Naples is the capital of southern Italy and is definitely among the destinations to visit at least once in a lifetime.
It is a city on a hillside, home to almost 1 million inhabitants in a sparkling mix of culture, history and thousand-year-old scenic beauty. Once in Naples, it will be wise to choose one or more itineraries to visit the city that Stendal and Goethe fell in love with and discover it in all its fascinating beauty.
Recommended itineraries for tourists in Naples
To discover the city of Naples, we recommend five possible itineraries:
- Vomero: includes the hilly area of the city, the old centre, the seafront and Piazza del Plebiscito.
- Spaccanapoli: this is an ideal itinerary for those who want to visit the ancient centre of Naples, a place rich in tradition and very evocative.
- Mostra d’Oltremare: is the well-known exhibition centre located in Fuorigrotta.
- Lungomare and Riviera di Chiaia: this is an area overlooking the sea from which one can enjoy an amazing panorama of the entire gulf.
- Piazza del Plebiscito and Piazza del Municipio: these are the two most important city squares.
One suggestion is not to miss the hilly area of Vomero, the ancient centre (Spaccanapoli, decumani, via Duomo), the Lungomare and Piazza del Plebiscito.
The former represented the city’s ancient resort area for Naples until almost the end of the 19th century, when it began to be affected by the first construction by the Risanamento.
The area still retains a recreational vocation thanks to the numerous bars, restaurants and clubs in general. But in Vomero it is also possible to visit the Certosa di San Martino as well as the Forte di Sant’Elmo, whose massive bulk dominates the city, offering a breathtaking view of the capital, the profile of Vesuvius and the coastline as far as Mergellina.
Not far from the Belvedere di San Martino are the characteristic and romantic Petraio ramps and the axes of Via Luigia Sanfelice and Via Filippo Palizzi.
On the latter we can see some examples of Neapolitan Art Nouveau all pervaded by the dictates of the new modern language of a European matrix, mitigated in some cases by local eclecticism.
The Vomero is easily reached by Metro Line 1, Vanvitelli stop, or from the upper terminus of the funiculars Centrale, Via Chiaia or Via Morghen.
The real heart of Naples, however, beats in the ancient centre and the charming lower decumanus of San Biagio dei Librai, commonly known as Spaccanapoli.
The latter, together with two others of Greco-Roman derivation, constitute the oldest roads in Naples, whose layout has remained intact over the centuries. All the liveliness of the Neapolitan people exudes in them.
In the area, we recommend a visit to the churches of Gesù Nuovo and San Domenico Maggiore, as well as the convent complex of Santa Chiara with its famous majolica-clad cloister.
Along the aforementioned streets, it will not be difficult to sample the typical products of the local gastronomy, such as pizza, sfogliatella or the famous babà, as well as to feast on culture through the numerous museums in the area.
You’ll be spoilt for choice, or rather, for your interests
Spaccanapoli can be easily reached by Metro Line 1, Dante stop, or by the Via Morghen funicular railway, Montesanto stop, or from the Cumana Line stop of the same name.
Mostra d'Oltremare itinerary
Whether you are in Naples for leisure or business, you cannot fail to stop at the Mostra d’Oltremare, a trade fair district with a rationalist imprint, built in Fuorigrotta in just two years and inaugurated in 1940.
On an area of 1,000,000 square metres stood 36 pavilions, surrounded by a tree park that is still there today and open to the public at weekends, as well as the striking exedra fountain with water games and a series of various restaurants and first-class accommodation facilities.
The Mostra d’Oltremare is easily reached by Metro Line 2, Campi Flegrei stop, or by the Cumana line, Mostra stop.
Itinerary of the Lungomare and Riviera di Chiaia
To say Naples is to experience the sea in a tete à tete with the outline of Vesuvius and the gulf line, through a walk along the Lungomare and the Riviera di Chiaia.
The district was originally (16th century) a suburb outside the city walls, having as its entrance the Porta di Chiaia near what is now Via Santa Caterina.
The borough had a coastal route consisting of what is now the Riviera. The shopping axis via de Mille-via Filangieri, piazza dei Martiri, as well as the Villa Comunale and the neoclassical Villa Pignatelli are worth visiting.
