From airport to city
Naples is served by Naples Airport, also known as Capodichino Airport. Works are underway, but for the moment the airport it is not served by any rail system.
From the airport you can take a bus for €3 (called Alibus: which has two stops only: Stazione Centrale (Central station) and Piazza Municipio, near the main ferry port (molo Beverello). You can buy your ticket on the bus. Further connections are listed on this page of the official website of the airport. Some notes: The Alibus ticket is €4 if you buy it from the driver on the bus. Save €1 by purchasing it in the airport or at the Stazione Centrale from one of the shops. Note also that the Stazione Centrale stop is not right outside the train station - it's about 200m or so down Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi. It's difficult/impossible to see the stop from the station because of construction barriers. Exit the train station by the McDonalds, cross the street (Corso Novara) and head down the unnamed pedestrian street that parallels Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi (avoid the folks selling questionably obtained iPads). The bus stop will be on your left.
If you have time to spare, you can take the 3S bus that will take you to the same stops as the Alibus for a cheaper price. The difference is that the Alibus has limited stops but the 3S will take you to the backstreets leading to the Stazione continuing all the way to the port and a shopping district. Also, the Alibus is airconditioned whereas most 3S buses are not.
Beware of illegal, unauthorized taxis and of anyone who may approach you directly. Authorized taxis are clearly visible at the exit; fixed fares exist for a number of destinations, and must be clearly shown in the cab. Make sure they are before getting on the cab and threaten to call the police ("polizia") should the taxi driver try to push back.
Be forewarned: Traffic in Naples may be extremely heavy, just to compare: very similiar to New York's. Traffic around the train station is nuts. Before attempting to cross the street, observe the locals. The idea is to spot a gap in the traffic and start across and hopefully people will stop.
There are several ways to see Naples and the surrounding area. These include by taxi, train/subway, bus.
Taxis are the quickest way to see Naples, but also the most expensive. 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 the presence of such fares and agree to them before starting the journey.
You will be surprised how easily you can get around by foot, too. Interesting spots are almost on every corner and most distances – especially in the (historic) centre – 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. Nonetheless, one can buy a daily pass for € 3,60 valid on all vehicles. With a € 1,30 ticket, instead, you can travel for 90 minutes on as many lines as you want (Bus, subway, funicolare). This pass is under the Unico Campania banner which has great integrated maps of the various lines in the city on their website.
Metropolitana di Napoli. There are three lines of underground subway in Naples. Many subway stations are regarded as fine examples of contemporary architecture and artistic urban decoration, being part of the Stazioni dell'Arte project. They are generally safer than the other public transport, because they are always monitored by cameras and security officers. But the subway does not run frequently, so do not rely on it if you are in a hurry. The most important ones:
Linea 1, built recently, connects the city center to the hill quarters, like Vomero and the hospitals area.
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.
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 three tram lines (1, 2 and 4), of which one goes along the shore of Castelnuovo - Garibaldi (Central Station).
Buses . ANM also operated 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. Another point to note is that unlike in Rome, tickets are not sold on buses. The bus company assigns staff to check if a passenger has a ticket. The staff members are notorious for targeting at tourists who are unfamiliar with the ticket-selling system. Once they see the tourists get into a bus, they will ask to see a ticket. No matter how much you explain, they will insist on getting your passport first and then requiring you to pay a penalty of 41.2 Euro. If you do not pay, they will threaten to call the police. Again, if you can, try to avoid taking a bus.
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 "Napoli Porta Nolana - Corco Garibaldi" and stops at the lower level of the central train station at Piazza Garibaldi and has six routes that service the local Naples area. One route goes from Naples to Sorrento with several stops in between, including Ercolano (Herculaneum) and Pompei Scavi (Pompeii) for the ruins. Another route travels around Vesuvius. Other routes go to Acerra and Nola-Baiano. The Circumvesuviana website 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 centres 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. Both services are owned and operated by the same company and more information can be found at the S.E.P.S.A website .
Regional Trains. In Addition to the aforementioned trains, Trenitalia operates regional trains from Naples to Salerno.
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; Monti di Procida and Salerno; and, Amalfi and Sapri. Besides the main stops the ferry service also connects many smaller communities. The Metro di 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, Prochida, 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. Schedule and timings can be downloaded from the L.N.P. website.
Just a note: the ferries to Capri can be over rough seas. Get on a ferry with an outside deck, take gravol or something similar before you sail. Nothing like being on a boat for 70 min surrounded by people who are vomiting to get your day off to a bad start.
Naples is famous for its outdoor markets and small shops (the city has an impressively high number) and that is where many tourists prefer to spend most of their shopping time. However, it also has other retail establishments of note, such as shopping malls and wine vendors. You can find expensive, upscale items, rare antiques, handcrafted clothing and souvenirs, and just about anything else you are looking for in Naples — and much of it at prices much lower than in Western European nations.
A selection of some of the most popular and worthwhile places to shop while touring Naples is given below:
La Torretta Market, located within blocks of the U.S.. Embassy in the Mergellina district, is a covered market with both stalls and adjacent shops. You will find an abundance of fresh produce, specialty cheeses and meats, fresh seafood, a pasta store called Casa del Tortellino, a bread store, and a chocolate store at the entrance. You can also pick up flower bouquets, wine and cleaning supplies.
Via San Gregorio Armeno is a narrow alleyway in Naples' Centro Storico that English tourists frequently refer to as Christmas Alley. Here you will find the famous Neapolitan nativity sets for sale; exquisitely crafted figurines of wood or terracotta and handmade manger-cribs. You can also find other craft items like representations of Pulcinella and Neapolitan Tambourines. The via is open year-round, and is very popular among tourists.
Poggioreale Market is the largest market in all Naples, having a total of 566 stalls. It gets rather crowded, but if you arrive early in the morning, you can shop "with more elbow room." The most distinctive attraction here is footwear, and the market is often called Shoe Alley. There are good deals to be found on shoes, boots, and handbags. Should you feel faint from hours of hard shopping, it is good to know that vendors are on-site selling water, coffee and various snack foods.
The Naples Antiques Market runs along Naples' seaside promenade known as Lungomare, which is a foot-traffic-only street traversing one of the most beautiful parts of Naples. You will find an incredibly extensive array of antiques that can literally take hours to fully explore.
The Naples Flea Market is open only twice a year, typically once in April and once in November. It is located in the very large Mostra d'Oltremare convention center.
The Scriptura Leather Shop, on Via San Sebastiano, is a traditional-style seller of Florentine leather products, including laptop bags, albums, diaries, wallets and belts.
I Coloniali provides you with fine Italian wine and chocolates, while Grangusto both sells wine and serves it, along with full meals, at its bar and restaurant.
On Via Toledo, you will find shops selling the most fashionable of Italian clothing brands. On Spaccanapoli, there are many high-end outlets selling shoes, suits and jewelry.
The number one mall in Naples is the gigantic Centro Commerciale Auchan on Via Argine. Here, you will find a nearly exhaustive array of goods all conveniently brought together under one roof.
In Naples, some may find the actual conditions of many buildings and streets, and the rampant graffiti, off-putting. Others claim this is "the immense character and culture of Napoli...and even the dirt and grime has its own flavor...a Neapolitan recipe for reality, and great fun". Naples' peculiarity is that the city centre is not the elegant part of the city. Just do not expect in the city centre the pristine conditions of many other major European cities, since the historical centre, unlike most European cities, is not the "downtown". If you want to visit the elegant part of the city, you can walk around the wonderful lungomare (the Riviera di Chiaia or Via Francesco Caracciolo), and visit Via dei Mille and Vomero hill (main shopping areas).
Most sites in Campania (including Pompeii) accept the Campania Card for tourists (free entry). Some cards also include a pass for the local public transportation.
Castel dell'Ovo at Porto Santa Lucia Naples' known port with the Egg Castle on a small peninsula. The castle currently houses the Museum of Prehistory.
Castelnuovo (Maschio Angioino) A huge medieval castle at the shore which houses the main city museum featuring various collections, but most importantly a picture gallery (with focus on 19th Century Italian painting). From the roof, you can get one of the best views of the city.
