Naples is the home of all good things – pizza, gelato, mandolin playing artists and stunning historical sites set against the backdrop of Mt Vesuvius. Yet surprisingly, the city is half as popular as other Italian cities like Rome, Milan, Venice or Florence. And it’s such a shame because every street in this incredible city is steeped in art, history, and perhaps the most incredible food scene in Italy.
In 79 AD, Mt Vesuvius furiously erupted destroyed one of ancient Rome’s most popular cities, Pompeii. In single volcanic eruption, the city was completely destroyed, burying its 11,000 inhabitants instantly. It was rediscovered only in 1599 and archaeologists started excavating much later, almost after 150 years.
Today, the ruins of Pompeii are part of the UNESCO World Heritage and one of the Italy’s most visited sites attracting over 2.5 million visitors every year. Wandering through this heritage site is a must have experience when in Italy.
2. Mt Vesuvius
It would be a shame to go Naples and not visit the legendary Mt Vesuvius whose brooding presence is unmissed in the city. It’s iconic flat top dominating the city’s skyline is distinctly sets it apart. While the thought of climbing a live volcano is daunting, it is totally worth it. The views from atop are spectacular to say the least. You can choose to hike up by yourself or join on a group tour.
You cannot leave Naples without eating pizza. After all, this is the birthplace of pizza. The delicious aroma of freshly baked pizza lingers all over the city. And believe you me, it’s the best pizza you’ll ever have!
L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele is a standout amongst the most well known pizza joints in the city (it was even included in Julia Robert’s film, Eat Pray Love!). Situated on Via Cesare Sersale, in the heart of the city, they just have two options of pizza – tomato and mozzarella or tomato and anchovy – they’re both great!
4. The Veiled Christ
If you could only visit only heritage site in Naples, it should be the Veiled Christ in the San Severo Chapel in the city center. This fantastic stature of Christ after death was carved out of a single marble by Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1753. The statue is so beautifully realistic that it makes the marble seem gossamer thin, much like the shroud covering Christ.
Capri is one of the Italy’s most stunning islands. It’s serene beauty has been immortalized in paintings, songs, and literature.
The island can be accessed by high speed boats that take 50 minutes to 60 minutes, and cost around €20. If you have time on hand take the slower boats to leisurely enjoy the Mediterranean beauty. It takes about 80 minutes and costs around €12-€15. If you’re traveling in summer, make sure to visit the island’s acclaimed Blue Grotto and take the chairlift up to Mount Solaro.
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