Naples is usually considered a gateway to explore the Amalfi coast or to get to the medieval city of Pompei but this city should be given a chance. If you are looking for attractions, history and some of the best Pizza’s, this is the place to be!
Media surely does highlight the negatives of this city but it’s not that bad as it sounds. Did you know it is the third-largest city in Italy and has some of the most beautiful and impressive attractions, the underground caves takes you back in time, the wood-fired pizza makes you forget all the mediocre pizzas you ever had and lastly the beaches here are tranquilly beautiful. Slightly over an hour away from Rome, this is another place you should consider visiting, yes there is a fast train which takes just an hour and ten minutes to reach. What’s stopping you from visiting this city now?
Catacombs – Go underground Naples to explore its past heritage. This attraction is slightly spooky but it’s very interesting, these were used as a burial place and a worship place. The catacombs are also known as the ‘Valley of the Dead’. The catacombs are a precious part of history and a tour of these is highly recommended.
Royal Palace of Caserta – This 18th Century Palace which is about 30mins away from Naples and is one of the largest palaces in volume. It was inspired by the Versailles in France, this neoclassical palace has around 1200 rooms and has five floors. The garden, the staircase and the royal court theatre are some of the impressive things to see here.
Pompei – Buried under the ashes of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD is another fascinating city just under 25mins away from Naples. This attraction should surely be in your bucket-list, some things to see here are the Pompei amphitheatre, the forum, villa of mysteries, and House of Faun. The entrance ticket to this place is for €11 (full price) and you require at least 3 hours to see some of the sights here.
Sansevero Chapel – Situated in the heart of Naples is this magnificent Chapel and the sculpture of the Veiled Christ is one of the most interesting highlights here. There is a lot of mystery surrounding this place and the prince Raimondo who instructed to build this place.
National archaeological museum – If you are into art and architecture this place will impress you. Build in the early 17th century, there are numerous Greek and Roman antiquities. You can even witness some collectables from Pompeii and Herculaneum, back in the days this used to be the headquarter of the University of Naples.
Herculaneum – This site had the same fate as Pompeii, it was destroyed by the volcanic eruptions of Mount Vesuvius but unlike Pompei, many of its attractions are in decent conditions. It is said that 75% of Herculaneum still remains buried underground due to lack of resources and funding. This site is not as busy as Pompei so it makes the experience here way better than the touristy Pompei city.
The royal palace of Naples – Just like the Palace in Caserta, this Royal Palace also deserves a visit. History of this palace dates back to the 17th century when it was under the Spanish rule. It was also damaged by fire in 1837, today you can visit quite a few of the rooms and some of them include the Court Theatre, the Royal Chapel, and the Throne Room.
Castel Nuovo – This 13th-century medieval castle in the city centre houses paintings from 17th – 20th century, and is surrounded by a moat. It is a civic museum today and houses the Palatine chapel too. The name was given means a ‘new castle’ so that it was easily distinguishable from the old ones. Did you know it was even a royal residence for over a century?
Sant Lucia – Just a few steps away from the main square of Piazza del Plebiscito is this quaint neighbourhood, here you can see how the locals live. Clothes are usually hanging in the tiny balconies, there are a couple of shops and bakeries too and it would be a good way to familiarise yourself to the Napolitano way of life.
These are some of the best attractions in Naples and would take a good two days to explore all of it. It would be a shame to come to Naples for the coastline and not spend a few days in the city itself.