10 things to see and to do in Naples

1 Plebiscito Square and Royal Palace

It is the place for walking for the Neapolitans and tourists, an airy and full of light square characterized by two architectural jewels: the neoclassical Colonnade of the church of San Francesco di Paola and the magnificent Royal Palace, built in 1600, inside which there are the Royal Apartment, the Royal Chapel, the Gardens and the Court Theatre to absolutely see.

2 San Severo Chapel with Veiled Christ

The Chapel of San Severo is a little jewel hidden in the alleys of Naples. A place rich in religious and esoteric symbols, such as the sculpture known by the name of Veiled Christ , work of Giuseppe Sanmartino, which represents Christ laid by the cross covered by a veil admirably carved in the marble, with incredible folds and details.

3 The Castles

Naples has several castles, of which the most famous are the Maschio Angioino, built by Aragonese dinasty, overlooking the large square of the Town Hall. Castel dell’Ovo, which rises by the sea, on Megaride island. Castel Sant’Elmo, which dominates the city from the  top of Vomero hillIt was built into the tuff and by the tuff. It has a star plan and from its mighty ramparts you can admire every corner of the city. And Castel Capuano, to the eastside, the less famous but very ancient (XII century); it takes its name from a door access to the city and for a long time it had been the seat of the Justice Courts.

4 The Seaside Promenade

It is certainly one of the most beautiful and famous walks in Naples, always animated by events and shows of all kinds and enlivened by bars, pizzerias, restaurants and luxury hotels, which follow each other along a 3 km route, from the Santa Lucia Pier (via Nazario Sauro) to Mergellina, where via Caracciolo ends. Walking along this Promenade means admiring the Vesuvius, the island of Capri, Castel dell’Ovo, the elegant Posillipo promontory and the Vomero Hill with Castel Sant’Elmo.

5 Naples Underground

The guided tour in the Underground of the city carved into the tuff is a must, because it allows you to discover its Greek, Roman origins and to see where the Neapolitans took refuge during the bombings of the Second World War. A fascinating and exciting guided tour with entrance from via dei Tribunali. Tour in italian and in English.

6 Spaccanapoli

It’s the 1,000-year-old road that cuts across the city from the Spanish neighborhoods to Forcella. Of very ancient origins (first the Greeks and then the Romans), it offers a walk in the city history. On this bowel overlook palaces of all ages, churches, monasteries, alleys, lums, craft shops. This is where you breathe the authentic soul of the city. Among the architectural beauties, we point out the church of the New Jesus, the Obelisk, the Monastery of Santa Chiara with the wonderful majolica Cloister, an oasis of peace in the chaotic belly of Naples. And then, Piazza San Domenico;  the already mentioned Sansevero Chapel; Piazzetta Nilo and San Gregorio Armeno, the street of the artisans of the crib, one of the most famous and characteristic ones, where artisans always prepare for Christmas.

7 The National Archaeological Museum
One of the richest and most important in the world with more than two centuries of history. It preserves the finds of the excavations of Pompei, the findings of the Greco-Roman era; the Borgia Collection with Etruscan and Egyptian pieces and the ancient coins of the Santangelo Collection. Not to be missed, the Secret Cabinet, with frescoes and ancient sculptures dedicated to the theme of eroticism.

Capodimonte Museum and Palace

Three floors of beauty and fabulous works of art in what was the Borboni dinasty hillside palace. On the first floor, there is the historic Apartment and the rich Farnesiana Collection with works by Raffaello, Tiziano, Botticelli, Masaccio, Guido Reni, Brueghel Il Vecchio and others. On the second, there is the Gallery with works from 1200 to 1700: Vasari, Pinturicchio, Goya, Ribera and the famous “Flagellazione di Cristo” by Caravaggio. On the third floor, the Collection of 19th century and contemporary works: Wharol, Burri, Iodice, Cucchi, Pistoletto and many others. Along the way, you can also admire the splendid collections of objects of everyday use of the Borboni dinasty. Outside, there is the beautiful and large Park with a magnificent view on the city .

9 The Metro of Art

The stations on metro lines 1 and 6 are a contemporary art museum and offer a unique route in the world. Departed from the new Garibaldi Station (connected to the Naples Central Station), where the French urban planner Francois Perrault designed the suspended escalators made of glass and steel. At the University Station, you can admire the extraordinary sculpture inspired by the digital languages of Egyptian architect Rashid, entitled Sinapsi. The Toledo station is considered the most beautiful in Europe, thanks to the masterpiece Relative Lights by Robert Wilson, illuminated by light games on the range of the blue.  But also Dante Station, Museo, Materdei and the others with more tha 200 pieces of art are so beautiful and you can admire they only by buying a metro ticket.

10 Pizza, Babà and Sfogliatella

Undisputed Capital of Pizza, Naples offers the best of this world famous food. The True Neapolitan Pizza has received important awards and the historic pizzerias are settled all over the city center and the waterfront. Do not miss Brandi in Chiaia, where Pizza Margherita (the one with tomato, mozzarella, oil and basil) was born in 1800. Or the pizzerias Starita, Port’Alba, Da Michele, Bellini, Trianon and many others. Other places not to miss are the pastry shops and cafes, where the perfumed Babà reigns (a soft sponge cake soaked in a mixture of rum, water and sugar) and the  Sfogliatella, riccia o made by pastafrolla, with the outside of crusty pastry or thick pastry, filled with semolina, ricotta, eggs and sugar. 

Photo credits: Italian Ministry of Culture; Alberto Campanile




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *