.
As the trail was closed here, after exploring a bit of the village we got the train to our next stop, Manarola.
And below a complete description of everything you can do:
Places to go
It’s a nice example of a medieval castle, built in 1279.
Entrance is paid, costing €6 per adult. 🙂
Well worth the price if you’re interested in this kind of medieval architecture.
Galleria Umberto I
This is such a beautiful building. Take some time to explore the shops, restaurants, and admire its splendid interior.
Royal Palace of Naples
This is another beautiful building to visit.
It also has a museum with ticketed entrance, but most of the external area, including the beautiful gardens, can be explored free of charge!
Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola & Piazza del Plebiscito
These two are right in front of the Royal Palace of Naples, making them a very good area to look around and admire the surrounds.
It’s a very popular street, full of shops and restaurants, ready for you to explore!
I simply loved this castle.
It is the oldest standing fortification in Naples and works today as a place for events and free visitation.
Views from up there are amazing!
Make sure to check it out!
Take some time to walk along Naples Harbour and you will be blessed with amazing views, such as in the photo below.
Not to mention the constant and inviting delicious smells from the restaurants along the way.
When I started planning this day trip to Naples (finding things to do and places to eat) something that I constantly found by reading people’s recommendations was to be aware of the areas you’re planning to visit.
It’s not that the city is totally unsafe. Not like that.
The areas I recommended above are absolutely safe and worth the visit.
However, my original personal itinerary also included things to do around the central station (Stazione di Napoli Centrale) … but yeah, when I got there, I unfortunately had to give up.
Not even the presence of the army on the streets made me safe enough to explore the area. 🙁
But overall, don’t worry too much, 1 day in Naples is more than enough to see the best things and enjoy a delicious pizza!
Make sure to follow my itinerary above and you can’t go wrong. 🙂
A couple of reasons helped me to decide picking Caffè Gambrinus for a quick stop:
Their absolutely beautiful and charming in-store decoration, (with a classy and vintage look)
To try an authentic Naples cappuccino,
And to finally have a Sfogliatelle (traditional Neapolitan pastry) – a flaky pastry stuffed with a delicious ricotta cream.
We both decided to have a cup of coffee there and get the sfogliatelle for take away.
Here is the complete order:
Hubby: caffe del nonno – espresso blended with vanilla ice cream.
Mine: Italian cappuccino – double espresso and steamed milk foam.
To share: sfogliatelle riccia and sfogliatelle frolla.
You may not know but there are two main types of sfogliatelle:
Sfogliatelle frolla (rounded) and Sfogliatelle riccia (curly).
Of course, I decided to try them both. But here is the difference between them:
Sfogliatelle riccia (the curly one): the crust is some sort of puff pastry (using lard instead of butter), crunchy and flaky.
The filling is not super sweet, made of a mixture of semolina, ricotta, eggs, sugar, candied citrus and cinnamon.
You must eat it still warm, preferrably fresh out the oven.
Sfogliatelle frolla (the rounded one): uses pasta frolla (shortbread crust) instead of the flaky sfoglia crust.
The filling is pretty much the same; a mixture of semolina, ricotta, eggs, sugar, candied citrus and cinnamon.
Everything was very good.
I personally liked the sfogliatelle frolla better, its pastry is more my type of thing.
No words for its filling though, definitely something from heaven.
I had it again as a pie filling on one of my train trips, simply delicious!
The place architecture is beautiful, coffee and pastry equally good. However, they get packed due to its central location!
There is always a waiting line for seating and waiters tend to get a bit distracted.
So in case you are short in time just place your order directly at the counter.
Interesting enough, they charge €0.50 to use their toilets, even if you ordered something.
Unusual, but kinda understandable due to the number of tourists in the surroundings.
100% Chocolate Cafe is a store owned by Meiji, a traditional Japanese chocolate brand. There you will find desserts, chocolate drinks, and an incredible variety of 56 chocolate flavours! That’s right, I have the proof on the image below. 😛
There is a huge range of different flavours, grouped by: cacao beans (1-22), different sweeteners (23-26), different types of milk (27-33), Japanese flavours (34-40), European taste (41-50) and Cacao history (51-56). I don’t know how to read Japanese, but I believe each tablet has 14 grams of chocolate.
It was extremely hard to choose. I simply love chocolate and unusual flavours, so the combination of both was a tremendous challenge for me. In the end here’s what I got:
Wasabon (26) – a type of Japanese sweetener.
Maccha (34) – a Japanese herb.
Yomogi (37) – another Japanese herb.
Cacao 95% (54).
About the chocolate itself, I’m quite happy with my choices; chocolate pieces of good quality, not fatty and you could hear the chocolate snap when biting it. The flavours are mild as well, so if you are afraid of trying something you think you may not like, no need for that as the cocoa flavour is more prominent on it than the added element.
OK, except for the cinnamon one… I could swear it had some sugar crystals in it, so I’m not sure whether this is a Japanese thing or simply that the chocolate did not survive perfectly the trip back – yes, I ate them back here in Australia – it wasn’t expired, though.
In case your are a chocolate lover like I’m, it is definitely a place to go. You can have a dessert, drink something, or just buy some of these chocolates as a little souvenir from Japan 🇯🇵.
About the English: There is an English menu and staff can communicate just a little in English.
Total bill: Unfortunately I don’t remember how much it was, but I do remember they had special prices depending on the quantity you buy.