I visited Naples on the days of August and it is definitely a summer trip worth living once in your life. This city is full of color, museums and churches, open air markets, a magnificent coastline and the scent of an old Italian film and … lemon with the fresh washed clothes.
Wander the narrow streets of Spaccanapoli, in the heart of its historic center, and find picturesque squares and interesting alleys. It is worth a stroll through the archaeological museum, housed in an imposing palm-framed building with one of the world’s leading collections: Pompeii’s famous mosaics. From the many churches you can admire the gothic Duomo, on one side of which is the oldest church in the city, the Basilica Santa Restituta of the 4th century.
Along the Via dei Tribunali, the tourist historic center, you will find dozens of souvenir shops, antique shops and historic pizzerias. Drink an aperol spritz at the neighboring Piazza Bellini, surrounded by beautiful bohemian buildings and cafés full with young people. Leaving the historic center, Piazza del Plebiscito is the heart of modern Naples, dominated by the church of San Francesco di Paola and the Palazo Reale with its royal apartments and roof garden overlooking the harbor.
It is understood that you will stroll along the Promenade Francesco Caracciolo, as well as in the neighboring Chiaia district, with its 12th-century chic boutiques and Castel dell’Ovo. The Posillipo Peninsula (called that way by ancient Greeks for its magnificent view), the 13th-century Castel Sant’Elmo at the highest point of the city, where it will take you the cable car, and the legendary San Paolo Stadium are some of the attraction that you can visit.
Day trips to the unique archaeological park of Pompeii can be organized (you will need at least half a day), as well as at the Mount Vesuvius National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site, a must visit place for hikers. From Naples, there are ferries and catamarans to Capri and Ischia, Sorrento and Positano.
Like home: We arrived in Naples late at night. We walked through the ruins of the historic center. A tall metal gate cut our way in to the place we booked. As we learned along the way, ringing a bell, going through the covered patio and taking an old elevator (it is a given that I preferred the stairs) to find your modern room is quite normal.
We stayed at a lovely b&b, Domus Studio 25 (around 90 euros per night), in the historic city center. The very helpful hostess, the nice and clean space and the delicious breakfast, made our stay great.
Dress up: If you find yourself in Naples at the end of summer, like me, you must know that heat is the protagonist. The city has many uphill streets so opt for comfortable shoes. Leave the high heels for the evening stroll in a chic wine bar. The capri pants born in the island near to Naples and also handmade sandals (is must buy), sophisticated scarves, high visor hats and huge sunglasses are a must during the day.
Yummy: Try the Vesuvius Pizza in one of the beautiful pizzerias of the historic center. You’ll have a drink of lemongrass as the lemons are very famous in Naples, and you won’t miss a lemon-flavored ice cream but also a traditional Napolitan sweet such as struffoli (honey donuts and candied fruit).
Almost famous: Walk along the Promenade Francesco Caracciolo and feel like a movie hero of the old italian cinema.
The 2 words you need to know if you are visiting Naples.
Buongiorno: Good morning and you will hear it everywhere.
Funicolare: cable car and you will use it to see the city from above.