Ah, Napoli! While this grand dame of the Italian south might be a little less glamorous than in centuries past, she still has secrets to tell and treasures to share with the discerning visitor. A sun-soaked city that lazily curves around the Bay of Naples, there is so very much to see and explore. Art, culture, food and shopping - it’s all on offer here, and in abundance.
Where to go
Wander the streets, piazzas and alleyways to discover the city’s ancient castles, palazzos and churches. Sit in a cafe on the Piazza del Plebiscito and watch the world go by, before a short over to Galeria Umberto, a major shopping centre full of boutiques. Explore the city’s museums, including the Museo dj Capodimonte, full of centuries of stunning art. Sit in the sun with a picnic at one of the green open spaces and gardens throughout the city, with stunning views over the bay. Delve into the vast tunnels beneath the city, originally excavated by the Romans. Relax in an open air cafe in the evening with a drink, watching one of the world’s most interesting take on an entirely new aspect. Drink in the faded glamour of the place - it’s a vital part of the charm!
Food & Drink
Neapolitan cuisine draws heavily from the sea that it sits beside - mussels, urchins and other sealife often makes an appearance. Bright vegetables and vivid, spicy flavours introduced by Arab and Spanish invaders provide a wonderful contrast. Naples is also where the pizza was invented as we know it in the 19th century. For the best of classic local cuisine, head over to Palazzo Petrucci (Piazza San Domenico Maggiore 4) for refined surroundings alongside the excellent food. For something a little more contemporary, try Urbino (Via Alabardieri 30) for its ‘slow food’ approach, elegant charm and innovative dishes.
Perhaps due to the Spanish influence of centuries past, things kick off later in Naples than the rest of Italy. Spending a long evening strolling and stopping frequently for a drink is practically the city’s own sport. For fun cocktails, try Intra Moena (Piazza Bellini 70,) on a leafy bustling square. Elsewhere, wine sippers will love the Enoteca Belledone (Vico Belledonne a Chiaia 18) for its huge selection of wines and rustic charm.
Where to stay
Our picks for Naples are both outside the city, but are worth the trip, The Mezzatore Resort on the island of Ischia is a wonderfully secluded retreat, nestled in a 15th-century building, high above a private bay. The hotel boasts a fully equipped spa, lovely swimming pools and tennis courts ready for you to play. From the hotel, Naples can be reached by a boat ride. An hour away in Sorrento, the Palazzo Marziale is a boutique bed and breakfast surrounded by a gardens and full of wonderful antiques - just the place to make you feel like nobility. The central location also makes it ideal for exploring the wonderfully pretty town of Sorrento. The wonderful Capri hotels of JK Place Capri, Capri Palace Hotel and Spa and Villa Marina Capri Hotel and Spa are also a short 45-minute hydrofoil ride away.
How to get there
Both British Airways and Easyjet fly to Naples daily.