Think of Naples, Italy, and you think of pizza. No wonder, Naples is the birthplace of the traditional wood-burning oven. As you travel across Naples, you realize that Naples is more than pristine beaches, emerald green fairways, relaxing resort spas, and pizzas.
It is the third-largest city and the second most populous area in Italy. The port of Naples, a major cargo terminal, is one of the busiest in the Mediterranean area. But, in Naples, tourism is one area that is developing and influencing the city’s economy.
When you set off to travel through Italy, make sure you keep aside at least a few days to explore Naples. You can regard the tour of Naples alone as a good utilization of your Italy visa. Naples has been a center of art and architecture for the past few centuries and continues to be one even now.
As you travel and explore you will realize that this is an Italian city that lives art. Do not miss the following while there:
Piazza Del Plebiscito:
Generally sightseeing begins here, the city’s central gathering place in the heart of Naples. It is also a short distance from some of the important tourist attractions. The Piazza del Plebiscito is a beautiful pedestrian square from where you can get glimpses of Basilica Royal and the Royal Palace. The Gran Caffe Gambrinus here is famous for works of art by contemporary Italian artists.
Naples’ National Archaeological Museum:
A visit to this museum that has a vast collection of ancient Roman and Greek artifacts is a must. Most of these artifacts are from the nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum. You will also find works from Greek, Roman, and Renaissance times in the collection here. The greater part of the museum’s classical sculpture collection largely comes from the Farnese Marbles that are Roman copies of original classical Greek sculptures, most of which are lost.
For lovers of contemporary art, Naples is one of the best cities to indulge in themselves. The Madre Museum ranks as the top museum in Italy for contemporary art. It is situated very near the National Archeological Museum. You can view works by some great artists, like Sol Lewitt, Richard Serra, Mimmo Paladino, and Jeff Koons.
Museo di Capodimonte:
This is one of the largest museums in Italy, located in the Royal Palace of Capodimonte. The National Gallery here includes works of Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, El Greco, Giovanni Bellini, and many others. Enjoy the magnificent Farnese collection of classical, mostly Roman, monumental sculptures exhibited on the ground floor.
San Gennaro Catacombs:
The San Gennaro Catacombs are in the city of Naples, beneath the city. They are home to over 3000 burial sites. With two levels carved out of porous stone, the upper level is for the bishops and the lower level for the less wealthy members of society. Admire some of the oldest Christian art in all of Italy here.
Ruins of Pompeii & Herculaneum:
Visit the nearby ruins of Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the well preserved and large theatre, and admire the acoustics of this ancient theatre. See the preserved remains of the people of Pompeii trying to escape. Covered and frozen in various poses, you can feel their terror. The excavated city offers a picture of Roman life at the moment of eruption. Herculaneum is another town that was stamped out by the volcanic ash of Mount Vesuvius’ eruption. View the collection of preserved papyrus scrolls at the Villa of Papyri.
In Naples, art is not restricted to galleries and museums. As you walk through the city, you find that the city itself is a canvas for the artists with murals, stencil-work, and graffiti art that can be seen throughout the urban landscape. Go on a street-art tour and enjoy the best works by local and international artists.
Climb the most dangerous volcano in Europe. There is a spiral walkway around the volcano from the road to the crater. Take a tour to the top with a guide and learn about its history and many eruptions. Look into the silent crater. Enjoy the view from the top of Naples, the bay, and the Apennine mountains. The area around Mount Vesuvius is a National Park.
A vibrant city, Naples is tougher than other Italian cities. To enjoy your visit, a guided tour is recommended. Take care of your belongings and avoid crowds.
There are plenty of other attractions in Naples. Wherever you turn, you find art – in their cafes, roadsides, walls, and even in their food. Strolling along the street markets and bargain hunting turn out to be a multisensory adventure in itself. The flavors of Naples, even apart from their heavenly pizzerias, are to be experienced to be believed.