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Naples, Italy

Naples (Italian: Napoli; Neapolitan: Napule) in Italy, an ancient port on the Mediterranean sea, is the third most populous municipality and center of the second most populous metropolitan area in Italy.

Founded more than 2,800 years ago (8th century BC) as Neapolis ("New City") by the Greeks, it is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The UNESCO evaluation committee described Naples' center as being "of exceptional value," and went on to say that Naples' setting on the Bay of Naples "gives it an outstanding universal value which has had a profound influence." But Italians have known these things for centuries: The view of Naples from the sea is so beautiful that a traditional Italian saying states that once you've seen it, you can die.

Born as a Greek colony of Cuma and virtually positioned in the geographical center of the Mediterranean... Read more

Naples, Italy

Destination:

Naples (Italian: Napoli; Neapolitan: Napule) in Italy, an ancient port on the Mediterranean sea, is the third most populous municipality and center of the second most populous metropolitan area in Italy.

Founded more than 2,800 years ago (8th century BC) as Neapolis ("New City") by the Greeks, it is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The UNESCO evaluation committee described Naples' center as being "of exceptional value," and went on to say that Naples' setting on the Bay of Naples "gives it an outstanding universal value which has had a profound influence." But Italians have known these things for centuries: The view of Naples from the sea is so beautiful that a traditional Italian saying states that once you've seen it, you can die.

Born as a Greek colony of Cuma and virtually positioned in the geographical center of the Mediterranean basin, it has an unmatched heritage as a place of exchange between cultures. This is reflected in the city's structure and monuments, a mixture of Greek, Roman, Norman, Angevin, Swedish, Spanish and French architecture. The Neapolitan language - notoriously unintelligible to many speakers of standard Tuscan Italian - also bears witness to the town's diverse cultural origins, being composed of French, Spanish and Arab words, inserted into a Greek, Oscan and Latin structure.

As a testimony to its extraordinary history, the Naples region hosts an unparalleled concentration of UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Center of Naples itself; the Roman archeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae; the Royal Palace of Caserta; the royal site of San Leucio and the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli. It is close to Vesuvius, the only active volcano on the European continent and itself a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Paestum's Greek temples and the Amalfi Coast, also UNESCO's World Heritage sites, are possible day trips, as are the islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida in the Bay of Naples.

Naples was the World Capital of Cultures in 2013 since it hosted the Universal Forum of Cultures (UFC) from April 10 to July 21, 2013.


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Naples, Italy: Port Information


Cruise ships dock at Stazione Marittima Maritime station of Naples, a large terminal in the city center, near Piazza Municipio.
The terminal is large and modern and has great facilities.
You can easily get to the very heart of the city on foot.

Get around Naples, Italy


Traffic in Naples may be extremely heavy, very similar to that of other big cities like Paris and New York. Extensive excavation works are ongoing to complete some metro segments, adding further to traffic in some areas. A typical example is the train station area, which is presently undergoing a complete makeover (a model of how it will look is observable in the interior of Stazione Centrale), plus the excavation of two separate metro lines - one connecting the Station with Università stop and another which will connect Stazione Centrale with Capodichino Airport. Another example is Piazza Nicola Amore (commonly known as Piazza Quattro Palazzi because of the four twin buildings surrounding it), where metro line excavations revealed an ancient Roman temple, whose structure will be integrated into the futuristic station designed by the world-class architect Renzo Piano.

Nowadays, normal traffic regulations are generally observed in Naples; however, it is prudent to follow the locals when crossing the street. Since pedestrians often cross the street in the middle of the block, Neapolitan drivers are very attentive, and accidents are very rare. Remember to always look left (and not right) for incoming cars or motorbikes, since circulation follows European standards.

By taxi

Taxis and the Metro are the quickest ways to see Naples. Taxis are the most expensive way, though. Before getting into a taxi, make sure it is licensed. Licensed taxis will have a city crest on the door and a taxi number. Also, make sure it has a meter. By law, licensed taxis must display a list of pre-agreed fares in a number of languages (Italian, English, French, German, Spanish). Check for such fares and agree to them before starting the journey.

On foot

You will be surprised how easily you can get around on foot, too. Interesting spots are almost on every corner and most distances – especially in the (historic) center – are small and can easily be walked in a matter of minutes.

By public transportation on land

It is fairly difficult to get a clear picture of the public transportation system in Naples since different lines are operated by different companies. 

