Take a trip to Naples
Capital of the Campania region, in the south of Italy, Naples is the third largest city in the country, after Rome and Milan. Along its splendid bay, the city offers a fascinating view of Vesuvius, the world-famous highest point at 1281 meters, but also of the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida that appear on the horizon. To start your visit and admire the magnificent crescent-shaped bay, you will have to go to the top of Castel Sant’Elmo and from there observe the whole city.
Then go for a walk in the old town which has an impressive concentration of historical monuments from all eras. You will spend hours getting lost in the narrow streets so typical of southern Italy and you will end up sitting at a terrace or having a good ice cream in its charming squares. Naples holds a thousand treasures within its walls and yet there is so much to see in its nearby outskirts. Start with Pompeii, a city that was destroyed by the eruption of a volcano in the year 79. Then, day after day, take a boat trip to discover the sublime islands of the Amalfi Coast.
Known as the “capital of the South”, the city combines the charm of the ancient with a great modernity, which has allowed it to gain an international reputation. Long perceived as a dangerous city ruled by the Mafia, Naples now offers true serenity to tourists who visit it by walking its charming streets or spending beautiful days on the nearby beaches.
For more details, consult our Blog entry for must-sees in Naples.
Tour guides in Naples
Five ideas for guided tours in Naples
Piazza del Plebiscito
The Piazza del Plebiscito is located in the center of the city of Naples. Its name comes from the plebiscite of October 21, 1860 that brought Sicily into the Kingdom of Italy.
This majestic hemicycle is surrounded by large buildings:
– The Palazzo Salerno dating from the eighteenth century was built on the remains of an old convent.
– The Palazzo della Foresteria built in the XIX century to welcome the guests of the city; today it is the seat of the prefecture.
– The Basilica of San Francesco di Paola, built on the model of the Pantheon in Rome.
– The Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale) which dates back to the XVIII century and was the residence of the sovereigns. Today it is a magnificent museum.
The Piazza del Plebiscito, which is completely pedestrianized, is the meeting place of Neapolitans and hosts the major events of the city.
The Galleria Umberto I
Resembling the famous covered walkways built in Europe at the beginning of the 19th century, the Galleria Umberto I shopping mall located between the San Carlo theater and Toledo street dates back to 1891 and remains one of the most visited places in Naples. This building is in the Italian Art Nouveau style, also known as Liberty. The gallery of cruciform aspect is surmounted by a high dome of 57 meters high with two large impressive glass windows. The interior consists of a marble floor, a shopping arcade with stores, cafes and restaurants.
Castel dell’Ovo – Castle of the egg
Located on the ancient islet of Megaride now connected to the land, Castel dell’Ovo is a very old castle that dates back to the time of the Greeks in the seventh century BC. In fact, it was the Greeks who founded the city and gave it the name of “New City”, i.e. Neapolis, Napoli. At the very beginning of our era, the place became a monastery. Unfortunately, nothing has survived from that time and the building that we can see today with its round path and cylindrical towers dates from the time of Peter I of Aragon in the 15th century. The fortress was deserted for a long time. Today it is almost completely empty except for some old military cannons. At the beginning of the 19th century, fishermen came to settle at the foot of the fortress and created Borgo Marinari, a sort of small village that gave life to the place. People come here for romantic walks especially at sunset when the perspective offers magnificent palettes of colors.
A mythical place for all history lovers, Pompeii remains a unique place in the world.
It is on this ancient city that on October 24, 79 Vesuvius erupted and poured its lava. The city was so violently and suddenly buried that today it is in an exceptional state of preservation; most of its buildings, decorative elements and even the remains of some of its inhabitants can be seen. Some of the bodies are still in the same position they were in when they fled. When you come to visit this extraordinary place, you will be surprised by the grandeur of the place and walking through the well-preserved streets you will imagine the life of this flourishing port that saw its destiny evaporate in a few hours. In order to better understand the place, let a Naples tourist guide accompany you for a few hours. Specialized in archaeology, he will explain to you the life of the inhabitants of Pompeii and while walking through its ghostly streets you will be able to admire the most beautiful remains:
– the Basilica that was located in the main square of the Forum,
– the Temple of Apollo, the Baths of the Forum,
– the Villa of the Mysteries,
– the Bakery of Modestus,
– the House of Venus in its shell (one of the most famous paintings of the place is there).
Just 10 kilometers away from the site you can climb Vesuvius and its craters following the marked paths.
Traveling to Naples also means taking a boat and visiting the nearby islands. Procida will not leave you indifferent. With only 4.2 km², it is the smallest island of the Amalfi coast. However, it is undoubtedly the most authentic and the most beautiful. To go around it, nothing better than to go on foot and take your time. Each point of view is a marvel: the panoramas on the sea and the colored houses of the village of Marina Corricella seem to come straight out of a postcard. You can even swim in its charming beaches, such as Spiaggia Chiaia, accessible by a long staircase. What you will like in Procida is its calmness and its aimless strolls in its alleys. Stroll along the harbor, admire the houses where the laundry is dried and above all take your time away from the tourist hustle and bustle.
Procida has several villages with picturesque ports:
– Terra Murata, is the medieval fortified town par excellence, criss-crossed by small shady streets where houses sometimes built in the rock are tightly packed together and balanced on the cliffs.
– Marina Grande and Marina Corricella, offer a dream setting with its multicolored houses and just at the water’s edge, blue and white fishermen’s boats. The most famous view can be seen from the heights on the belvedere near the church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie.
As for the beaches, don’t expect to see large areas and that’s good, because their naturalness is all the more attractive. Between small caves, cliffs and volcanic sand let yourself be lulled by these voluptuous seashores. The most beautiful is the one of Pozzo Vecchio in the shape of a small bay.
The islet of Vivara in the southwest is connected by a small bridge. You can reach it by reservation and you can discover an archaeological site trading Tyrrhenian seas 3000 years old, as well as a preserved reserve with a flora composed of rare orchids and hosting several races of migratory birds.