Things to Do in Naples - page 2
Often regarded as being one of the most important museums in Italy, the Capodimonte Museum is the leading depository to everything related to Neapolitan paintings and decorative arts. It also hosts several important works from other Italian schools of painting, as well as some important ancient Roman sculptures. Some of the collection’s highlights include the Portrait of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and the Baronci Altarpiece by Raphael, the Antea by Parmigianino, the Transfiguration by Giovanni Bellini, the Annunciation and the Mary Magdalena by Titian, to name just a few.
The first and second floors are entirely dedicated to the 100+ Neapolitan School paintings (which date back from anywhere between the 13th and the 18th centuries), while the other rooms of the palace are dedicated to antique 18th-century furniture and the porcelain and majolica collections.
This is the square to see and be seen in in Naples. Piazza Trieste e Trento has cocktail-sipping beautiful people and giggling teenagers sipping lemon granitas from the hole-in-the-wall cafe. Don't miss the legendary Caffe Gambrinus.
Across the road is the elegant Piazza Plebiscito. An open, elegant piazza bounded by an elegant sweep of Doric columns, the glorious ex-royal residence Palazzo Reale, now a museum, and the domed church of San Francesco di Paola. Also worth seeing is the Teatro San Carlo, the oldest continuously active opera house in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
There are hundreds of historic churches in Naples, so narrowing down the must see list can be hard. San Lorenzo Maggiore is worth saving time for on your busy itinerary. It’s at San Lorenzo Maggiore where poet Boccaccio is said to have met Fiammetta. During a visit here you’ll see a beautiful church, get a history lesson and an amazing glimpse of underground Naples.
The Monumental Complex of San Lorenzo Maggiore contains the church and a museum that covers its remarkable history. It is constructed atop a Roman marketplace, so when speaking of San Lorenzo, it may refer to the church, the museum or archaeological site beneath. A large portion of the marketplace has been excavated and visitors are allowed to wander around to see the well-preserved remains of ancient shops. On the UNESCO World Heritage list, the marketplace is the only large-scale Greco-Roman site excavated in the downtown area.
The smallest island in the Campanian Archipelago, a trip to Procida can make a big impression.
Compared to its better known island neighbors, a small number of visitors venture to Procida, making it a great destination for travelers who don’t enjoy crowds. While Chiaiolella Beach is the island’s most popular stretch of sand, the beach at Pozzo Vecchio is known for its role in the film Il Postino.
Lined with a pastel rainbow of buildings, just wandering the narrow streets can provide hours of enjoyment. It’s questionable who has the better view, the houses and churches along the coast, or the many boats anchored offshore.
The ancient Roman poet Virgil didn't die in Naples, but the city had stolen his heart and he said he wanted to be buried there. At least that's what the Neapolitans say. On the pretty Posillipo Hill, there are three attractions associated with Virgil – two parks, and his supposed tomb. Both parks have variations on the same name – Parco Virgiliano.
At the base of the Posillipo Hill, the Parco Virgiliano a Piedigrotta (also known as the Parco Virgiliano a Mergellina, the neighborhood below Posillipo) includes a winding path up the side of the hill, with plants on either side and great views over the Gulf of Naples and beyond. Partway up the hill, the supposed location of Virgil's tomb is at the end of a long tunnel. Although it's less of a pilgrimage destination now, it's still popular with some visitors.
At one point in history, Naples was divided into more than two dozen neighborhoods. Present day city geography breaks Naples into 10 municipalities, but the neighborhood names like Saint Lucia are often still used when referring to various parts of the city.
Saint Lucia refers to the area surrounding the Castel dell'Ovo or Egg Castle. The neighborhood has been the subject and inspiration for some traditional Neapolitan songs, the best-known simple titled Santa Lucia. Numerous lyric renditions are known and recognized around the world.
This small octagonal church is best known as the home to Caravaggio’s The Seven Works of Mercy. Many visitors come to see the famous Caravaggio prominently hung high above the altar not realizing the extensive collection of other artists on display. Some hang in the church itself, other in the Quadreria, or Picture Gallery.
Pio Monte della Misericordia (Pious Mount of Mercy) is a charitable institution, founded in the early 1600s by seven Neapolitan nobles who strived to help those in need. The organization continues their work today.
These are the most important catacombs in southern Italy due to the length of their use as a burial site and the well-preserved mosaics. In use from the rise of Christianity until the 10th century, they hold the tombs of many bishops including the Basilica di Sant'Agrippino, the 3rd century bishop of Naples.
Nearby is the tomb of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples, whose remains were moved here in the 5th century to the Cubicolo di San Gennaro. He was later removed to the Cathedral of Naples.
Travelers looking to venture back in time can explore the eight ramps that delve some 33 yards deep into the depths of Chiaia on an incredible tour of the Bourbon Tunnel, or Galleria Borbonica. What was once a veterinary laboratory, and even earlier an escape route from the Royale Palace to a barrack in Via della Pace, is today one of Naples' top attractions for history lovers wanting to gain a deeper understanding of the city's culture and heritage.
Visitors can choose from a number of tours designed to highlight this unique attraction that operated as a military hospital during World War II and even as the Hall Judicial Outpost. Guides share in-depth details and stories while visitors navigate the tunnel's depths. Travelers say that while it can be difficult to find, the experience of stepping back in time and far below the Naples' surface is not to be missed!
