Your home in Naples is the charmingly intimate Caruso Place Boutique & Wellness Suites, in the formerly private palazzo Berio at Via Toledo 256, the city’s main downtown shopping street. Be sure to arrive by the afternoon of Friday, May 10th, when we’ll meet for a welcome prosecco and nibblesCheck in is available from 3:00 pm, though the helpful hotel staff will do what it can to accommodate you should you arrive prior to then so long as they have sufficient advance notice. You will be enjoying its lovely rooms and fantastic location for three nights, until the morning of Monday, May 13th, when we’ll check out to ferry to the island of Ischia, where we’ll stay for two nights. We’ll then check back into Caruso Place on Wednesday, May 15th, until we part company on Saturday, May 18th (check out by 11 am). To reach the hotel:

From the Airport (Aeroporto Internazionale di Napoli – Capodichino), there are three options:

  • Take Alibus bus service from the airport to the port (Porto – Molo Beverello) stop. Tickets cost €5. From the port stop, walk the 650 meters to Via Toledo or take a taxi to the hotel. Note that this will be an extremely short ride so some taxi drivers may object to the brevity of the fare. Nevertheless, if you offer them a solid €10, they will likely accept.
  • Take a taxi to the hotel, giving the taxi driver the name and address of the hotel. Should cost between €15-25, plus baggage fee of €1-2 euro per bag. Be sure to tell the driver they must turn on the meter (“Accenda il tassometro, per favore.” [Ah-CHEN-dah il tass-OH-metro, pear-fa-VOH-reh])
  • With advance booking and for €50-75 (depending on the number of people), Caruso Place can book you a car and driver. For more information, call +39 081 010 8987 or email [email protected].

From the Train Station (Stazione Centrale – Piazza Garibaldi), there are three options:

  • Take the Metro, line 1, direction Piscinola, and get off at Toledo. From the Toledo stop, it’s about a 300 meter walk to the hotel.
  • Take a taxi to the hotel, giving the taxi driver the name and address of the hotel. Should cost between €15-20, plus baggage fee of €1-2 euro per bag. Be sure to tell the driver they must turn on the meter (“Accenda il tassometro, per favore.” [Ah-CHEN-dah il tass-OH-metro, pear-fa-VOH-reh])
  • With advance booking and for €50-75 (depending on the number of people), Caruso Place can book you a car and driver. For more information, call +39 081 010 8987 or email [email protected].


Here’s a list of things to bring. These are just the basics:

– comfortable shoes. By far the most important thing you’ll need on this trip!! Tennis shoes and/or padded, walking-friendly sandals… and I would recommend breaking them in well before our seminar.

– a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a light-weight, folding umbrella. It can get hot and sunny in Naples in May so we’ll want to be prepared. Conversely, we could get rain.

– mosquito repellent. Unfortunately, the mozzies can be counted as locals, too, so be prepared.

– earplugs. While the Caruso Place Hotel room windows are all double-glazed, it can get noisy living right in the pulsing heart of the city, especially if you like to keep your windows open.

– a camera if you’re a happy snapper and, if you have them, a very light-weight pair of binoculars for better ceiling painting viewing 😉

– a comfortable bag in which to carry your things around town – backback or shoulder bag or purse, whichever you prefer.

– a lightweight overnight or small carry-on sized bag into which you can put your toiletries and a couple of changes of clothes for our two nights on the island of Ischia. Don’t forget your bathing suit, too!

– ‘nice’ T-shirts and long, light (cotton/linen) trousers, a light sweater or jacket and, if desired, skirts below the knee for women. As many of Italy’s churches have a no-shorts-no-tanktops policy, we’ll want to be dressed appropriately but also comfortably. Cotton and linen clothes are the best choice. I also find that carrying a light cotton shawl in my purse means I can throw it over my shoulders and still wear tanktops without any problems.

– a ‘nice’ change for dinners out. Italians like to look good and we wouldn’t want to disappoint!