Tickets can be bought at any authorized selling point, a very common place where to find them outside the railway or Metro stations is tobacco shops (Tabaccheria, easily identified by a big white "T" on a rectangular black field) or newspaper shops. They are not sold aboard the trains or buses. As normal, passengers are randomly checked for having a ticket by authorized personnel. Not having a ticket obviously results in a huge fine, with no exceptions, since in Italy this act is a tax offense.

  • Metropolitana di Napoli. There are six lines of underground subway in Naples. They are always monitored by cameras and security officers, which vigilate on both passengers' security and on avoiding them to damage the premises with graffiti or other signs of incivility.

The most important metro lines are:

  • Linea 1, built recently, connects the city center to the hill quarters, like Vomero and the hospitals area. Avoid passing through Piscinola and Secondigliano as those areas can be very dodgy and dangerous.
  • Linea 2, much older, connects the three main train stations to Pozzuoli. The tracks are shared with the ordinary railway
  • Linea 6, a new light subway connecting Fuorigrotta to Mergellina.

Naples Metro is itself a tourist attraction since many of its newest stations were built and decorated with modern artworks. On 2009, it won the prize for the "Most Innovative Approach to Station Development" at Metros 2009. On 2012, the Toledo station was elected as the "Europe's most impressive" by the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph for its remarkable artistic value.

  • Funicolare. The subway company also operates four cable cars: three of them connect the city center to Vomero, the last connects Mergellina to Posillipo.
  • Trams. ANM operates two tram lines (1 and 4), of which one goes along the shore of Santa Lucia -

    Castelnuovo

    - Garibaldi (Central Station).
  • Buses. ANM also operates all bus lines within Naples, most of which are circular. Naples suffers from a serious problem of traffic jam and usually, buses are overcrowded, so if you can (unless in the evening or on the weekend) try to avoid them.

There are three different regional train services that operate in Naples and the surrounding areas. They are listed here:

  • Circumvesuviana. The Circumvesuviana railway operates from the lower level of the main train station at Piazza Garibaldi and has various routes that service the local Naples area. One route goes from Naples to Sorrento with several stops in between, including Pompei Scavi (Pompeii) and Ercolano (Herculaneum). A second route travels around

    Vesuvius

    . Other routes go to Acerra and Nola-Baiano. The Circumvesuviana website [1] has more information on timings, routes, and cost of tickets.
  • Cumana. This railline that operates from Montesanto in Naples and follows the coastline for approximately 20 km before ending in Torregaveta (Bacoli). The Cumana runs the urban centers of Montesanto, Fuorigrotta, Bagnoli, Pozzuoli, Arco Felice, Baia, Fusaro before reaching Torregaveta.
  • Circumflegrea. This railline also starts in Montesanto and ends in Torregaveta. However, it runs along the western edge of Naples through the districts Soccavo, Pianurat, Quarto Flegreo, Licola and Cuma. It also approximately seven kilometers longer than the Cumana. because the Cumana and Circumflegra start and end in the same places one can quickly transfer from one train to the other. 
  • Regional Trains. In Addition to the aforementioned trains, Trenitalia operates regional trains from Naples to Salerno.

By ferry/hydrofoil

There are several ferry/hydrofoil services that connect Naples and local ports/islands. Ferry and hydrofoil services leave from either Molo Beverello, Mergellina or Pozzuoli. Some then of them are listed here:

  • Metro del Mare has several lines that connect Naples and Sapri; Bacoli and Salerno and Sorrento; Monte di Procida and Salerno; and, Amalfi and Sapri. Besides the main stops, the ferry service also connects many smaller communities. The Metro del Mare webpage has schedules, timetables and location of ticket counters.
  • L.N.G. has a hydrofoil service that connects Naples with the island of Capri, along with Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi. Schedules and timings can be found on its website.
  • AliLauro has a hydrofoil service that connects Naples with the islands of Ponza, Ventotene, Procida, Ischia, Capri and Eolie, and the towns of Formia, Castellamare, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Salerno. Alilauro operates from both the Molo Beverello and Mergelina.
  • L.N.P. operates both hydrofoil and boats lines. It connects Naples with Sorrento and has other lines connecting Capri, Sorrento, Castellamare, Salerno, Amalfi, and Positano. 

Reaching one of the islands in the gulf by ferry can take up to 70 minutes (hydrofoils are much faster, but this comes with a further cost). For the most part of the year, the sea is calm, and in any case, when it happens to be rough the boats' runs are stopped.

In any case, it is advised to follow the normal measures for any travel on the sea. In particular, if you are sensitive to the rolling of the ships, or travel with young children, consider taking appropriate medication to avoid any adverse effects. Ferries also have open decks, which are particularly attractive and scenic to use especially by spring and summer. As normal in any similar conditions, and especially if you come from a cold climate and/or wear a clear skin, it is advisable to wear a cap and protect exposed skin with solar screens, in order to avoid sunburns.

