While many tourists see the city of Naples as nothing more than the gateway to the Amalfi Coast, the reality is that this intoxicating metropolis is one of the most iconic and charismatic destinations in Italy. So, before heading off to discover the laidback charm of Campania’s coastal villages, why not hang around for a day or two and get a taste of the real Italy? Here’s a list of a few things that are non-negotiable when you’re in town.
Sample a real Neapolitan pizza
Forget anything you’ve ever tasted before, the pizza in Naples will simply blow you away. Made using fiercely protected local recipes and techniques that have remained unchanged for centuries, a true Neapolitan pizza makes for a light and healthy meal, so you won’t have to feel guilty about eating one – and the fact that they tend to be priced at between three and four Euros means they really are remorse-free.
Stroll down Spaccanapoli
If there’s one street that encapsulates the history, culture and spirit of a city then it’s Spaccanapoli in Naples. While the road’s name translates to ‘Naples splitter’ (because of the way it slices the city in two), it is in fact just a nickname, and the actual street sign you need to look out for is Via San Biagio del Librai – which then becomes Via Benedetto Croce as you advance eastwards. It’s here that you’ll find the highest concentration of historic monuments, grandiose temples, angelic statues and bustling cafes.
Explore one of the most captivating ruins in in the world
With the ruins of Pompeii being just a 35-minute train ride from the centre of Naples, the city is the perfect base from which to visit the site. As one of the best-preserved ancient ruins in the world, this is an attraction that needs no introduction, and coming to Naples without visiting Pompeii would be a little like a Roman citizen turning down the chance to see a public execution!
See a spectacular collection of ancient treasures
If you’ve ever wondered what sorts of things a Bourbon king keeps in his attic then a trip to the Naples National Archaeological Museum is a must. Founded by King Charles VII in the 18th century as a place to store the amazing collection of Greco-Roman artefacts he had inherited from his predecessors, the museum is now among the top establishments of its kind in the world, and contains many of the most interesting items unearthed at Pompeii and Herculanuem.
So why not head to Naples this summer and see this vibrant city for yourself!