– lastly, a photocopy of your passport (see ‘Safety and Smart Travel Practices,’ below)



Currency conversion:

Here’s my favorite site for the latest currency exchange rates:

How to have access to money while in Naples:

Now, what to do about bringing money, having access to it when you need it, etc.? The best system is to use the ATMs in Naples. You’ll want to make sure, therefore, that your credit card can be used in Europe and has a PIN number (the code you punch in once you’ve inserted your card into the machine) that is valid abroad. Also, ideally, your card will feature one of those embedded security chips that have been in use for a few years now in Europe and are recently becoming widespread in the U.S.,too. Bottom line is, if you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to make sure your card can be used in Europe and you’ll want an international PIN (specify that it’s going to be used in Italy, just in case) that’s connected to the credit card. Also, you might want to see which credit card companies offer the most competitive rates since some charge higher conversion commission rates than others and there are several that don’t charge foreign transaction fees. It may be worthwhile to switch companies.

DO NOT bring traveler’s checks or assume you’ll do your currency exchanging at a bank in Venice. Dealing with Italian banks is notoriously time-consuming and can result in serious headaches that will spoil your trip. Not worth it.


Tipping in Italy is NOT REQUIRED. There is no percentage for tipping in Italy as all servers are on salary. At a cafe, I usually leave the change that I get from the bill I’ve paid (50 cents to a euro or two if there were several people) and at a restaurant I usually leave a euro a head, unless I’m in a large group. As for taxis, again, a euro or two on top of the fare does the trick. Simple. No calculating necessary and definitely no 10%-20%.




Take a photograph of your suitcase prior to handing it over at check-in!!!!! Bags get lost and, while in my experience they are usually delivered quite quickly, it can be a real drag if you don’t have a very specific description of the wayward luggage. On the same note, carry basics (glasses, medications, contact lens solution, etc.) with you on the plane so that, if your bag should get lost, you can get by for a few days. And definitely bring any valuables (laptops, electronics, jewelry) with you on the plane. There have been reports of thefts at the hands of baggage handlers.


Please bring a photograph or photocopy of your passport with you to Naples – the front pages suffice (where your photograph, passport number, and the date of issue, etc. are recorded). If you don’t have the photograph(s) on a smartphone, please print them and bring the hard copies which I will collect these so that if anything should happen to your passport, we can easily get a replacement.

Personal safety/pickpocketing:

As my mother has often said about Italy, “the great thing is that your body is always safe, though your belongings may not be.” I cannot sufficiently stress the importance of being vigilant about pickpockets in Naples. Be they young children or women in the streets or adult men or women on the bus, it is an unfortunate reality that pickpocketing is a regular occurrence. And despite what many people believe, beyond pickpocketing, Naples is not a dangerous hotbed of crime, especially not for tourists and visitors. The parts of the city that we’ll be visiting and staying in are as safe as any other large city. Simply exercise the same vigilance and common sense that you would anywhere else. To avoid any unpleasant experiences…


– carry large amounts of cash on your person. It’s much safer to leave it in the safe at the hotel.

– wear lots of/highly visible jewelry or designer handbags on your person.

– carry your passport with you. Again, leave it at the hotel.

– put anything valuable in back pockets.


– keep your hands on your valuables when walking the streets through a crowd, visiting a site (Museo Archeologico, Pompeii, the Capodimonte museum), or on the Metro or funicular.

– turn backpacks and purses around (carrying them on your front) when on buses or Metro and put your hands across the pockets where you are keeping your valuables (money, camera, etc.).

– be aware of your surroundings! If anyone should try to grab something, shout, “Via!!” (Go away!) and “Aiuto!!” (

[ah-YOU-toe] Help!) as loudly as you can.



– WIFI matters: our hotel has WIFI access throughout the building, including your rooms. However, because of the age of the building, it may work better in certain places – such as the common rooms – than others. You’re therefore welcome to bring your laptop or iPad or whatever you like to use for e-mailing and reading online material. Just make sure that you have a US-Europe plug adaptor that will attach to your power source. This can be bought at most electronics stores.

  • Phones: if you want to be able to place calls during your stay in Italy, get an international data plan for your already existing phone, specifying that you’re going to be using it in Europe, OR get a European-enabled cellphone that you can then put an Italian SIM card into that you would buy in Venice. Just keep in mind that the second option will require finding and working with a phone store and may take a lot of time.



Policies regarding photography vary from place to place. Some sites do not allow photography at all while others allow photography sans flash. It really depends on the place. I will find out in advance and will be sure to let you know on a day-to-day basis whether or not it is alright to take photographs.

I hope all this helps!