The castle of Capodimonte boasts a wonderful view on the Bay of Naples. Built in the 18th century by Bourbon kings, it has been the royals' summer residence for a long time; today it hosts a museum which exhibits various collections, including masterpieces by Tiziano, Botticelli, Perugino and Raffaello.
Not far from Church of Gesù Nuovo, the Basilica of Saint Clare is the biggest gothic basilica in the city. Built in provençal style in the 14th century, it has plenty to see for art history lovers, such as the remains of some of Giotto's frescoes. Here you can also find an archaeological site, a monastery, and a museum which collects historical documents, sacred relics and marble statues.
San Lorenzo Maggiore is an extraordinary building complex which mixes gothic and baroque architecture, and dates back to the end of the 13th century. Every Christmas, a life-size nativity scene is set up inside the church. A museum occupies three floors above the courtyard, and exhibits historic items from the monastery as well as archaelogical remains.
San Gregorio Armeno is located in the centre of Naples and is a wonderful example of Neapolitan Baroque art. Here you can find beautiful frescoes, gilded ceilings and cloisters full of orange trees. The church also hosts the relics of St Patricia, thus locals often call it 'Chiesa di Santa Patrizia'.
The enigmatic Sansevero Chapel is an important part of the Italian artistic heritage and is located in the historic part of Naples. Here you can see the famous Rococo sculpture of Veiled Christ made by Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1753, as well as a feast of Baroque architecture and a mysterious temple of initiation.
Cimitero Delle Fontanelle, also known as the Valley of Death, offers a somewhat unique - and possibly morbid - experience. For sure it is unlike any other church or cemetery in the world, and, although it might be a bit difficult to find at first, it should not be missed while in Naples.
This neoclassical theatre can look like it's frozen in time: the majestic golden décor and the red suede curtains will probably throw you back to the 18th century, when it was built for Charles III, duke of Bourbon. After several restorations, it is still open today, and hosts great shows such as Swan Lake.
This narrow street is all about the nativity scene and teems with tourists and locals. When wandering down Via San Gregorio Armeno, you will be amazed by the plethora of nativity scene objects lined up along the street. The place is especially popular during Christmas time, when everyone is looking for Christmas cribs and figurines.
When in Naples, you should seize the opportunity to go to Pompeii. The city is located south of Naples and is known for having been destroyed and buried by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Today it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy, and offers many interesting (and slightly macabre) sights.
This majestic archaeological site is worth checking out because of its historical value, and for the majestic view over the Naples bay it offers. The villa, complete with a theatre and thermal baths, was built by Roman knight Publio Vedio Pollione, and its name means "stress relief". The place is also known for its cave, which is more than 700 meters deep into the hillside.
This church and monastery complex is one of the highest rated in Naples, and you shouldn't miss it if you're interested in art and history. Founded by Augustinian monks, it was renovated many times through the history, and hosts interesting examples of different art styles, such as its scenographic 17th-century façade, and fascinating sculptures and frescoes.
Not far from Naples, the beautiful town of Amalfi is the perfect spot for a one-day excursion: it boasts a stunning seaside and a surprisingly rich history (it used to hold a huge maritime power in the Middle Ages), which has left interesting sights such as the St Andrew Cathedral, with its scenic staircase. To explore it fully, consider booking a guided tour. A good option, run by locals, is the See Amalfi Coast tour:
If visiting an underground secret passage which also served as a war refuge sounds thrilling to you, don't miss this fascinating museum. More than 500 meters long and 150 years old, Bourbon Tunnel has been recently restored to the detail and offers experiences for all tastes, from historical tours to speleological excursions.
The only active volcano in Continental Europe, Mount Vesuvius is a popular destination for excursions, and offers a stunning panorama over the Naples bay, as well as a thrilling opportunity to look inside its crater. Infamous because it destroyed Pompeii 2 000 years ago, Vesuvius is now carefully controlled by geologists. An interesting choice can be visiting it in the morning - it's 20 minutes away from Naples - and then heading to the Pompeii archaeological site in the afternoon.
With its stunning rock cliffs over a deep blue sea and its polished, upper-class gardens and villas, this beautiful island in front of the Sorrento bay has much to offer. Don't miss the Grotta Azzurra sea cave, in which a play of lights makes the water sparkle with an ethereal blue. Admire the elegant fin-de-siècle architecture of Villa Lysis and the sea view from the terrace, or visit the rocky beaches of Marina Grande and Spiaggia di Faro. Expect the island to be crowded in the summer.
Since its opening in 1943, this bustling restaurant has been an institution in Naples: frequented by famous writer and actor Eduardo de Filippo, it has also hosted well-known guests like Maradona and Michael Schumacher. It offers typical Neapolitan dishes such as stuffed grilled pepper and pasta from daily markets, and has a remarkable choice of wines.
Recommended by tourists in search of high quality Neapolitan flavours, and well reviewed by local newspapers, this atmospheric restaurant is called 'My Friends' in Italian, and is a great spot to taste traditional classics such as Gnocchi alla Sorrentina and Ragù meatballs. Their after-dinner limoncello is said to be particularly good.
Popular among Neapolitans, lesser-known by tourists, Pellone is the perfect place to get to know what a local modern pizzeria feels like, and a great occasion to mingle with locals and some well-informed fellow visitor at a common table. The staff has a loud, easy-going personality and will serve you huge pizzas at reasonable prices.