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte - Napolitan National Gallery, a must-see! Displays the Borgia, Farnese and Borbon collections with mainly Renaissance and Baroque Italian painting. Among the famous artists on display: Caravaggio, Tizian, Giovanni Bellini, Annibale Caracci, de Ribera and Giordano. A beautiful park surrounds the museum.
Museo Archeologico Nazionale - It is the biggest roman architectural museum in the World, even bigger than the National Museum of Rome. Its collection is astonishing both considering the quality and the quantity of the objects on display. Naples Archeological Museum houses wall paintings and different objects removed from Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other excavation sites in the area. In addition, you can admire the Farnese collection of Roman sculptures (including the famous sculptures of the Caracala Baths). €9.00 for admission (or more by exhibitions), children get in for free. If you are a EU-citizen, under 25 you can get in for the reduced price of €4. There is also an audio guide available talking about the statue collection on the first floor, however most of the amazing artifacts such as original Roman murals of mostly Greek mythologies are not covered. All descriptions of the exhibits are in English and in Italian. It is a must-see, an incredible collection of artifacts. The Museum also contains the well signposted "secret room" containing the erotic sculptures, paintings and murals from Pompeii. Daily: 9:00 to 19:30 (closed: Tuesdays, 1st January, 1st May, 25th December).
View of Mergellina (from via Orazio or via Petrarca)
Certosa di San Martino A Carthusian monastery at the top of a hill near the city centre. It houses the Museum of City History .
Parco Virgiliano A nice park with a stunning view of the surrounding area. It is about half an hour off the city centre, but certainly worth the effort! Not to be confused with the Park in which Virgil's Tomb is found.
Piazza del Gesù and Piazza S.Domenico Maggiore The New Jesuite Church is among the most extravagant Baroque churches in the world! Across the street you will find the Santa Chiara Monastery . It is worth a visit for its beautiful garden decorated with frescos and coulorful columns. If you continue towards S. Domenico Square you will pass by the St Angelo on the Nile Church with its Donatello's altar. The Sansevero Chapel nearby is also well known for its marble sculptures of veiled figures.
Napoli Sotterranea The ancient Neapolitan aqueduct, 2400 years of history. The tunnels served as shelters during WWII.
Catacombe di San Gennaro Medieval catacombs on Capodimonte hill.
Quadreria dei Girolamini A beautiful small picture gallery mainly of Italian Baroque painting and some works of famous De Ribera. Free of charge and just across the street from the Duomo.
Duomo Naples' main church with two luxurious chapels (one is dedicated to the city's patron St. Gennaro, liquefying his blood on Septeber 19, the so called Miracle of San Gennaro). Underneath it you can find excavation of a Roman site. Near the duomo you can find the St. Gennaro Treasury Museum, with arts exhibits from the duomo and another heavily frescoed chappel.
Pio Monte della Misericordia A church and a picture gallery both belonging to an old charity organisation. The gallery mainly displays a Caravaggio painting and Neapolitan Baroque paintings.
Teatro San Carlo Naples' famous opera house.
Piazza del Plebiscito Naples' main square. Surrounding it you will find the Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale - open to tourists), the San Carlo Theatre and the Galleria Umberto.
Acquario - Villa Comunale A park near the shore with Europe's first public aquarium in its centre. Nearby is the Cortes Museum of Applied Arts. La Casina Pompeiana in the park is home to changing exhibitions focusing on photography.
Galleria Umberto A shopping passage from the 19th Century with wonderful marbles and a glas roof.
Villa Floridiana Seat of Duca di Martina Museum of Ceramics and Marchese di Civitanova Museum of Carriages.
Museo Civico Filanghieri Used to be a private collection mainly of applied arts.
Citta' della Scienza
Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina Contemporary Art: displaying works by: Sol Lewitt, Francesco Clemente, Richard Long, Mimmo Paladino, Jannis Kounellis, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Giulio Paolini.
Pinacoteca della Accademia di Belle Arte Mainly features 19th Century Italian painting.