Be sure to check for dolphins or sea turtles while traveling toward Capri, in particular. Loggerhead sea turtles are quite common, and Naples' Aquarium also hosts a renowned veterinary unit, whose specialty is to recover and heal wounded turtles and get them back to the sea.

What to see in Naples, Italy


Urban center of Naples

As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the center of Naples hosts a huge number of architectural landmarks. A non-comprehensive list of the most notable monuments and sites includes:

  • Albergo dei Poveri (Bourbon Hospice for the Poor). A former public hospital/almshouse. It was designed by the architect Ferdinando Fuga, and construction was started in 1751. It is five stories tall and about 300 m long. It was popularly known as "Palazzo Fuga." King Charles III of the House of Bourbon meant the facility to house the destitute and ill, as well as to provide a self-sufficient community where the poor would live and work. The building was originally designed with five courtyards and a church in the center, but only the three innermost courtyards were built, and plans to complete the building according to the original design were finally abandoned in 1819. It is no longer a hospital and has suffered much from neglect and earthquakes. The center behind the entrance is used for exhibitions, conferences, and concerts. In 2006 the façade has undergone restoration as part of a plan to incorporate the facility into the working infrastructure of public buildings in Naples.
  • San Francesco di Paola. One of the main churches in Naples, located at the west side of Piazza del Plebiscito, the city's main square. The place was originally planned by King Joachim Murat of Naples (Napoleon's brother-in-law) as a tribute to the emperor. When Napoleon was dispatched, Ferdinand I of Bourbon continued the construction but converted the final product into the church one sees today. The church is reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome. The façade is fronted by a portico resting on six columns and two Ionic pillars. Inside, the church is circular with two side chapels. The dome is 53 meters high.
  • Cappella Sansevero. Built in 1590, it contains works of art by some of the leading Italian artists of the 18th century, like the extraordinary Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino. It also has a high scientific interest because it hosts the anatomical machines, a still mysterious experiment by Raimondo Di Sangro, a prominent Renaissance scientist.
  • Castel dell'Ovo (Egg Castle). A castle located on the former island of Megaride, now a peninsula, on the Gulf of Naples. The castle's name comes from a legend about the Roman poet Virgil, who had a reputation in medieval times as a great sorcerer, that he put a magical egg into the foundations to support them. The island of Megaride was where Greek colonists from Cumae founded the original nucleus of the city in the 6th century BC. In the 1st century BC, the Roman patrician Lucius Licinius Lucullus built the magnificent villa Castellum Lucullanum on the site. The first castle on the site was built by the Normans in the 12th century.
  • Castel Nuovo (New Castle). Often called Maschio Angioino, it is a medieval castle and the main symbol of the architecture of the city. It was first begun in 1279 by Charles I of Anjou and completed three years later. Castel Nuovo soon became the nucleus of the historical center of the city and was often the site of famous events. For example, on December 13, 1294, Pope Celestine V resigned from the Papcy in a hall of the castle. The event was famously depicted by Dante Alighieri in his masterpiece la Divina Commedia, in the verse Colui che per viltade fece il gran rifiuto.
  • Certosa di San Martino. A former monastery complex, now a museum. It is the most visible landmark of the city, perched atop the Vomero hill that commands the gulf. A Carthusian monastery, it was finished and inaugurated under the rule of Queen Joan I in 1368. In 1623, it was further expanded and became, under the direction of architect Cosimo Fanzago, essentially the structure one sees today. In the early 19th century, under French rule, the monastery was closed and was abandoned by the religious order. Today, the buildings house a museum with a display of Spanish and Bourbon era artifacts, as well as displays of the presepe—Nativity scene—considered to be among the finest in the world.
  • Gesù Nuovo. The Church of Gesù Nuovo (New Jesus) was originally a palace built in 1470 for Roberto Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno. The Jesuits had already built a church in Naples, now called Gesú Vecchio. Political intrigues caused the property to be confiscated and eventually sold in the 1580s to the Jesuits to construct a church (1584–1601) under architect Giuseppe Valeriano. The unusual façade, unusually plain for a Baroque style church, is of rusticated ashlar and is the original façade of the palace. The church contains masterpieces of some of the most notables Neapolitan artists, namely Belisario Corenzio, Paolo de Matteis, Francesco Solimena, Giovanni Lanfranco and Massimo Stanzione.
  • Palazzo Reale