More Things to Do in Naples
Piazza del Mercato has a long history from its beginnings as a marketplace, possibly as far back as Roman times. Later, eastern traders gathered here giving it the name Moors' Marketplace. Then a more gruesome era began with its use as the place for public executions. The first was in the thirteenth century - Corradino, the unfortunate 16-year old new monarch in an unpopular royal Svevian dynasty. The square has also seen revolutionary uprisings including those of 1647 and 1799. The latter led to the State's public execution here of 200 dissidents. The piazza also has the unfortunate honor of being the starting point of the plague of 1656.
These days life is much calmer in the square. It is a marketplace for fabric, toys and tools. It was severely damaged by bombing in WWII and many of the old buildings have been replaced by less-elegant concrete monsters.
Naples is a very hilly city, the perfect public transport solution therefore is the funicular or cable railway. Naples has four. The Chiaia was the first, built in 1889, then the Montesanto, followed by the Central and the Mergellina. The Central is one of the longest funicular in the world, and one of the busiest, carrying over 10 million passengers a year. It was built in 1928.The most famous was the Mount Vesuvius funicular built in 1880. It was the first one built on an active volcano and was damaged by eruptions at various times until finally being destroyed by the 1944 eruption. The famous Neapolitan song Funiculi Funicula was dedicated to it.
The Royal Palace of Caserta sits majestically on a hill overlooking the estate once belonging to the Bourbon kings of Naples. Built in grand style and stature, it was one of the largest buildings constructed in Europe in the 18th century and remains one of the continent’s largest palaces. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and at nearly 47,000 square meters in size it is the largest royal residence in the world.
The palace was inspired in large part by the Palace of Versailles in nearby France, though maintains its own individuality and style. Similarly surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens, fountains, and parks, it is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture and impressive in its scale alone. A few things not to miss: the Royal Staircase, atrium, and Palatine Chapel, which meet a central, particularly scenic part of the palace.
Capri may be the most famous island in the Gulf of Naples, but Ischia can lay claim to being the largest. Which is a good thing, because folks like to come and visit; Ischia welcomes about 6 million visitors every year.
Tourism is the main industry on Ischia thanks in part to volcanic activity that’s created much sought after hot springs. Thermal spas lure many visitors to the island, but with 37 km (23 miles) of coastline, there are plenty of things to appreciate about island life and finding a place to call your own isn’t impossible. Be sure to visit Castello Aragonese (Aragonese Castle) at Ischia Ponte. Built in the 15th century, it was once tasked with protecting the island from pirates.
The Bay of Naples is the body of water located between Naples, Italy and the Sorrentine Peninsula. It also refers to the region that borders the water and includes many worthwhile attractions. It's the perfect place to enjoy seaside relaxation, culture and history all within a few hours. The city of Naples can be a good hub for people interested in traveling throughout the area. Visitors can reach the famous ruins of Pompeii just a short distance away. An entire civilization was preserved here when Mount Vesuvius erupted almost 2,000 years ago.
Three popular islands in the Bay of Naples are Procida, Capri, and Ischia. Visitors can reach these islands by boat from Naples or Sorrento. Another impressive town that sits on the Bay of Naples is Sorrento, which is on the northern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula. This quiet town attracts visitors due to its seaside views, and it is a good base for visiting Pompeii or the Amalfi Coast.
Cala di Mitigliano is an unspoiled beach at the tip of the Sorrentine Peninsula in Italy. It can only be reached by walking down a steep footpath for about 30 minutes, but once you get there, you will enjoy beautiful scenery and views of Punta Campanella and the island of Capri. With a pebble beach and crystal-clear water, Cala di Mitigliano is in a cove surrounded by steep vertical rocks, making for a dramatic landscape.
On the right side of the beach is a circular building, similar to a tower, that was once used for lime production. While no longer in use, the structure adds to the landscape and stands as a reminder of the area’s history. Nearby, a 50-foot deep circular grotto is a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving, although it is only possible to enter when the sea is calm and the tide is low.
Shopping is a popular pastime in Italy, for tourists and Italians alike, but don't be fooled into thinking the Italians are always paying top prices for designer duds. They're often shopping at outlet malls, too. Near Naples, the outlet mall of choice is La Reggia Designer Outlet.
La Reggia is located just south of Caserta, near the town of Marcianise, roughly 30 miles north of Naples. The outlet is designed like a modern outdoor mall, with arcades lined with shops on both sides. There are more than 100 shops in all at La Reggia, featuring discounts of 30 to 70 percent off retail prices. You'll find Italian, European, American and many other international brands, including Armani, Diesel, Camper, Guess, Michael Kors, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Replay, Timberland and Valentino.
Things to do near Naples
- Things to do in Pompeii
- Things to do in Sorrento
- Things to do in Positano
- Things to do in Amalfi
- Things to do in Salerno
- Things to do in Pescara
- Things to do in Rome
- Things to do in Matera
- Things to do in Palermo
- Things to do in Taormina
- Things to do in Split
- Things to do in Siena
- Things to do in Amalfi Coast
- Things to do in Lazio
- Things to do in Abruzzo