PAN - Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli Contemporary art exhibitions.
Raccolta Mura - Museum of the Napolitan Song
Museo del corallo e del cammeo Neapolitan typical jewellery
Museo del Mare (Naval Museum)
Piomonte di Pieta' in Palazzo Carafa A Manierist church and a picture gallery. Open only on weekends.
Textil and Clothing Museum Elena Aldobrandini
Museum of Music History at the San Pietro a Maiella Conservatory. Exhibits important manuscripts of the Scarlatti family.
Grotta di Seiano An artificial cave underneath Posillipo. It leads to an ancient Greek theatre.
Naples has an abundance of attractions and activities that await its annual tourists. There is no way to list them all here, but below are some of the most popular things to do in Naples:
Stop by the Piazza del Plebiscito, which sits near the Gulf of Naples and between the Royal Palace to the east and the Church of San Francesco di Paola to the west. Colonnades stretch along its edges, and there are many famous buildings within short walking distance. Occasionally, open-air public concerts will be held in the piazza.
Visit Lake Agnano, which is not a lake but once was. The lake, which occupied the crater of the now-extinct Agnano volcano, was drained in 1870. On the southern rim of "the lake," you will find natural sulphur-vapor baths and a cave called Grotta del Cane nearby.
Attend a football (soccer) match at Stadio San Paolo, the home field of the local team, called the Napoli. The stadium was first constructed in 1959 but renovated in 1989 to host the 1990 World Cup. It is the third-highest capacity stadium in Italy, holding over 60,000.
Relax in the Villa Comunale, a park on the bay built on land reclaimed from the sea. The park dates back to the 1780's and was originally the royal garden of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. The park has much greenery, a playground, a mini roller rink, and the Anton Dohrn Aquarium, which was built in the 1870's.
Another park to relax in is the Villa Floridiana in the Vomero Quarter. You will find plenty of trees and flower gardens along with a neoclassical house dating from 1819. The park is named after Ferdinand I's wife who was Duchess of Floridia. On the grounds, you can also visit the Duke of Martina National Museum of Ceramics.
The Centro Sub Campi Flegrei is a diving/snorkeling center set on the shore of the Gulf of Naples. It is not far from the offshore Phlegraean Islands and lies within the bounds of the Archaeological Park of Baiae, which is the site of underwater archeological finds known as the submerged Pompeii. The diving center is open all year round.
Attend the Open Air Cinema Festival during the summer in the Viale del Poggio di Capodimonte. It is "cinema beneath the stars" that takes place in an amphitheater surrounded by an artificial lake.
Take a guided tour of the city or nearby locations, either on foot, by limo, by motor scooter, by private car or by bike. There are urban routes to the historic center, the panoramic Vomero Quarter and throughout the city. There are day tours based in Naples that go to nearby Vesuvius, Pompeii, the ruins of Herculaneum and along the beautiful Amalfi Coast. You can also take an underground tour of the Catacombs of San Gennaro, to see the remains of ancient Christian tombs.
Experience life as a local, through the eyes of a local. Visit Naples and its surroundings in a unique way.
Food & drinks
Pizza comes from Naples. Look for pizza margherita, the original one, with nothing more than fresh tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella and a little olive oil. Eating a pizza in Florence or in Rome is not the same as eating it in Naples! Here the dough is thicker (than in Rome, for example) and is a little chewy.
In Naples every pizzeria makes a decent pizza. Some places display the label “Vera Pizza Napoletana” with a Pulcinella mask baking a pizza in a stylized Vesuvio, which indicates that the pizzerria follows the standards of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.
If you want to try “the” authentic Neapolitan pizza, go to Pizzeria Brandi, where the pizza margherita was born (a stone is exposed outside the restaurant explaining the history of the first pizza). The pizza dough and tomato sauce are perhaps a little more delicate here than in other places, and it certainly offers a nice escape from the madness of the Quartieri Spagnoli or Centro Storico, but there is better pizza and far more reasonable prices to be found elsewhere in the city. And really, the “gritty” and irregular character of the dough in this town are what make Pizza Napoletana what it is!
Today the best choices would be Trianon or especially Da Michele. Both these pizzerias make authentic pizza Napoletana, but are located near Forcella, which some might not be comfortable walking around at night. In particular, Da Michele has a unique feature: they only do pizza Margherita or Marinara (just tomato, garlic and oregano, and a splash of oil, of course!). They say that these two kinds are the original pizza: if you add too much toppings you’ll lose the real taste of the pizza, which should be very simple, made only of a good, thin base, good tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Note that there is usually a queue at these restaurants
Some other places that are very popular among the Neapolitans are almost all the pizzerias in Via dei Tribunali, in particular Di Matteo, Il Presidente [Dec 2013: closed?], 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!)
In general it is easy to find a good pizzeria, just look for one without tourists!
Da Michele. Via Cesare Sersale, 1–3 (Centro Storico). Get a numbered ticket from the waiter at the door when you arrive. Tel. 081 553 9204.
Pizzeria Brandi. Salita Sant’Anna di Palazzo, 1–2 (just off via Chiaia on the end closer to Piazza del Plebiscito). Tel. 081 416928.
Pizzeria di Matteo. Via dei Tribunali, 94. Tel. 081 455262.
Pizzeria Gastronomia Nennella (not to be confused with the trattoria of the same name) is your window to fantastic pizza in the buffer zone between Quartieri Spagnoli and Chiaia. Almost only locals eat here — or have their pizza delivered on a scooter — despite being just up the hill from via Chiaia. There is a table and two stool-chairs outside the window you receive your pizza from if you prefer to “eat in,” but in the early evening the local scooter culture can make dining on this corner somewhat unpleasant. Marinara for €2.50, margherita for €3. The ortolana bianca is fantastic here, and there are a few other excellent vegetarian options. Via Santa Caterina da Siena (Gradoni Chiaia) at Vico Mortelle.
Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo. Via dei Tribunali, 32. Also see the blog run by the owner, Accademia della Pizza, dedicated entirely to La Pizza Napoletana. Tel. 081 446643.
Pizzeria Trianon da Ciro. Via P. Colletta 44/46 (Centro Storico, just in front of Da Michele). Tel. 081 553 9426.
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 more popular sauces are arrabbiata (“angry”) or fra diavolo (“Brother Devil”), which means they will contain hot pepper. It’s great cuisine. Enjoy!
Hosteria Toledo offers antica cucina Napoletana in a friendly family-like environment. Excellent food and very tasty limoncello made by the chef. Vico Giardinetto, 78a (Quartieri Spagnoli, parallel to Via Toledo). Closed Tuesdays. Tel. 081 421257.
Nennella is a trattoria that is fairly calm for the lunch service but in the evenings becomes a full-blown theatre piece, giving what tourists think is the “authentic Italic dining experience.” Do not let yourself get seated inside unless you are completely desensitized to screaming, plate smashing and other forms of sonic violence. But can be great fun if you are in a group, perhaps not the ideal place for a first date. Tips go in a hanging metal bucket and provoke a hearty “GRAZIE!!!!!!” from the entire staff in chorus. Decent food at fantastic prices (which are indicated nowhere), e.g. half a litre of wine and two spaghetti al pomodoro for 11 EUR. Vico Lungo Teatro Nuovo, 105 (Quartieri Spagnoli, 3rd parallel street to via Toledo). Tel. 081 414338.
Valù (same owner as Hosteria Toledo, almost next door) offers a great menu of different risotto dishes, with lots of vegetarian options, including pistacchio. Vico lungo del Gelso, 80 (Quartieri Spagnoli, parallel to Via Toledo). Closed Sundays. Tel. 081 038 1139.
Mozzarella is also typical of the region, you should not miss the opportunity to taste the fresh real one!
The city and region are also famous for their pasticceria (pastries), including:
babà — found in virtually every caffe, bar and pasticceria in town
jaka pastiera — typical sweet of Easter (but found all year long), made of ricotta cheese melted with steamed corn and sugar, and then baked
sfogliatella — often filled with ricotta cheese (riccia) or cream with citrus flavor
roccocò and struffoli — typical Christmas sweets
Pretty much anywhere that serves coffee will have some pastries, nutella-filled croissants or other sweets available. Among the best places to try these pastries are:
Pasticceria Scaturchio offers old typical pastry of Naples. Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, 19 (just east of Piazza del Gesù). Tel. 081 551 7031.
