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Top 5 Things to do in Naples, Italy

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Naples is city the exudes vivacity, from its colorful and crowded streets to its lively local traditions.

No matter what time of year you plan to visit, here is a list of the top 5 things not to be missed in Naples.

1. Palazzo Reale and Environs

Located near the waterfront and Naples’s grand Piazza Plebiscito you’ll find the impressive Palazzo Reale, or Royal Palace, which was constructed in the beginning of the 17th century. After visiting the royal apartments, head across the street to the elegant Caffè Gambrinus for an espresso before exploring the nearby Galleria Umberto I and the Castel Nuovo.

2. Walk Along Spaccanapoli

The city of Naples comes alive in all its splendor, chaos and charm on the street colloquially known as Spaccanapoli, or “split Naples.” This street dates back to the ancient Greek and Roman city, and today it is one of the most lively and distinctly Neapolitan streets in the historic center. Begin in the Piazza del Gesù Nuovo and discover the traditional pizzerias and pastry shops, as well as some of the best monuments and churches in the city.

3. National Archaeological Museum

If you have time to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum during your time be Naples, be sure head to the ruins of the ancient cities destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD, which are located just outside the city. If not, don’t fret because some of the best treasures from the two ancient sites are today housed in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, along with many other fine treasures. With works to wow any art enthusiast, this museum contains one of the most important collections of ancient art in the world. Be sure to see the Roman frescoes and wall paintings uncovered at Pompeii and the collection of marble sculptures.

4. Duomo of Naples

Naples is a city of churches, but one not to be missed is the Duomo or Cathedral of San Gennaro. From its Neo-Gothic façade built in the 1800s to the 4th century Baptistry, you can explore much of Naples’s lively history inside the Duomo. Below the church are archaeological remains from the Greek and Roman city. Don’t miss the Chapel of San Gennaro located on the center right of the nave, which is a resplendent Baroque design honoring the city’s patron saint and protector.

5. Enjoy a true Neapolitan Pizza

Naples is the Italian city for pizza, and many think that Italy’s famous dish was invented here. While the secret that makes Neapolitan pizza so divine has yet to be discovered, one bite and you’ll understand why purists proclaim the best pizza in Italy is made in Naples. Try the classic margherita pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, the region of Campania’s famous mozzarella cheese, a touch of basil and finished off with a extra virgin olive oil. Buon appetito!

Top 5 Popular Hotels in Naples, Italy:

Photo of Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples, Italy, by Ken Mccown

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer laura thayer

Laura is an American travel writer and art historian who lives on Italy's beautiful Amalfi Coast. She loves to explore, write about and share her passion for her adopted home, which she does at her blog Ciao Amalfi!.

6 responses to “Top 5 Things to do in Naples, Italy”

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  1. Ciro Napoli says:
    April 12th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I love Naples!

  2. Joe says:
    October 9th, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    I have lived in Naples for 7 long years. It has affected my marriage and my mental and physical health
    and I hate it! It’s full of rude crazy people, starving dogs, trash everywhere, and there isn’t a car anywhere without dents. People steal when they can and drive like lunatics. If you can avoid this hell hole!

  3. Nicole says:
    April 24th, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Sicily is just like Naples when it comes to trash, but what big city isn’t “dirty”. And Italians are not rude, Americans are much more rude!

  4. Coralys says:
    July 14th, 2013 at 7:25 am

    I’m currently visiting Naples, and while I agree it’s not the cleanest, I’ve seen worse. As for rudeness, again I’ve experienced worse from Americans. These experiences are what you make of it. Joe, if you hate it so much, leave.

  5. connie says:
    August 24th, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    WOW ! I am so glad I read this before booking my trip .
    It really doesn’t matter what nationality you are,…
    Some people are rude, some are kind. I did not know about the trash every where. ! We were told that Venice stinks,and has dead rats every where, is that true ? What would be the Top 5 things to see in Naples & Sorrento ? I would appreciate your opinion, as I don’t want to miss something good. Thank you.

  6. G. says:
    December 2nd, 2013 at 11:18 am

    This blog seems pretty well! Keep up the great job and pls write much more stuff like this.


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