lightbulb

Napoli

- © Alessandro Tortora / Shutterstock
Naples
Naples

The fascinating city where chaos and order weave a perfect balance

Naples in short

Naples is one of the jewels of southern Italy and one of the country's cities of art. Visiting the monuments, churches and palaces can therefore take up the greater part of your stay. Its historic centre alone boasts over 400 churches. But to stop at the monuments alone is to visit the city by halves. To discover the unique character of Naples, you have to breathe it in, lose yourself in its streets and in the sound of people's voices. Naples is a city that cannot leave you indifferent.

With its 'difficult' reputation, the ancient Neapolitan capital has long been more of a destination for foreigners than for Italians themselves. But Naples is also about the clothes lying in the sun, the voices in the neighbourhoods and the atmosphere of its alleyways. It's the impatience to eat pizza at the Decumani, to stroll along the Lungomare, to watch the sunset from San Martino, the highest point in the city, where your gaze is lost in a breathtaking panorama. It is the elegance of the Gulf, the treasure of San Gennaro and its miracle... A city among cities, Naples is a place you will never forget.

Pizza

Neapolitan pizza.

- © elvirkins / Shutterstock

What to do in Naples

A visit to the Archaeological Museum of Naples is practically obligatory, at least for those who love ancient statues and Pompeian mosaics. The museum boasts a very rich collection, one of the most interesting in Italy, where you will be immersed in priceless treasures, almost as if they were snapshots of a bygone era.

Lovers of contemporary art should head for the Museo MADRE, while aficionados of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century paintings should stop off at the Museo di Capodimonte.

Naples Archaeological Museum

Naple's Archeological Museum

- © Giannis Papanikos / Shutterstock

National Archaeological Museum of Naples

The National Archaeological Museum of Naples has one of the most interesting collections of ancient art and artefacts in the world. As well as sections devoted to sculpture and ancient Egypt, there is a department containing all the precious finds from Pompeii and Herculaneum, including a section called the "Secret Cabinet", with drawings, frescoes and mosaics of an erotic nature.

Naples National Museum

National Museum of Naples.

- © Volodymyr Sobko / Shutterstock

MADRE Museum

From ancient to modern, don't miss a visit to MADRE, the Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, in the palace of the same name. Here you will find works by internationally renowned artists who have worked for the city. To name but a few: Long, Bianchi, Paolini and Sol Lewitt.

Mother Museum

MADRE Museum

- © Lucamato / Shutterstock

The historic centre

Naples' historic centre is relatively small and easy to get around on foot. There are cafés on every corner where you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast of coffee and croissant (preferably filled with cream and amarena cherries), a Neapolitan habit that is easy to imitate. Or sip a granita at La Mergellina, by the sea, on a summer's evening, eat a fried pizza, a frittatina di pasta, a sfogliatella or imitate the twentieth-century bourgeoisie and drink an espresso at the Gambrinus table near Piazza Plebiscito.

Panorama of the Bay of Naples

Overview of the Gulf from Naples

- © Ekaterina Pokrovsky / Shutterstock

If you want to see the whole city, the Piazzale di San Martino, in the Vomero district, is the place to be. It's a favourite spot for Neapolitans, where they spend evenings together or give each other their first kiss, because "from San Martino you can see the whole city", as the famous Neapolitan singer Pino Daniele once sang. What makes this place even more enchanting is the majestic Castel Sant'Elmo, from which you can enjoy a 360-degree view of Naples.

From San Martino, you can decide to walk all the way to Spaccanapoli by taking the stairs that start right next to the Certosa di San Martino: the Pedamentina stairs, now a Unesco World Heritage Site, are just some of the historic stairs you'll find all over the city, which were once used to get from one district to another. But don't worry, today's funicular railways save you that tiring climb.

Once in the historic centre, don't miss the complex of Santa Chiara, San Domenico Maggiore, the church of Gesù Nuovo and the Duomo. But also the Sansevero chapel with its veiled Christ or the Pio Monte della Misericordia and its Caravaggio. Stroll along Via Toledo, the shopping street, and you'll reach Piazza del Plebiscito and its beautiful Royal Palace, then the Lungomare with its beautiful view of Vesuvius on one side and Castel dell'Ovo on the other, tinted pink and orange at sunset.

