Nestled off the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Naples is a vibrant, bustling city that tourists tend to overlook. For many years, the city struggled against growing crime rates, poor waste management, and general lack of advertising. However, Naples fought back and has since regained control of the city’s potential. Now the backdrop for Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels and Roberto Saviano’s series Gomorrah, Naples has begun to appear on more travel itineraries. But what is there to do in Naples? Here are 10 exciting things.
1. Sign up for a Naples Street Food Tour.
What better way to get acquainted with a city than by sampling its cuisine? A local expert will spend about 3 hours showing off some of the city’s finest dishes, including pizza, zucchini flowers, and sfogliatelle.
2. Explore the museum inside Villa Pignatelli.
Built in 1826 as a personal residence, the villa provides a look into the opulent lifestyle led by nobles towards the end of the Bourbon dynasty.
3. Afterward, head over to the even more lavish Reggia di Caserta.
The palace was built in 1750, by Carlo di Borbone to celebrate the city’s freedom from Spanish rule. Modeled after France’s Palace of Versailles, Reggie di Caserta has over 1,000 rooms for guests to explore.
4. Take a tour of Napoli Sotterranea, Naples Underground.
Visitors will see the remains of the city’s ancient Aqueducts, a Roman Theater, World War II air-raid shelters, and the Hypogeum Gardens, an underground vegetable garden.
5. Visit the Museo di Capodimonte, the former hunting lodge for Bourbon King Charles III.
Surrounded by over 300 acres of woods, Capodimonte is perched on a hill and offers tourists stunning views of the islands of Capri and Ischia.
6. Shop along Via San Gregorio Armeno.
Known as Christmas Alley, San Gregorio Armeno sellers’ are open all year round. Shoppers will find curiosities and trinkets of every kind.
7. Catch a show at the Teatro di San Carlo.
One of the oldest opera houses in Europe, the theater offers patrons guided tours as well as a museum showcasing historical costumes, scenery sketches, etc.
8. Behold the beauty of the Duomo di San Gennaro.
This gothic cathedral is the holy resting place of the blood St. Januarius, the city’s patron saint. Visitors can take guided tours through the entire complex, including the catacombs and the ancient Christian Basilica di Santa Restituta, which the cathedral was built around.
9. Take a day trip to Procida Island, the jewel of the Bay of Naples.
Procida is a popular destination for locals looking to escape the city’s summer. Though it is the smallest island in the Bay, Procida is surrounded by black sand beaches, winding stone pathways, and vibrantly colored buildings.
10. Visit Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii.
It’s not every day you visit a modern city resting within spewing distance of hot molten lava. Located only 6 miles outside of Naples, this still active volcano, and the city preserved in time, is a must for any Naples visitor.