    . One of the four residences used by the Bourbon Kings of Naples during their rule of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies (1730-1860). The Royal Palace is on the site of an earlier building meant to host King Philip III of Spain, who however never made the trip. The architect chosen for that palace was Domenico Fontana. The building was put up on the site of an even older Spanish viceroyal residence from the early 16th century. The 17th-century palace visible today is the result of numerous additions and changes, including some by Luigi Vanvitelli in the mid-18th century and then by Gaetano Genovese.
  • Posillipo (Exit Mergellina Metro station and walk downhill to Via Mergellina and take bus 140 from there). A district of Naples placed on the northwestern part of the town. The Greeks first named this place Pausílypon, meaning "respite from worry" for the enchanting calm of the shore. There are Roman ruins at the water's edge, remains of the residence of Vedius Pollio. The area contains some notable historical buildings and landmarks. Among these is the Palazzo Donn'Anna and Villa Rosebery, the Italian President's residence during his stays in Naples.
  • San Domenico Maggiore. One of the most prominent churches of Naples. This Gothic church (est. 1283) incorporates a smaller, original church built on this site in the 10th century, San Michele Arcangelo a Morfisa. The monastery annexed to the church has been the home of prominent names in the history of religion and philosophy. It was the original seat of the University of Naples, where Thomas Aquinas, a former monk at San Domenico Maggiore, returned to teach theology in 1272. As well, the philosopher-monk, Giordano Bruno, lived here. The sacristy houses a series of 45 sepulchers of members of the royal Aragonese family, including that of King Ferdinand I.
  • Santa Chiara. A religious complex, that includes the Church of Santa Chiara, a monastery, tombs, and an archeological museum. The double monastic complex was built in 1313-1340 by Queen Sancha of Majorca and her husband King Robert of Naples. The original church was in traditional Provençal-Gothic style, but was decorated in the 1744 century in Baroque style by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro. Santa Chiara was the largest Clarissan church ever built and it was the first Clarissan church built where the nuns in their choir would have been able to view the performance of Mass. The bell tower, separated from the main edifice, was begun in 1328 but was completed only in Renaissance times. The simple interior houses the tomb of King Robert and, in the side chapels, those of the Bourbon king of Naples, Francis II and his consort Maria Sophie of Bavaria, as well as of Queen Maria Christina of Savoy and of the national hero Salvo d'Acquisto (a carabiniere who sacrificed his own life to save the lives of 22 civilian hostages at the time of the Nazi occupation). Famous is the cloister of the Clarisses, transformed in 1742 by Vaccaro with the addition of precious majolica tiles in Rococò style. The Nuns' Choir houses fragments of frescoes by Giotto.
  • Galleria Umberto I. A public shopping gallery, located directly across from the San Carlo opera house. It was designed by Emanuele Rocco, who employed modern architectural elements reminiscent of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. The Galleria was meant to combine businesses, shops, cafes and social life — public space — with private space in the apartments on the third floor.
  • Naples Cathedral. Built in the 18th century, it is the main church of Naples. It is widely known as the Cattedrale di San Gennaro, in honor of Saint Januarius, the city's patron saint. It was built on the foundations of two palaeo-Christian basilicas, whose traces can still be clearly seen. Underneath the building, excavations have revealed Greek and Roman artifacts.

Museums

  • Naples National Archaeological Museum, Piazza Museo, 19, +39 81 442 2149. 9 AM-7:30 PM. It is the most important Italian archaeological museum, and it contains a large collection of Roman artifacts from Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum. The collection includes works of the highest quality produced in Greek, Roman and Renaissance times.
  • National Museum of Capodimonte, Via Miano, 2, +39 81 749 9111. 8:30 AM-7:30 PM. It hosts paintings from the 13th to the 18th centuries including major works by Simone Martini, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Masaccio, Sandro Botticelli, Lorenzo Lotto, Giovanni Bellini, Giorgio Vasari, El Greco, Jacob Philipp Hackert. It is also the place where are hosted the works of the most important Neapolitan painters, like Jusepe de Ribera, Luca Giordano, the Neapolitan Caravaggisti.
  • The Tomb of Virgil, Parco Vergiliano (near Mergellina station). One of the greatest Latin poets, author of the Aeneid.
  • Madre, Via Settembrini 79, +39 081 193 13 016. Tue closed. Very nice museum for contemporary art with a nice permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.

Naples' surroundings

Naples is often used as a base to visit the ancient ruins and excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii near the city.

