Don’t get us wrong, Italy’s top destinations are absolutely wonderful. It is important for everyone to see the wonders located in Rome, Venice, and Florence. However, we believe that to truly get the real deal Italian experience, you have to dig a little deeper and go beyond the most touristy destinations there. Naples is a combination of the ancient and modern, a once opulent kingdom, it is known for being a cacophony of unbelievable food, colors, chaos, and history all rolled into one. Here are some you cannot miss while on a visit to this fascinating city.
The city’s main attractions include the historical center, which is a great starting point and will help you get a feel for Naples. You’ll find a mixture of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance buildings all around. Get lost on the bustling street of Via dei Tribunali. You can also quite literally go underground into Napoli Sotterranea, an entire city comprised of tunnels and cisterns full of history.
Of course, you can’t visit an Italian city center without visiting the Duomo. Napoli’s duomo features a combination of Baroque and Renaissance styles. Continue on to the Chiostro di Santa Chiara monastery where you will find stunning architecture adorned with local designs painted on majolica tiles and a gorgeous garden with orange trees. It is truly magical.
Head into the Quartier Spagnoli for an enjoyable walk around the city and then enjoy some upscale shopping at the Galleria Umberto I, which was built by King Umberto I and has been open to the public since 1889.
If you are now in the mood for some fresh sea air, then head to the Lungomare Caracciolo where you can stroll on the promenade with an incredible view of the sea with a backdrop of Mount Vesuvius, an active volcano.
Make sure to stop by Vomero, an upscale neighborhood that’s located on a hill. There are lovely shops and a lively nightlife that goes on here, all with an amazing view of the whole city below. It is easy to access with the public funiculars. For more spectacular views, you can visit the Castel Sant’Elmo in this neighborhood, where you will find breathtaking panoramic views of the whole area.
Of course, no trip to Naples is complete without some authentic Neapolitan pizza. There are so many pizzerias here it can become quite overwhelming to choose, but some favorites include Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Starita a Materdei, 50kalo, and Concettina Ai Tre Santi. Several other recommended restaurants include Tattoria Da Nennella, La Masardona, and Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo.
Make sure you sample some of the city’s most famous desserts like Sfogliatelle, Fiocco di neve, cannoli, and of course, cool off with some delicious gelato.