Itinerary of Piazza del Plebiscito and Piazza Municipio
A trip to Naples cannot fail to include a stop in the characteristic Piazza del Plebiscito as well as a coffee in the famous Gambrinus or a visit to the Maschio Angioino.
Pages and pages of ink have been spilled on the square, once the city’s terminus and car park and centuries ago known as ‘Largo di Palazzo’. It is striking how the characteristic colonnade of the neoclassical Church of San Francesco di Paola almost embraces the square and metaphorically its citizens. Suggestive are the towers of the Aragonese Castle arriving in the city from the sea.
Currently, the entire area of Piazza Municipio is being redeveloped with the creation of an archaeological park, which has brought to light several centuries of history, up to the classical age.
Piazza del Plebiscito and Piazza Municipio are easily reached by Metro Line 1, Municipio stop.
Naples and tourism: The city's museums
Below is a selection of Neapolitan museums.
Taking part in a ‘Napoli Sotterranea’ excursion means going back in time some 2,400 years to the Greek era, 40 metres down into tunnels and cisterns.
During the visit, one can admire the remains of the ancient Greco-Roman aqueduct and the World War II air-raid shelters, as well as the War Museum, the Hypogean Gardens, the ‘Arianna’ Seismic Station and the remains of the ancient Greco-Roman Theatre, accessible from private property.
The Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum is located in Piazza Museo, opposite the Principe di Napoli Gallery.
It is located inside the 16th-century palazzo del Real Museo built at the behest of King Charles III of Bourbon to house the Farnese collection, previously housed in the Royal Palace of Capodimonte.
It is considered one of the most important archaeological museums in the world. It boasts the richest and most valuable collection of works of art and artefacts of archaeological interest in Italy.
The main nuclei that make up the museum are the Farnese Collection, the Pompeian collections, and the Egyptian collection, the second largest collection of Egyptian artefacts in Italy.
The Capodimonte Museum
The Capodimonte Museum is located within the palace of the same name and is one of Italy’s leading art galleries.
The Royal Palace was built at the behest of Charles of Bourbon in 1737 and was in fact the first royal residence built by the Bourbon family. It housed the archaeological sculptures from the Farnese collection, later transferred to the Royal Museum building.
The museum houses works by Masaccio, Caravaggio, Jusepe de Ribera, Titian, Correggio, Giordano, Parmigianino, Guido Reni, Lanfranco, El Greco, Solimena, Mattia Preti, Giovanni Bellini, Botticelli, Mantegna, Caracciolo, Simone Martini and many others.
The palace not only houses canvases, but is also itself a historical flat, displaying noteworthy furnishings, sculptures and rooms.
Complementing the splendid Reggia is a large park: the Real Bosco di Capodimonte.
The National Museum of San Martino
The Museo Nazionale di San Martino is one of the most important museums in Naples, located on the Vomero hill near Castel Sant’Elmo and inside the Carthusian monastery of the same name.
The museum offers historical evidence of the former capital of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the two previous kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, as well as visual arts, Capodimonte porcelain and historical Neapolitan nativity scenes.
The sculptures are mostly the work of Pietro Bernini, while the paintings are divided into two nuclei.
One in which paintings from the Bourbon period are exhibited, another in which the art of Jusepe de Ribera, or Luca Giordano or Artemisia Gentileschi is exhibited.
The Palace of the Arts in Naples (PAN)
PAN is located in the historic Palazzo Carafa di Roccella, in Via dei Mille.
The museum is intended to house works of contemporary art from the world of painting, sculpture, photography, graphics, film, comics, design and video art.
The Museum of the Opera di Santa Chiara
The museum is located in the Santa Chiara complex, near Piazza del Gesù Nuovo. Inside are archaeological remains found underground in the basilica and sacred objects that belonged to the monastery.
Access is through the interior of the majolica-tiled cloister of the Clarisse, whose decoration is the work of Domenico Antonio Vaccaro in the first half of the 18th century.
The chapel is located near Piazza San Domenico Maggiore. It was commissioned by Duke Giovan Francesco de Sangro at the end of the 16th century near his noble palace.
Raimondo di Sangro VII, Prince of Sansevero, enriched the building in the 18th century with numerous works that made it a true artistic unicum.
The main marble works include the Veiled Christ by Sanmartino, the Veiled Modesty by Corradini and the Disingano by Francesco Queirolo.
