Once in Naples, a range of possibilities on what to do and visit will open up. We definitely recommend a downtown tour to indulge in shopping, but also to go to the numerous local markets or antique markets, as well as not to overlook the city’s many gastronomic delicacies or the many museums and places of art, and for lovers of architecture, a unique Art Nouveau itinerary through its various districts.
What to see in Naples: the shopping streets
As far as the first point is concerned, we recommend Via Duomo, if we are interested in ceremonial clothing and accessories, while if we are attracted by haute couture or designer labels,Via de Mille and Via Filangieri.
If, on the other hand, we are fond of markets, we could drop by the stalls of those of Fuorigrotta (every weekday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.), of Antignano (every weekday from 7 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.), of Posillipo (every Thursday morning from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Agnano (Every Sunday morning from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.). In them, it will be possible to find food and clothing, clothing and antiques, respectively.
What to see in Naples: discovering typical food
Visiting Naples also means tasting its typical foods such as the world-famous pizza. It can be found in excellent quality in the many establishments in the Decumani and the rest of the old city centre, in its traditional version, but also as a take-away in a portfolio, i.e. folded into four parts and eaten on the way.
To this we can add the fried pizzelle, the cuoppi and the pasta cresciute, which are a must for street food. As a conclusion to this hearty meal, it is worth tasting a sfogliatella, curly or shortcrust pastry, excellent in all bars and pastry shops, as well as the characteristic babà, a mushroom-shaped baked cake dipped in rum, and sipping a cool limoncello.
What to see in Naples: architecture and monuments
Also near the Decumani, we suggest a visit to the church of Gesù Nuovo, on the square of the same name, the nearby church of Santa Chiara with its evocative majolica cloister, while continuing along Via Benedetto Croce we meet, at its end, the church of San Domenico Maggiore and its monumental spire.
Not far from there is another obligatory stop, the San Severo Chapel with Sanmartino’s moving Veiled Christ. Going up the Decumanus of Via dei Trubunali, from Piazzetta Nilo, we come to the church of San Paolo Maggiore, whose façade contains the remains of two columns from the Temple of the Dioscuri, and the church of the Girolamini.
As for museums in the area, there we can visit the Chapel of the Pio Monte della Misericordia or the Tesoro di San Gennaro, while if we are fascinated by contemporary art in Via Settembrini (near Via Duomo) we can go to the MADRE, which on about 7,200 square metres of exhibition space brings together installations site-specific, private collections and temporary exhibitions on the main protagonists of the 20th century and beyond.
What to see in Naples: Art Nouveau itinerary
For lovers of architecture, the art nouveau itinerary among the villas and buildings in the Vomero, but also in Posillipo and Chiaia, is suggestive.
Art Nouveauis a style-code that originated at the end of the 19th century in Belgium under the name Art Nouveauand then spread throughout Europe taking on various nomenclatures. It is characterised by the concave-convex course of its lines or, conversely, by their geometricism. In Italy it is defined as Floral and in the Neapolitan sense sees in some cases the intersection of the dictates of the new style with those of 19th century eclecticism (i.e. references to the languages of previous centuries, such as neo-Gothic).
As a first stop, mention should be made of villino Casciaro (1908-10, designed by the engineer Dusmet) in via Luca Giordano in Vomero. On the façade we can discern neoclassical and neo-Renaissance references on the red plaster, with Art Nouveau touches in the minor elements.
Also in the Vomero, but on the Via Luigia Sanfelice-via Filippo Palizzi axis, there are a series of striking buildings (mostly small villas or buildings bordering the street turnpike). These include the Palazzina Loreley (1912-designer Adolfo Avena), Villa Ascarelli (1913-15-designer Adolfo Avena), Villa Pansini(1922), Palazzina Russo-Ermolli (1915-18-designer Stanislao Sorrentino), Villa De Cristoforo (1912-14-designer Michele Platania). On the slope of Casale di Posillipo, however, Villa Pappone (1912-designer Gregorio Botta) ‘opens up’. This is one of the greatest examples of Neapolitan Art Nouveau heritage, universally known for its celebrated iron and polychrome glass outer canopy supported by griffins
In Chiaia, along the via De Mille-via Filangieri axis, there is a series of architectures, all by the architect Giulio Ulisse Arata, that can be considered fundamental to our itinerary. These include Palazzo Leonetti(1908-10), Palazzo Mannajuolo (1910-11), intended for luxury housing, in which the corner solution between Via De Mille, Via Filangieri and D’Andrea stands out. Here the building is articulated in a play of concave-convex volumes, becoming a striking backdrop for those coming from Via de Mille. But a true unicum is its elliptical staircase, with its cantilevered marble, that almost seems to want to reunite us with the sky.
A last stop is the Lotto Zero building (1910-12), at via Filangieri 61, again by Arata. This was a triangular plot of land, which the designer extended over three levels connected by a spiral staircase. A large round arch dominates the façade, surmounted by bas-reliefs on either side, all recalling neo-Gothic motifs.
“by Carlo de Cristofaro”.