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main index © Jeff Matthews entry Apr 2008
most primitive youth hostel I ever stayed in was
somewhere in Switzerland. It was a single
gymnasium-like hall with no beds, just slabs of
plywood set on saw-horse risers. There were
parking-lot lines painted on the plywood, each one
numbered for a guest. Once you shimmied up on the
slab, you couldn’t turn over, but it was cheap. There
was only running cold water, but that was fine—you
were young and tough and just straining at the bit to
fall off and strap on your back-pack for the next leg
of whatever quest you were on—Prague, Berlin, Rome.
I had a
real cheapskate friend here in Naples, a university
professor, who had me drive him (he didn't want to
spring for a cab) to the Naples youth hostel once
while they were painting his apartment.
They took him even though he was well past the
age-limit. They were—and are—pretty lax about such
things in Naples. I checked it out way back then, and
it wasn’t bad. Today, it’s fine!
Hostels typically used to take only young persons who had a hostel membership card, but the gentleman at the desk assured me that times have changed. Sooner or later, the membership requirement will be waived; even now they’ll take you in the low season when they have room to spare. The Naples hostel can accommodate 200 guests and has rooms for two, four, and six. There is a day-room with satellite TV and a computer with an internet connection, a restaurant, and scaled-down versions of most of the amenities you get in regular hotels. You can even book ahead on the internet! The desk is handled by friendly people with a large supply of maps for Naples-roamers. A night runs about 18 euros, depending on accommodations. You get breakfast with that.