On the lower floor, we find the Anatomical Machines, alleged traces of experiments on humans performed by Prince Raimondo di Sangro himself.
Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro
The museum entrance is located next to the cathedral of Naples and the royal Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro.
The collection consists of the sumptuous donations, dating back as far as the 14th century, addressed to the city’s patron saint.
According to experts, the treasure of San Gennaro surpasses in wealth that of Queen Elizabeth II and the Tsars of Russia.
The tour also includes paintings by Stanzione, Giordano and Aniello Falcone.
The Donnaregina Museum of Contemporary Art (MADRE)
The Museo d’arte contemporanea Donnaregina (MADRE) is located in the historic palazzo Donnaregina in via Settembrini, behind via duomo, and in the adjacent 14th-century church of the same name in largo Donnaregina.
The building was restored ad hoc by the well-known Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza.
On its three floors and 7,200 square metres of exhibition space, the museum houses mainly site-specific installations and works of contemporary art including those by Andy Warhol, Alberto Burri, Mimmo Paladino, Francesco Clemente, Anish Kapoor, Jannis Kounell, etc.
The Neapolitan palace stands in Piazza del Plebiscito, opposite the basilica of San Francesco di Paola.
The initial nucleus was built in 1600 by Fernando Ruiz de Castro. Ferdinando Fuga and later Luigi Vanvitelli worked on it.
The main façade has eight niches, in which eight sculptures representing all the kings of Naples are placed.
The monumental palace is both a historical building, housing objects, furnishings, tapestries, and rooms dating back to the Spanish and Bourbon periods, and a gallery, since it houses important paintings by Luca Giordano, Andrea Vaccaro, Mattia Preti, Bartolomeo Schedoni, and Guercino, as well as frescoes by Corenzio and Massimo Stanzion
Naples for tourism: shopping in the city
There are several places for shopping in Naples.
Traditionally, Via Duomo is for formal wear and accessories.
Via Duomo is easily reached by Metro Line 1, the soon-to-be-completed Università or Duomo stop.
As far as haute couture or designer labels in general are concerned, however, we recommend Via de Mille and Via Filangieri.
Via de Mille and via Filangieri can be reached with the Funicolare di Chiaia, stop Parco Margherita, and with Line 2 of the metro, stop Amedeo.
If we are looking for a medium-high product, we could stroll down Via Chiaia or medium-level Corso Umberto.
Via Chiaia is easy to reach with Metro Line 1, Toledo stop, with the Funicolare di Chiaia, Parco Margherita stop, or with Metro Line 2, Amedeo stop.
Corso Umberto is easily reached by Metro Line 1, Garibaldi, Università or Duomo stop.
The markets of Naples
Shopping in Naples also means buying outside the shops and discovering what is hidden in the many local markets scattered around the city.
Strolling among the stalls also makes it possible to discover new corners of the city often unknown or little known to many tourists or to the citizens themselves.
The Forcella market
Every day from 8 a.m. to 12.30/13 p.m.
Located in Via Pasquale Stanislao Mancini behind Piazza Garibaldi, a few steps from Corso Umberto I
The Poggioreale market
Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. – is the largest and busiest district market in the city.
It is located near the intersection of Via Nuova Poggioreale and Via Marino di Caramanico.
The Casanova Bridge Market
Every morning near Piazza Nazionale. It is a market dedicated exclusively to clothing.
The Posillipo market
Every Thursday morning from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Viale del Virgiliano and is mostly for clothing.
The Antignano market
Every weekday from 7 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. – characteristic market where you can find clothing, footwear, lace and household items.
It is held daily near Piazza degli Artisti, in the Vomero district.
The Agnano market
Every Sunday morning from 6 am to 2 pm.
It is held in the car park of the Agnano racecourse and is dedicated to second-hand, antiques and handicrafts.
The Fuorigrotta market
Every weekday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. – This market consists of both a covered part, intended for food products, and an open part, intended for clothing.
It is located in Via Metastasio, but can also be accessed from two other entrances: Via Nino Bixio and Via Consalvo.
The Montesanto market
Every weekday morning – It is a real low-cost food market.
It stretches from Piazza Montesanto to Via Pignasecca and is one of the most picturesque in Naples.
Naples for tourism: the city's parks
The Municipal Villa
The Villa Comunale delimits the Riviera di Chiaia from the seafront, representing a green lung near the sea.