  • Herculaneum (13 km). A world-famous archeological site, part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. It was an ancient Roman town destroyed, together with Pompeii, Oplontis and Stabiae, by volcanic pyroclastic flows of Vesuvius, AD 79. It is famous as the source of the first Roman skeletal and physical remains available for study that were located by science, for the Romans almost universally cremated their dead. While smaller than Pompeii, it's just as cool and usually less busy.
  • Pompeii (25 km, 40 minutes via the Circumvesuviana train (Sorrento line)). The world-famous city of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman urban center, and one of the best examples of Roman architecture in the world. Along with Herculaneum, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in the year AD 79. The eruption buried Pompeii under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of ash and pumice, and it was lost for nearly 1700 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1749. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year. Visiting the city is a unique experience—you get to walk in and out of most of the ruins, and really get a feel for how the city must've looked in its era.
  • Mount Vesuvius. From Pompeii, take a bus to Mount Vesuvius and hike to the summit. Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the mainland of Europe and is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

What to do in Naples, Italy


  • Centro Sub Campi Flegrei, info@centrosubcampiflegrei.it. A 5*IDC diving center offering diving and snorkeling in the Gulf of Naples, around the Phlegraean islands and within the underwater Archaeological Park of Baiae (the so-called submerged Pompeii!). Open all year.
  • accordi @ DISACCORDI Open Air Cinema Festival (info@accordiedisaccordi.com), Viale del Poggio di Capodimonte, +39 0815491838. 09:10 PM. If you are in Naples during summertime don't miss the chance to experience the cinema beneath the stars on warm nights in an amphitheater equipped with one of the widest projection screens in Italy which rises to have an artificial lake all around. These events really make people revive the movies each night of the festival!
  • Teatro San Carlo, Via San Carlo 98/F. Founded in 1737, is the oldest continuously active opera house in Europe. In the 18th century, Naples was the capital of European music and even foreign composers like Hasse, Haydn, Johann Christian Bach and Gluck considered the performance of their compositions at the San Carlo theatre as the goal of their career. Two main Italian opera composers, Gioacchino Rossini and Gaetano Donizetti were artistic directors of the San Carlo for many years. Other prominent opera composers, like Vincenzo Bellini, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni and Leoncavallo staged here the very first representations of their works (like for example the famous Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti).
  • Urban Routes (booking@urban-routes.com), +39 3468471141. Bike sightseeing along old town, Posillipo coast and Vomero panoramic quarter.

What to eat and drink in Naples, Italy


Eat

Neapolitan cuisine in general features much seafood, befitting its status as an ancient and still functioning port. You will find many sauces based on garlic sauteed in extra-virgin olive oil, tomatoes, and local red wines. Some of the sauces are arrabbiata ("angry") or fra diavolo ("brother Devil"), which means they will contain hot pepper. It's a great cuisine. Enjoy!

Mozzarella is also typical of the region; don't miss the opportunity to taste the fresh real one!

Pizza

Pizza comes from Naples. Look for pizza margherita, the original one, with tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella toppings. In Naples every pizzeria makes a decent pizza, and Neapolitans believe their pizza is the best in the world. Unlike pizza in places like the United States, Neapolitan pizza is generally very thin-crusted and saucy and is expected to be eaten as a whole pie while sitting down.

Some places display the label "Vera Pizza Napoletana" ("True Neapolitan Pizza" there is a Pulcinella mask baking a pizza in a stylized Vesuvio) which indicates that the pizzeria follows the standards of The Naples Pizza Association. If you want to try some pizza, go to Pizzeria Brandi, where the "pizza margherita" was allegedly born; but today the best choices would be: Da Michele or Trianon da Ciro. These pizzerias make the most authentic pizza, but be careful because they are located near Forcella which is not the safest part of Naples, although generally OK during the day.

  • Pizzeria Brandi, Salita Sant'Anna di Palazzo, 1-2 (Chiaia Str. closer to Plebiscito Square), +39 081 416928. A stone tablet displayed outside the restaurant explains the history of the first pizza.
  • Da Michele, Via Cesare Sersale, 1-3, +39 081 553-9204. 11 AM-10:30 PM. Note that there is usually a queue - get a numbered ticket from the waiter on the door when you arrive. The pizzas are cooked quickly, and they expect you to vacate seats just as quick.
  • Trianon da Ciro, Via Pietro Colletta, 44/46 (it's just in front of Michele). The pizzas are less soupy with crispier crusts.
  • Pizzeria Starita, Via Materdei 27, +39 081 557-3682. 12 PM–3 AM. Close to de-crowning Da Michele as the best pizzas in Naples.

Some other places that are very popular among the Neapolitans are almost all the pizzerias in Via dei Tribunali, in particular:

  • Di Matteo, Via dei Tribunali 94, +39 081 455262. 9 AM-12 AM. Il presidente, Sorbillo, and his sister, a few doors away (informally known as "la vecchia," the old lady, from the owner of the pizzeria, a very small place with only 4 or 5 tables, that looks like a pizzeria of 50 years ago - very hard to find, but it's worth it!) You can get pizzas to eat on the go.

Pastries

The city and region are also famous for their pasticceria (pastries), (Babà, Zeppole, Sfogliatella, and more; this latter is often filled with ricotta cheese or cream with citrus flavor) among the best are:

  • Pasticceria Scaturchio, Piazza San Domenico Maggiore 19 (adjoining to Piazza del Gesu), +39 081 5517031.
  • Gran Bar Riviera, Riviera di Chiaia 181, +39 081 665026. Very good sweets, from 'zeppole' to 'sfogliatelle' passing through 'babà'.

Struffoli and Roccocò are typical Christmas sweets. Pastiera is the sweet of Easter: anyway you can find it all year long. It is made basically of ricotta cheese melted with steamed corn and sugar, and then baked.

Drink

Naples is becoming increasingly popular with a younger generation of both Italians and foreigners who flood into the city and lend renewed vitality to its nightlife. The hippest scene is around the bars and cafes on Piazza Bellini, Piazza Santa Maria la Nova and Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, becoming busy after about 11 PM. Also Piazza San Pasquale and Mergellina are typical places for the local movida. If you want to venture to the outskirts of the city, there are many bars and clubs near the port and boardwalk (the 'Lungomare') of Pozzuoli. While Neapolitans (and Vigili Urbani, the town's local police) are largely tolerant to youngsters drinking, having fun and making noise, even at late hours, getting drunk and causing damages or littering is not tolerated.

Campanian wine has become famous worldwide in the last decade or so, and delicious naturally lightly carbonated mineral water with minerals from Vesuvius is available and worth searching out.

Shopping in Naples, Italy


Naples has vibrant markets and many small shops that sell everything from clothes to household appliances at prices much lower than in most of Western Europe. Especially to be seen is the Porta Nolana, Pignasecca and the Vasto markets, which also give a grasp of popular Neapolitan life. Not to be lost is the impromptu fish market which happens especially on Sunday morning at Rotonda Diaz, the central square of Via Caracciolo. Small fishing boats come ashore and directly sell fresh and often alive fish and octopuses, a very characteristic and joyful scene of Naples' life.

Do not buy any evidently fake items sold in the street, especially fake big fashion firms' products like purses, foulards, sunglasses and so on. A huge number of plainclothes police raid the streets to combat the trade in counterfeit products, and it's not only the sellers who get in trouble: according to Italian laws, if you are caught buying one of these products, you risk being arrested and subjected to a huge fine.

Also, do not buy electronic products like iPhones, iPads, and cameras on the streets. Normally, the ones which illegal street vendors try to sell you are fakes that they sell you after they've shown you a real one and made a quick switch through sleight of hand. Don't think you can outsmart these scammers.

You can support shops and businesses that fight against the extortion racket (also called "pizzo") by shopping there.

Safety in Naples, Italy


As in most of the big cities in the world, being safe in Naples is a question of knowing the places and hours when going around is potentially unsafe.

There are some parts of Naples that should be avoided after dark. It is sufficient, in this respect, to follow the habits and behavior of Neapolitans. Typical examples of places to avoid with dark are the "Quartieri Spagnoli" and the "Sanità". Both are reasonably safe during the day, and also have notable points of interest, like the catacombs of "Underground Naples" (Napoli Sotterranea) in Sanità. Especially to be avoided, but of no practical interest for tourists, is Scampia, where there is much petty crime and drug traffic.

Naples has an inequitable distribution of wealth. The city center has wealthy areas right next to impoverished ones (a typical example are the popular Quartieri Spagnoli, alongside via Toledo, Piazza del Plebiscito and Riviera di Chiaia, the main shopping streets). Naples' bad reputation regarding safety is mainly due to stereotypes, since the city's security level is actually comparable to many other European big cities (e.g., Barcelona, Marseille, Amsterdam). Petty thievery and muggings definitely do happen, so as in similar cities, be reasonably watchful, avoid empty streets and dimly-lit alleys at night, and keep your wits about yourself. On the other hand, since weather is generally nice, Neapolitans spend a lot of time in the streets, including in the winter and at night. Places like Mergellina and Via Caracciolo (the scenic streets alongside the sea) are generally full of people till late at night and very safe.

