Naples is a vast city located on the western coast of Italy, facing the Tyrrhenian Sea. This colossal metropolis is the third largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan, with a population of 975,000 and a larger metropolitan population of over 3.1 million.Naples and the surrounding region has been inhabited since the Neolithic period and has seen some form of continuous human activity throughout Greek antiquity and into the Roman Empire and beyond.
Throughout history, Naples has witnessed fierce battles and many civilizations have competed to gain power here.the port of Naples is one of the most important in the Mediterranean and the city has one of the largest economies in Italy.Due to the long history of this region, Naples is filled with historic buildings, piazzas and churches, plus a variety of modern conveniences and fantastic nightlife opportunities.in the shadow of the legendary Mount Vesuvius, this is a truly epic tourist destination.
10 Best things to do in Naples
1.Eating and preparing pizza
Naples is the birthplace of pizza and a meal in one of its pizzerias is a quintessential city experience.popular places like Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo (Via dei Tribunali 32) and Di Matteo (Via dei Tribunali 94) attract large crowds, so be prepared to line up for a table.And don’t expect fancy toppings: the classic Neapolitan pizza is the margherita with tomato, mozzarella and basil.according to the city’s folklore, this historic composition was invented by a local chef in the 19th century to honor the then Queen of Italy, Margherita di Savoia.the toppings were chosen to reflect the red, white and green of the Italian flag.To make sure you are getting an authentic Neapolitan pizza, look for a place with a Vera Pizza Napoletana sign outside and a wood-fired oven (forno a legna). Also note that Neapolitans often drink beer with their pizzas and not wine. To really immerse yourself, take the excellent pizza-making class offered by Napolinvespa.
2.Naples Historic Centre Tour
Head to the many streets and alleys of the historic centre to experience the legendary street life of Naples.the action centres on the claustrophobic area around Via dei Tribunali and «Spaccanapoli», a long strip of several streets joined together.in this bustling district, you’ll find majestic baroque churches, ornate piazzas, crowded pizzerias and lively street markets.Just don’t expect peace and quiet, it’s a noisy and chaotic area and you’ll have to keep your wits about you, and nothing else to avoid the scooters flying through the narrow alleyways.
3.Tour of the ruins of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius
No trip to Naples would be complete without a detour to Pompeii.The site, at a short distance from the city, offers an excellent image of ancient life with its houses, public baths, temples, amphitheatre and even a brothel that are very well preserved.Pompeii is busier on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, so try to visit on weekdays if possible.the afternoons are also quieter than mornings.The critical time to avoid this is between 10 am and 11 am when the tourist buses arrive and long queues form at the main ticket office.in addition to Pompeii you can also visit the ruins of Herculaneum, a second victim of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79.For information on opening hours and booking tickets, visit www.pompeiisites.org.Tanto Pompeii as Herculaneum is easy to reach from Naples.from underneath the Central Station, take the Circumvesuviana train to Ercolano Scavi for Herculaneum (about 20 minutes) and Pompei Scavi for Pompeii (35 minutes).some other considerations: make sure you drink bottled water; wear comfortable walking shoes; and bring sunscreen and a hat if you visit in summer.
4.Tour of the main churches of Naples
You could spend months exploring all the churches of Naples.the city is full of basilicas, churches, chapels and shrines, many of which contain priceless works of art.one of the most impressive is the Duomo, the city’s luxuriously decorated baroque cathedral.More splendour awaits in the Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo, one of several fascinating churches in the historic centre.nearby, the Gothic Basilica of Santa Chiara is an oasis of calm with its serene tiled cloisters.note that Naples’ churches are generally free to enter.
5.Day trip to Capri
Capri is a popular day trip from Naples.Frequent hydrofoils serve the island from Molo Beverello, taking about 50 minutes to make the short crossing (20 euro each way).once on the island, you can explore the whitewashed streets of the town of Capri and take a chairlift from Anacapri.the main view of the island is the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto), an impressive sea cave named for its ethereal blue light.The easiest way to visit this is to take a boat ride from Marina Grande, which costs about £15 not including the £14 entrance fee to the cave.
6.Private tour of contemporary art galleries
Naples has a great selection of museums and galleries showing everything from ancient sculptures to baroque paintings and contemporary installations.The city’s most important art museum is Museo di Capodimonte , whose vast collection of classical art includes works by Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio and even Andy Warhol.To see contemporary art, try MADRE, a fascinating museum of modern art near the Duomo, or check out the works at Toledo’s metro stations and Università.
7.Route through Vomero, Naples
To escape the merciless hurricane in downtown Naples, head to the hilltop district of Vomero.Here you can enjoy the wide views of the bay and visit Certosa and the Museum of San Martino , a beautiful monastery complex known for its opulent baroque decoration and beautiful cloisters.To get to Vomero, take the funicular from Piazza Augusteo, just off Via Toledo.
You don’t need to take the metro to get to Naples.the city’s underground is full of tunnels, tombs, caves and catacombs, many of which can be visited.North of the centre you can explore the Catacomba di San Gennaro where the city’s patron saint was buried in the fifth century.another good site is the Galleria Borbonica, a nineteenth century tunnel system built to link the royal palace (Palazzo Reale) with a barracks near the sea.During World War II, it was used as an air raid shelter.
9.National Archaeological Museum in Naples
The National Archaeological Museum in Naples is a must see.one of the great museums in Italy, it has a world class collection of ancient Greek and Roman artefacts.Many of its precious treasures come from Pompeii and Herculaneum, including a series of impressive mosaics, the main one being a famous representation of Alexander the Great leading his armies against the Persian King Darius.Another highlight is the Farnese Bull, a vast sculpture depicting the mythical death of the Queen of Thebes.for a change of style, look for the red light section of the museum, the Gabinetto Segreto, which shows a small cache of ancient erotica.you can also take a private group tour to this museum.
10.Amalfi Coast Cruise
A bit far for a day trip, but worth a visit if you have time, the Amalfi Coast is the most spectacular stretch of coast in Italy.The area is at its busiest in July and August, but is beautiful all year round, especially in May, June and September. To reach the coast from Naples, you must first get to Sorrento, either by boat Alilauro or by train Circumvesuviana, from where SITA Sud buses and summer-only ferries connect to Positano and Amalfi.