Gran Bar Riviera has very good sweets, from zeppole to sfogliatelle passing through babà. Riviera di Chiaia, 181. Tel. 081 665 026.
Naples is becoming increasingly popular with a younger generation of both Italians and foreigners. In spite of false and stereotypical reports of adverse conditions, they 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 11PM. You should also try the area around Piazza dei Martiri, expecially Vico Belledonne a Chiaia, where you can find many crowded bars, a winebar and lots of young people, expecially at weekends. However, if you are looking for a American/English/Northern European drinking establishments you may be hard pressed to find what you are looking for as that culture is frowned upon in Naples. There are a variety of small drinking establishments but if you're looking for a crowded beer hall, Irish pub, or an American college-style dive bar, you'll have trouble finding one.
If you're in Naples and wondering what local beverages to try, the first answer is that Naples is as famous for its extra-strong, semi-sweet coffee as it is for its pizza, and you can try some at places like Gran Caffe Aragonese with a little ice cream floating on top or at Caffe Gambrinus, which also serves cake and cocktails. Amazingly, coffee is so thoroughly Neapolitan that it is commonly sold at local bars as well.
For those who would like to try the local beer and wine, there are an abundance of options. Beer bars were once rare, beer being traditionally sold with and consumed in pizza parlors, but now they are more common. Wine bars are classic in Naples, which is not surprising since it is the capital of Campania, a major wine-producing region. There are many local varieties of wine you may wish to sample, but the Aglianico is peculiarly appropriate. Aglianico black grapes are grown throughout southern Italy, but Campania provides them with their ideal soil and growing climate.
Some of the main areas of Naples where bars and cafes serving beer and wine are concentrated include:
On Piazza Bellini, Piazza San Domenico, and Piazza Santa Maria La Nova
On the street called Vico Belledonne a Chiaia, particularly on weekends
On the outskirts of town, near the port and the boardwalk called Pozzuoli
Some of the best beer and wine bars in Naples include:
Enoteca Belledonne, a wine bar in the middle of the famed Chiaia Quarter. It has an excellent selection of wines, reasonable prices and two or three appetizer dishes served every night. It was formerly only a wine cellar, but two brothers carried on (and extended) the family wine business by transforming it into a modern wine bar in 1989. This is one of the most popular establishments with locals and tourists alike.
Cap'alice, set on the Via Giovanni Bausan, has a large selection of local Campanian and Sicilian wines. You will also find excellent seafood, fresh Italian bread and smoked and cured meats known as "charcuterie," which is meant to be consumed along with the wine. Cap'alice is also located in the Chiaia Quarter.
Les Belles Choses is the place to go if you want to sample from a large selection of local beers. Additionally, the pub is quite popular for its sandwiches.
Cammarota Spritz is a lively bar with "budget-level" prices. It is situated in Vico Lungo Teatro Nuovo n.31 right next to a pizzeria, which makes it convenient to get a meal to go with your drink.
Frank Malone Pub is a little bit of Britain in the midst of Naples, on the Vomero hill. Here, you find hearty food and beer done in a way familiar to British tourists. Another pub of the same basic description is Morrigan Pub, located in the city center of Naples but providing beer and pub meals that make you feel as if you were right in the middle of London.
In some circles, Naples has acquired a reputation as being a particularly dangerous city, yet in reality, it is about as safe as other major urban centers. There are many parts of town that are generally very safe, and there are other areas that, under certain circumstances, can be somewhat dangerous, including:
The main train station at Piazza Garibaldi, where pickpockets, scammers and luggage thieves sometimes target the unsuspecting. Taking simple precautions, however, will minimize the risks — both at Garibaldi and all other transportation hubs, such as tram, bus and metro stations.
Narrow streets and alleyways in the Spanish Quarter, within the Centro Storico, and elsewhere where they occur throughout the city. Particularly at night, avoid small lanes that are dimly lit and devoid of other pedestrians.
City parks after sunset, when they are deserted and not well illuminated. Better to visit parks only during daylight hours, stay in groups and be on the lookout for anything suspicious-looking.
Besides avoiding dangerous areas and situations, you will also need to exercise some general precautions regardless of the time/place, including:
Wear a money belt or otherwise conceal your cash, credit cards, personal ID and important travel papers. Even if you carry a purse or handbag, do not store your most valuable items in it. Watch for pickpockets and do not "flash around" expensive jewelry, watches, electronics and the like.
Be alert to fraud and scams, which sometimes are attempted on tourists at the markets or while walking the streets. Most stalls and salesmen will be valid, but if something seems suspicious, it's better to play it safe.
Watch the meter when riding in taxis and be sure you clearly establish your desired destination and remind the driver to take the fastest route.
Watch for reckless drivers, mostly of motorcycles and scooters while walking the town. Sometimes, they zoom through the city's narrow streets dangerously close to crowds of pedestrians or suddenly appear around sharp corners.
Pay a little extra for comprehensive insurance coverage on any vehicles you rent while in Naples. Make sure wheels and tires are included in the coverage since pot holes and generally poor conditions will be found on many streets.
Park in secure parking zones rather than along the streets wherever possible. Parking zones are plentiful and cheap, so there is no need to risk a car theft or vandalizing.
Local Tourist Office Via San Carlo, 9, phone +39081402394 | Piazza del Gesù, phone +390815512701
Sure, the city has a bad reputation concerning the Mafia, trash crisis (the worst is actually over) and some parts of the city are impoverished, but if you look even further than that and by excersising a bit of caution, you will find a vibrant city with plenty to see and do, a city where the large influx of tourists like in Rome, Venice, Florence etc... have not happened (for now) and have thus allowed the city to retain much of its original culture, allowing you to visit a hidden gem just 2 hours south of Rome. Its territory, particularly the iconic sight of the gulf of Naples (but also Mount Vesuvius, the music, etc. ) is arguably one of the most powerful symbolic images of Italy.
Naples used to be divided into 30 quartieri (neighbourhoods), however today these neighbourhoods don't hold much administrative use but are still used by locals to refer to parts of the city. Nowadays the city is divided into 10 municipalities. However this page will divide Naples into 5 districts and regions on the point of view of the traveller.
Centro Storice (Historic Centre)
A labyrinth of history built in several layers of one period over the other and Naples prime tourist attraction. With excellent pizzerias, barouque churches, underground greco-roman ruins, famous streets like Spaccanapoli with shops selling traditional Neapolitan nativity figures, mozzarella, costumes and souvenirs and a vibrant night-life and atmosphere makes this free-of-charge living museum a must see among the must sees of Naples.
A volcanic crater famed and favoured by the Romans and the Greeks for its hot springs, now one of the centers of Neapolitan fun with one of the city's largest discos and one of the biggest sporting centres of Naples. Also to be found within the area are thermal baths, ruins of Roman baths, la Grotta del Cane a mofetta and home to numerous vulcanic phenomenons and the Astroni crater a WWF oasis.
Posillipo and Chiaia
With Roman ruins both on land and underwater, the famous view of Naples, a walk by the sea with dark blue water contrasting with seagulls perched on white skerries, Norman castle Castel dell'Ovo, barouque churches, palaces and gardens make this one of Naples' most charming destinations.
Arenella and Vomero
A nice neighbourhood dotted with trees, more churches and castles and villas.
San Cario all 'Arena
Nice neighbourhood with piazze a graveyard and the largest monumental palace of Naples, the Ospedale L'Albergo Reale dei Poveri (Bourbon Hospice for the Poor).
Zone Industriale (Industrial Area)
The business section in the city, filled mostly by skyskrapers designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. The largest cluster of skyskrapers in southern Europe.
Both Naples and the locally Italian Napoli are acceptable; either way, it's a derivative of the ancient Greek name Neapolis, which means new city. The Greeks first established the city and inhabited the region long before Roman times.