It extends between Piazza della Repubblica della Vittoria with side entrances and the main entrance located in Piazza Vittoria.
Its construction dates back to 1780 (although it has since been modified and enlarged several times), at the behest of King Ferdinand IV of Bourbon who, inspired by the Parisian ‘Tuilieres’, wanted to create a place for strolling and meeting that was forbidden to the people.
Along the tree-lined avenues, neoclassical statues, small temples and even a sound box by Errico Alvino were placed.
The Capodimonte Wood
The Capodimonte Park covers an area of about 130 hectares, in which more than 400 plant species and imposing centuries-old trees are planted.
The forest constituted the hunting reserve desired by Charles III of Bourbon in 1734 and surrounded the royal palace of the same name, which today houses a national museum.
The original design of the park was by the architect Ferdinando Sanfelice. The entrance square, on the other hand, is the work of architect Ferdinando Fuga, who is also responsible for the arrangement of the four main avenues and the middle avenue.
The Vergilian Park of Piedigrotta
Not to be confused with the better known Parco Vergiliano, this area at the foot of Posillipo’s tuffaceous ridge is little known, even by its inhabitants.
In it we find Virgil’s tomb-mausoleum, hence the name.
The mausoleum stands in an elevated position, near the mouth of the Crypta Neapolitana, a tunnel built in Roman times by the great architect Cocceio, to connect Piedigrotta with Fuorigrotta.
Not far from the entrance, we find the tomb of Giacomo Leopardi, whose remains were initially buried in the church of San Vitale in Fuorigrotta and then moved here in 1934, when the Vergiliano Park was established.
The Floridiana is a complex consisting of a green park and a villa housing the ‘Duca di Martina’ National Ceramics Museum.
It stands on the southern edge of the Vomero hill, offering a suggestive panorama of the Gulf of Naples.
The Floridiana has two entrances, one on Via Cimarosa and another on Via Aniello Falcone. The villa dates back to the first half of the 18th century.
The park is an ideal place for Sunday strolls and children’s play, but also a popular cultural destination for tourists and locals alike.
The Virgilian Park
The Virgiliano Park stands on the summit of Cape Posillipo.
From here one can admire the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Pozzuoli, Vesuvius, as well as Sorrento, Capri, Procida, Ischia Nisida and Cape Miseno.
Between 1999 and 2002, the park underwent redevelopment to enhance its qualities as a belvedere, but also its infrastructure for visitors. Today the area is open to the public 14 hours a day.
The Camaldoli Park
Located at the top of Naples, the Camaldoli Park derives its name from the nearby 16th-century hermitage of the same name, in which the monks processed the products of the surrounding nature.
Inaugurated in 1996, the park aims to safeguard an area of great landscape and environmental value, in a context unfortunately characterised by disorderly and often abusive building expansion.
The Astroni Oasis
The Astroni Nature Reserve is a WWF oasis located on the western edge of the city of Naples.
It covers about 250 hectares, straddling the municipalities of Naples and Pozzuoli, within a volcanic crater formed 3,700 years ago, which with a diameter of over 3 km is the largest in the Phlegrean Fields
The Poggio Park
The Parco del Poggio is located in the Colli Aminei district.
It is one of the newest urban parks in Naples, inaugurated in 2001 after three years of work.
The park is the result of the redevelopment of an exhausted tuff quarry that had been abandoned for decades. The green area overlooks the city, giving a detailed view of it, and develops around a cavea with a small lake and artificial peninsula.
Naples for tourism: eating in the city
Pizza is a typical dish of Neapolitan cuisine, certainly among the best known in Italy and abroad.
Up until the 19th century, sweet cakes were referred to by this name. It was later that it took on its current meaning.
It can be eaten in restaurants – pizzerias, but also take-away, in the characteristic mignon version, folded into four parts and called a portfolio.
Very famous apart from the Margherita version is the fried stuffed pizza.
Pizzelle and Cuoppi
Pizzelle, cuoppo and pasta cresciuta are part of southern culture and can still be enjoyed in restaurants, while waiting for pizza, or on the street (street food).
La Trippa All'insalata
Tripe salad is a popular dish in Naples because of its unique flavour that also makes it an original street food.
Sfogliatella (or Aragostina) is a typical dessert of the Campania region’s pastry tradition.