Contrary to what newspapers, books and movies seem to suggest, the local mafia (Camorra) poses little or no threat to tourists, since it is involved in activities like prostitution (which is illegal in Italy), racketeering and drug trafficking.

People in Naples are extremely nice and gentle, ready to help if you are in difficulty or lost. It is not uncommon for Neapolitans try to make themselves understood with words and gestures, even if they do not speak a tourist's mother tongue. Being very aware and proud of their town's beauties, if they understand you have a particular interest for a place, they may leave their activities and accompany you there, and even show you uncommon places which are not publicized in tour guides.

Aside from issues of petty crime, Naples is a very safe town for women. Official statistical data from ISTAT (the Italian Government Official Statistical Office) show that Naples' rape rate is much lower than that of other Italian cities like Milan, Rome or Florence. Young women who appear to be unaccompanied may experience some more or less persistent flirting from Neapolitan men, but you will usually be left alone if you show them you are not interested.

Neapolitans are also typically very protective toward female family members and Neapolitan women, generally. It is therefore potentially unsafe, especially in a crowd, to insist on courting or asking out a local woman when she has made it clear she is not interested.

Whoever comes to Naples historical city center has to take some generic precautions, normal for any big town with poor areas:

  • Do not leave valuables lying out in the open (such as bar tables) where they can be snatched by thieves.
  • Do not flash around money or other valuables.
  • It is advised not to carry a purse as it can be snatched or "picked" by thieves. Neapolitan women who use a purse do not sling it across their shoulders but wear it across their chest.
  • Do not wear expensive watches (especially Rolex).
  • Do not wear expensive or flashy jewelry.
  • Do not use a costly camera or video camera.
  • Do not wander down small dark alleys/streets, especially in the Spanish Quarter.
  • Pay attention to fake public service vehicles. All legitimate means of public transportation are clearly identified by being orange (buses); or white (taxis). In the latter case, legal taxis have the customary "Taxi" sign over the top, and bring ID signs over the sides and inside the cabin.
  • Be careful around the main train station as there are many thieves in the area. The Piazza Garibaldi, the large square in front of the station, is no place to spend more time than necessary, especially at night.
  • In Naples, you can buy over-the-shoulder packs that are excellent, as they allow you to keep an eye and firm grip on your valuables.
  • Some persons pretend to offer images of old Naples or other things as gifts, but then expect payment.
  • Pay attention to people who want to involve you in fake road accidents.
  • It is advisable not to wear football shirts of any club especially Juventus FC, AC Milan, Internazionale Milano, AS Roma, SS Lazio or Fiorentina. Soccer is taken very seriously in Naples, and Neapolitans support SSC Napoli with big rivalries with those clubs. However, it is very safe to wear the Genoa club shirt (vertically spangled of red and blue, and sporting a griffin like a symbol; not to be confused with the other Genoa club, Sampdoria), since supporters of this team have a strong friendship with SSC Napoli supporters. If you ever hang out in Fuorigrotta borough on Sundays, near the San Paolo stadium, and are surprised by a booming shout of thousands of people, don't get scared: it's only cheering for the Napoli soccer team which just scored. Since when this happens, most of the town shouts along the people in the stadium, this is perceived like an earthquake by the local volcanic observatory of Vesuvius!

Language spoken in Naples, Italy


Both Naples and the locally-used Italian Napoli are acceptable names for the city and derivatives of the original Greek name of Neapolis.

The most widely spoken language in Naples is Italian or a mixture of Italian and Napulitano (Neapolitan). Neapolitan is sometimes described as an Italian dialect, but it is officially acknowledged by UNESCO as a distinct language, with well-defined roots and rules, and there is a great heritage of literature (eg. Giambattista Basile's Lo cunto de li cunti, a collection of fairy tales) and songs ('O sole mio and Torna a Surriento are some iconic examples) in Napulitano. Neapolitan is still thriving in Campania and adjacent parts of Lazio, Abruzzo, Basilicata, Molise and Calabria. This said, the official language of Naples (as of all of Italy) is Italian and everyone can speak it when prompted, though often with a strong local accent.

Neapolitan has strong Spanish and French influences originating from periods of Spanish and French rule. Therefore, more Spanish and French words are understood by the locals than in other parts of Italy.

English is the most commonly spoken foreign language, although the average knowledge of English is far from excellent.