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 may be considered a separate language and can sometimes be unintelligible to the general Italian speaker. Neapolitan does not enjoy any official status, but it does have a rich literary tradition and it is still thriving in Campania and adjacent parts of Lazio, Abruzzo, Basilicata, Molise and Calabria. This said, the official language of Naples is Italian and everyone speaks it. Neapolitan has strong Spanish and French influences originating from their occupation of the area. 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.
The city of Naples is thought to be one of the oldest continually inhabited cities on the planet, but its recorded history began when Greek settlers established colonies in the area during the second millennium B.C. Later, another colony, called Parthenope, was founded by more Greek colonists from the Aegean island of Rhodes during the ninth century B.C. Parthenope eventually declined, however, and the true beginning of Naples (as such) was found in the new Greek settlement called Neapolis during the sixth century B.C.
Neapolis became of major importance within the Greek Mediterranean empire called Magna Graecia (Greater Greece) and an important center of trade. It allied itself with Rome against Carthage during the Punic Wars and again during the war with the Italian Samnite tribe. Ultimately, Naples (Neapolis) became a Roman colony and a key portal through which Greek culture entered Italy and merged with Roman culture.
After the Western Roman Empire fell to the Germanic barbarians in the fifth century A.D., Naples fell first to the Ostrogoths, then to the Byzantines, and then became an independent duchy. By 763, it had fallen under Papal control but regained its independence around A.D. 800. Naples then engaged in numerous local feuds with adjacent kingdoms, until in the 11th Century, when it hired Norman mercenaries to gain the upper hand. By 1137, however, the Normans took control of Naples itself along with much of the Italian Peninsula.
Around 1266, Naples became united with Sicily as part of the new Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and soon, it was made the capital of the new kingdom. Sicily and Naples were then divided and reunited several times over the next few centuries and were, at points, under the Iberian Kingdom of Aragon. Around 1501, Naples came under Spanish control, but after passing again through numerous masters, it was finally again the independent Kingdom of Naples. Naples later became a strong proponent of the Italian unification movement, and joined modern Italy in 1861.
Much of the cityscape of modern Naples was built under Mussolini's fascist regime and also during the reconstruction era following World War II. Although Naples never revolted against Mussolini, it was the first city in Italy to rebel against the Nazi occupation and was also the most-bombed city in all of Italy. The city was liberated by American and British forces on October 1, 1943.
Between 1950 and 1984, Naples received financial assistance from the Italian government under The Fund of the South, to help it rebuild. Since then, Naples has continued to build: it constructed a massive business district, a highly advanced city transport system, and a high-speed rail link to both Rome and Salerno. It has also boomed economically and seen unemployment drop. Naples now has the fourth-largest economy of any urban zone in Italy, has one of the busiest sea ports in the Mediterranean, and with a GDP of about $84 billion, ranks as the 103rd most wealthy city on the planet.
There is fast express train service to Rome and points north, as well as points south. Naples is the ultimate terminus for the FR7 line of the Rome commuter rail network, which runs from Roma Termini to Minturno-Scauri, Sessa Aurunca-Rocca or Naples. There are also local Italian Railway trains to Pompeii, but for such short distances, it is easiest to take the Circumvesuviana commuter train.
Caserta Royal Palace (Reggia di Caserta) Arguably the most beautiful royal palace in Europe, the Royal Palace of Caserta is a huge 18th-century palace and hunting lodge designed for the Bourbon Kings of Naples by late-Baroque architect, Luigi Vanvitelli. The palace is surrounded by a magnificent, enormous park with lakes, rivers, statues, fountains and marvellous views. Just north of the Caserta train station, 40 minutes north of Naples. Open all year except holidays. Last entry at 15:30 in the winter months.
Gulf of Naples
Tour the excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii nearby to the south of Naples. Pompeii is 40 minutes via the Circumvesuviana train (Sorrento line, here is the timetable from the Naples Central train station.
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.
Paestum, an hour and a half to the south, (near Salermo) is Italy's most famous Greek excavation site.