It has two variants: a riccia, prepared with puff pastry, and a frolla, prepared with shortcrust pastry.
The babà or babbà is a leavened oven-baked cake, typical of the Neapolitan pastry tradition.
Originally, however, it was a Polish cake. Its diameter can vary from 5-7 cm up to 35-40 cm.
It can also be found split in two and filled with chocolate or cream.
Limoncello, a sweet, digestive liqueur appreciated all over the world.
Discover the recipe for limoncello
Naples tourism: the city's underground
The Naples metro network consists of Line 1, known as the Collinare line, which connects Piscinola to Piazza Garibaldi for a total of 19 stations, including the so-called art stations. The complete route is as follows:
Piscinola – Chiaiano – Frullone – Colli Aminei – Policlinico – Rione Alto – Montedonzelli – Medaglie D’oro – Vanvitelli – Quattro Giornate – Salvator Rosa – Materdei – Museo – Dante – Toledo – Municipo – Universita’ – Duomo (in completamento) – Garibaldi.
The art stations of the Naples metro:
The art stations are a diffuse museum, as claimed by Achille Bonito Oliva, consultant for this project.
With the new stations in the historic centre, archaeological finds from Magna Graecia to the present day have been discovered.
In short, we can define these stations with three ‘A’s – Architecture, Archaeology, Contemporary Art.
One-way ticket: €1.10 (for travel on urban lines);
One-way ticket: 1.30 euro (for travel within the city on routes not operated by ANM (Azienda Napoletana Mobilità) of suburban lines and travel on EAV and Trenitalia rail lines;
Where to buy tickets
ANM and integrated company tickets are available at: authorised retailers of the Unico Campania circuit, Anm Points, automatic ticket machines inside metro and funicular stations.
TICKET PURCHASE ON BOARD AT INCREASED PRICE
The ANM urban single journey ticket can also be purchased on board surface vehicles or from station staff at a surcharge, subject to availability and security conditions.
APP UNICO CAMPANIA and MOBILE TICKETING
ANM tram, bus, metro, funicular and Alibus tickets can be purchased using the UnicoCampania APP. Tickets purchased via SMS can only be used for surface services and the Chiaia funicular. More details on the Mobile ticketing page.
Tap&Go® enables ticket-less travel by directly using contactless payment cards at enabled turnstiles. More details on the Tap&Go page
Campania Artecard is a card that allows you to visit places of art and culture both in Naples and throughout Campania and travel by public transport at the same time.
The card is activated with access to the first site, and can be valid for 3, 7 or 365 days depending on the type chosen.
The young card must be shown together with an identity document and can be used by citizens aged between 18 and 25 of the European Union and of States subject to reciprocity conditions.
Connecting Naples 'Capodichino' Airport - Naples City Centre
The Alibus line runs between Naples International Airport and the Piazza Garibaldi railway station and the Piazza Municipio maritime station.
The service has daily coverage, including holidays, with a frequency of 20 minutes.
Two types of tickets can be purchased.
- the ALIBUS ticket at a price of €5.00. This ticket is valid for a single journey and can only be used to make a journey on the Alibus, but does not allow the journey to be continued using other means of transport. This ticket can be bought on board the bus or online. Want to buy the ticket? Click here.
The journey takes an average of 20 minutes to Piazza Garibaldi and around 35 minutes to Piazza Municipio.
The first ride from the airport is at 06:00, the last one around 23:25.
Naples 'Capodichino' Airport - Sorrento Coast Connection
There is a daily bus service from the airport to Vico Equense.
The line makes the following stops:
- Castellammare di Stabia
- Castellammare di Stabia Terme
- Piano di Sorrento
- Sorrento Stazione
- Vico Equense
Tickets can be purchased online. To purchase the ticket, click here.
The Taxi area is located in front of the Airport Arrivals.
Predetermined fares are in force on predetermined routes, both urban and extra-urban (City Centre, Molo Beverello, Mergellina, Pompeii, Caserta, etc.), inclusive of any extra charge (to/from airport, night, holidays, luggage, pets, radio call).
For all predetermined rates and more information on taxi receipts click here
N.B.The fare includes all extras: to/from the airport, night, holidays, bypass, luggage, animals and radio call, regardless of the number of passengers.
The fares, urban and extra-urban, refer to those established by the Municipality of Naples.