LOCAL TIME

10:47 pm
May 20, 2019
Europe/Rome

CURRENT WEATHER

14.4 °C / 57.92 °F
light rain
Tue

19.44 °C/67 °F
light rain
Wed

20.19 °C/68 °F
overcast clouds
Thu

20.37 °C/69 °F
sky is clear
Fri

20.21 °C/68 °F
sky is clear

LOCAL CURRENCY

EUR

1 USD = 0.9 EUR
1 GBP = 1.14 EUR
1 AUD = 0.62 EUR
1 CAD = 0.67 EUR

Travelers recommend visiting the following places of interests



http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ ||| Public domain Mount Vesuvius, Naples, Italy
Average: 10 (10 votes)

Mount Vesuvius (/vᵻˈsuːviəs/; Italian: Monte Vesuvio ˈmonte veˈzuːvjo, Latin: Mons Vesuvius mõːs wɛˈsʊwɪ.ʊs) is a stratovolcano in the Gulf of Naples...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 Gesu Nuovo, Naples, Italy
Average: 9.5 (10 votes)

Gesù Nuovo (Italian New Jesus) is the name of a church and a square in Naples, Italy. They are located just outside the western boundary of the...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Public domain Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, Italy
Average: 9.9 (10 votes)

The Real Teatro di San Carlo (Royal Theatre of Saint Charles), its original name under the Bourbon monarchy but known today as simply the Teatro di...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ ||| Public domain Certosa di San Martino, Naples, Italy
Average: 9.4 (10 votes)

The Certosa di San Martino (Italian St. Martin's Charterhouse) is a former monastery complex, now a museum, in Naples, southern Italy. Along with...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Catacombs of San Gennaro, Naples, Italy
Average: 9.8 (10 votes)

The Catacombs of San Gennaro are underground paleo-Christian burial sites in Naples, Italy. They are situated in the northern part of the city, on...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Spaccanapoli (street), Naples, Italy
Average: 9.3 (10 votes)

Spaccanapoli is the straight and narrow main street that traverses the old, historic center of the city of Naples, Italy. The name is a popular usage...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Santa Chiara (Naples), Italy
Average: 9.7 (10 votes)

Santa Chiara is a religious complex in Naples, Italy, that includes the Church of Santa Chiara, a monastery, tombs and an archeological museum. The...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 San Giovanni a Carbonara Church, Naples, Italy
Average: 9.2 (10 votes)

San Giovanni a Carbonara is a Gothic church in Naples, southern Italy. It is located at the northern end of via Carbonara, just outside what used to...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 San Gregorio Armeno, Naples, Italy
Average: 9.6 (10 votes)

San Gregorio Armeno ("St. Gregory of Armenia") is a church and a monastery in Naples, Italy. It is one of the most important Baroque complexes in...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Castel dell'Ovo, Naples, Italy
Average: 9.1 (10 votes)

Castel dell'Ovo (in Italian, Egg Castle) is a seaside castle located on the former island of Megaride, now a peninsula, on the Gulf of Naples in...

Latest travel blogs about Naples, Italy




My Premiere Cruise on MS Koningsdam. P.2


Let's continue our cruise (My Premiere Cruise on MS Koningsdam. P.1)! We departed from Corfu and headed to the opposite shore, towards Albania. My fellow travelers were enjoying sweet baked rolls, and I went to take pictures of open decks to avoid doing that: Promenade deck is so narrow in...

Let's continue our walk around Naples (Walking Around Naples. P.1)! Here’s the square where the church and the monastery are situated – Piazza Gesu Nuovo. Statue of Madonna with its pedestal are so high - about 30 meters together. It’s difficult to take pictures of it. Here’s...
Naples in summer is really overcrowded and it's very hot there. But there is a place where you can relax a little bit from that - it is the Church of Santa Chiara. Or rather not even the church, but the monastery of the church. Columns and benches are decorated with...
Four Italian cities Palermo, Pompeii, Naples and Rome were left to visit according to our route. Palermo turned out to be different than I imagined: we didn’t see mafia wrangles, and we failed to do normal shopping. We were viewing the city from the second-floor city tour bus and walked around a...
This is the collection of medals of the Holland America Line cruise company.  Here is a description from left to right: - bronze medal for 100 days at sea with HAL  - silver medal for 300 days at sea with HAL - gold medal for 500 days at sea with HAL  - platinum...
We didn't have enough time for Naples . You can expect only superficial acquaintance with a new city, when you go from Rome to see Pompeii and Naples during one day. We are leaving  Castel Nuovo  and going to the port, to the bus. Just look at this handsome white...
So we arrived at the port. Now we have a walking tour around Naples . We are going to Palazzo Reale di Napoli. You can see a castle on the right. This is  Castel Nuovo  or Maschio Angioino Castle. There is also a children's playground. There are so many...

Naples, Italy shore excursions



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