Naples

Naples.

- © Stefano Tammaro / Shutterstock

What to eat in Naples

Naples - and the whole of Campania - is lucky enough to have a wide choice of traditional cuisine, thanks to the typical local produce found daily on supermarket shelves or in local fruit and vegetable markets. Popular and rustic, but also delicate, Neapolitan cuisine has many specialities.

Pizza

Pizza

- © smspsy / Shutterstock

Pizza is a firm favourite with locals and tourists alike. Although it is one of the most popular and widely eaten dishes in the world, and Neapolitan pizzerias can be found almost everywhere on the planet, eating pizza in Naples is more of an experience than just a meal. From the classic margherita to contemporary pizzas, you can't say you've been to Naples if you haven't eaten at least one during your stay... if you add DOC mozzarella di bufala to the mix, your taste buds will go wild. The Neapolitan gastronomic tradition is a reflection of Neapolitan culture and has become part of the imagination of the ancient Partenope.

What to bring back from Naples

From rich gastronomy to handicrafts, there are plenty of souvenirs to take with you when you leave Naples. When it comes to food, of course, you shouldn't leave without mozzarella. In fact, most of the major dairies and delicatessens have organised themselves to pack the precious cheese in special airtight packaging for transport by plane.

When it comes to handicrafts, on the other hand, you'll find a wide range of items on the stalls of the shepherds of San Gregorio Armeno. Via San Gregorio Armenio is an alleyway off Via San Biagio dei Librai, along which craftsmen display their statues for the cot, a ritual present every Christmas in almost every Neapolitan home. From statuettes to accessories, from animals to little huts, some craftsmen also like to make statues for the cot representing the stars or politicians of the moment.

Statuettes in Naples

Figurines from Naple's markets.

- © poludziber / Shutterstock

Last articles

The miracle of San Giovanni (San Gennaro), patron saint of Naples
Naples

The miracle of San Giovanni (San Gennaro), patron saint of Naples

The city of Naples has more than 400 churches in its historic centre alone, which just goes to show how steeped its inhabitants are in Christianity and its symbols. But Neapolitans...
A colourful weekend in Naples
Naples

A colourful weekend in Naples

Naples is outgoing! It's not afraid to speak up and make itself heard! It smells of southern Italian sunshine and has such a warm, historic heart that tourists from all over the world...

The must-sees

How to get there?

Naples has several railway stations and an airport just 15 minutes from the city. It also has numerous bus links with other Italian cities and smaller towns, making it very easy to get to the Neapolitan city.

Where to stay?

Naples has many hotels to choose from, whether in the historic centre or on the heights of the city to enjoy a panoramic view. Check out our top of the most beautiful hotels in Naples.

"Stars in your eyes": 5 dream hotels on the Amalfi coast
Naples
"Stars in your eyes": 5 dream hotels on the Amalfi coast
The Amalfi Coast is a forty-kilometre stretch of coastline between Sorrento and Salerno in Italy. Famous the world over for its colourful hillside villages and incredible views over...

Practical information

Best time to go?

Naples is best visited in spring, during the flowering season, or in summer, to enjoy the beaches and 26-degree waters. Temperatures vary around 30 degrees in summer. In winter, there is a risk of showers, but temperatures stagnate at around 13 degrees.

Documents and visas

A valid identity card or passport is required for holidays in Italy.

Safety

Certain areas are not recommended for tourists visiting Naples. Avoid wandering at night in the areas near the railway station, and also those on the hills, such as Sanita and Materdei, although during the day their lively alleys are well worth a visit.

lightbulb_outline Editor's tip

When it comes to gastronomy, be sure to try the typical dishes: sfogliatelle, babà, spaghetti with clams, aubergine parmigiana, friarielli and mussels in pepper sauce. As in all major cities, beware of pickpockets during the day.

explore Try out our comparators

Latest news
Lima
Huaca Pucllana, a pyramid in the centre of Lima that hides many secrets (the latest discovery is impressive!)
Montpellier
Delving into Montpellier's cultural life
Montpellier
Montpellier: an exotic weekend between city and nature
Montpellier
Montpellier: top accommodation options for families
Read more articles
Top destinations
Barcelona
Barcelona
Marrakech
Marrakech
Lisbon
Lisbon
Rome
Rome