Da Michele's historical pizzeria is always packed with people, for a reason: it takes pride in preserving its own traditional pizza recipe, passed down from generation to generation since 1870. You might find some queue, but it's worth it to taste Michele's culinary tradition.
Located in the Spanish Quarter in Naples, Trattoria da Nennella is appreciated for the quality of its affordable traditional dishes, and for the teeming, loud Neapolitan atmosphere you can find inside - the waiters of this restaurant will give you a warm welcome, and even whistle some songs if they feel like it.
If you feel like taking a break from traditional cuisine, this wine bar and grill house on the Vomero hill will offer you a sophisticated alternative, with its selection of international wines and barbecue meat dishes. Located inside an 18th-century palace, it has a cosy atmosphere, and also specializes in homebrew beer and choice cold cuts.
Set in a stunning position in front of the Posillipo bay, with a seafront view over historical palaces, Capri and Mount Vesuvius, this exclusive restaurant has an impressive wine selection and an elegant, thoughtful menu proposal - the lasagnetta is a must try. It may not be cheap, but it's certainly a fantastic choice for a luxurious evening.
For a savoury typical dinner at an affordable price, head to this cosy restaurant located in a characteristic Neapolitan alley, a 'vico': the menu is simple but successful, and the warm-hearted staff will be happy to give you a full explanation about every dish. Don't miss the chef's own recipe, Spaghetti alla Don Raffaé, inspired by a popular Italian song - typical yet creative, and a favourite among guests.
An actual life hack for tasting tons of typical food in Naples while on a budget is having your lunch break at Nonna Anna's. This old-fashioned canteen, hidden inside a covered city market, doesn't provide table service, but it is a favourite among locals, and offers delicious showcooked specialities at an incredible value for money.
Fried street food is an unmissable tradition in Naples, and Friggitoria Vomero is definitely an expert in the field. Located in the historical part of Naples, it has been serving on-the-go snacks since 1938 and is still going strong. Try different specialities, and make sure you don't miss mozzarella sandwiches and polenta.
Considered by many to offer the best sfogliatella pastries in Naples, as well as a great spot for lunch, Pasticceria Attanasio is very well known, and therefore often packed with people. It's definitely worth the wait: tasting freshly backed pastries, and witnessing the lively local crowd, are two exquisitely Neapolitan experiences you should never miss.
Appreciated by both locals and tourists for its premium quality coffee blends, Bar Mexico has many branches around town, one of which close to the central station: let their friendly service and authentic espresso welcome you into the city. In summer try, for a change, their well-reviewed 'Caffè del nonno' iced coffee.
As its name suggests, this sunglasses shop focuses on items from the 50s, 60s and 70s, aiming to recreate the vibrant, retro atmosphere of those years. The owner is super friendly, and carefully selects every piece from its collection, making this shop a must-see for vintage lovers.
Naples Oblige is a lovely decorated ceramic shop. It is renowned for its expert staff, who boast plenty of knowledge about local traditions. For a unique shopping experience, ask the artists in the shop whatever you want, and sit down to listen to all the stories they have to tell.
Offering a wide range of merchandising from museums, art products and music, Museum shop is the perfect place to find a souvenir with an historical meaning and some cultural background. In particular, you'll find items and pictures related to Pompeii and Herculaneum, and ancient Italy in general.
Naples International Airport, Aeroporto Internazionale di Napoli, is located approximately 7 kilometres from the city centre. To get into the city centre, take a special bus from the local transport company ANM. Its name is Alibus and it departs 250 metres from Terminal 1 every 20 minutes. You can buy the ticket on borad, or visit www.anm.it . Taxis are available from outside the arrival concourse, and most of them have fixed rates for trips to the major destinations. To hire a car, make an inquiry directly to a car company, such as: Avis Naples Airport +39 081 780 5790 Mon-Sun 7:30am-11:30pm www.avisautonoleggio.it Europcar Naples Airport +39 081 780 5643 Mon-Sun 7:30am-11:30pm www.europcar.com Hertz Naples Aeroporto +39 081 231 1200 Mon-Sun 7:30am-11:30pm www.hertz.it
Italy can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.
The best time to go sightseeing in Naples and enjoying its beauty to the fullest is probably spring or late summer - May, June, or September. The weather should be warm and pleasant, even if a couple rainy days can happen. June and August are the best months for going to the beach and swimming, but they can be very hot. Plus, the city might feel a bit empty, since many Neapolitans go abroad on their summer holidays. Christmas time in Naples be a surprising experience - the city gets crowded with street markets and nativity-themed stands.
The most comfortable way to get around Naples is walking, but since the city is quite large, sooner or later you might have to use public transport. It is best to avoid driving because of the heavy traffic. The Unico Campania company has an integrated fare card system to cover the public transport network for the whole area. The card covers 14 different types of transportation and is called TIC ticket. You can buy hourly, daily, weekly and monthly tickets at tobacco shops or at some newspaper stands; there are also ticket machines in many railways and metro stations. It is very important to validate the ticket in order to avoid fines - you can find validating machines on board. Validate your daily, weekly and monthly ticket at first use, and remember to fill out personal information on the ticket if required. Different tourist cards are also available - check the most updated offers on the Unico website: