Famous for its spectacular sea views and indulgent culinary scene, the fascinating city of Naples is an explosion of energy and colour not to be missed.
Often overlooked in favour of more picture perfect destinations such as Rome, Florence and Venice, Italy’s third largest city offers a wealth of architectural treasures, a spectacular coastal setting and an unapologetic authenticity that makes for a unique visitor experience. With a long list of world class museums and art galleries, more than 400 churches ranging from tiny historic chapels to the impressive 13th Century cathedral, and arguably the nation’s best food and wine scene, atmospheric, edgy Naples is like nowhere else in Italy.
Despite its obvious appeal as a city break destination, Naples is seen by many as simply a gateway to the Amalfi Coast and Campania’s wine region. Few tourists stay long enough to wander the labyrinth of cobblestone streets, narrow lanes and alleyways to truly experience what this sensual city has to offer. Those who do can choose from a wide range of accommodation with everything from boutique hotels with enchanting views of the bay, to historic albergos in the centre of town and charming family-run pensiones in one of the city’s colourful neighbourhoods. Perhaps the most famous hotel here is the prestigious Grand Hotel Vesuvio which combines traditional old-world charm with all the trappings of modern luxury; its rooftop restaurant and bar, which boasts arresting views over the Gulf of Naples, is a popular choice for an aperitif with both locals and tourists.
Above all Naples is a food city. Famed as the birthplace of pizza, today its thriving food and wine scene remains unpretentious and for the most part affordable, with a diverse range of restaurants, bars and kiosks serving everything from Michelin star fare to Italian street food. Visitors cannot come here without sampling the city’s fresh seafood, the delicious but unpronounceable sfogliatelle - a Neopolitan snack of layered, flaky pastry with various custard-type fillings - and of course the famous pizza that first put Naples on the culinary map. For an authentic slice of the latter, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele - one of the oldest, most popular and best pizzerias in the city - is a must, but if you’re looking for a sophisticated tasting menu with optional wine accompaniments, or carefully constructed contemporary cuisine from the finest local ingredients, then Michelin Star rated Il Comandante and Aria are the perfect places.
No visit to Naples would be complete without sampling the many wines of Campania. Vineyard tours and tasting rooms are commonplace here and there are a large number of enotecae (local wine shops / bars) dotted around the city, selling regional varieties as well as famous labels from across the country. The bar scene here is buzzing with everything from cozy, atmospheric watering holes to upscale cocktail bars. So whether you’re looking for a fresh, exotic Greco do Tufo to break the intense summer heat, or a velvety, full bodied Taurasi to wash down cold cuts and crostini, Naples has a bar for every type of wine lover, and a wine for every palette!
Via Alessandro Scarlatti 30, Napoli, Provincia di Napoli, 80129
Vico Belledonne a Chiaia 18, Napoli, Provincia di Napoli, 80121
Piazzetta Nilo 18, Napoli, Provincia di Napoli, 80134
Vicolo Santa Maria a Cappella Vecchia 7, Napoli, Provincia di Napoli, 80121
Via Loggia dei Pisani, 2-14, Naples, 80133
Via Cristoforo Colombo 45, Naples, 80133
Via Cesare Sersale 1, Naples, 80139
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