If your next trip to Italy doesn’t include Naples, we’re here to change your mind and show you why you should visit it. First of all, keep in mind that the city is located in the paradisiac Amalfi Coast, where you can see breathtaking sunsets and it’s one of the best places to visit in Italy for couples. Also, Naples has plenty of art and history to explore and delicious Italian food to taste.
#1 Do you like Pizza?
We’re asking you this because Naples is where pizza was born and believe us, there’s nothing like the authentic Neapolitan pizza. Pizza is made with tomato and mozzarella, it’s a simple recipe and truly delicious! Make your personal goal to try as many as you can.
#2 Archeological treasures to explore
Back in the year 78 AD the volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered with ashes the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Nowadays, after the excavations, you can visit Pompeii, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, wander through the stone streets and see several ancient temples.
Nearby Pompeii you can also visit the archaeological site of Herculaneum and see the House of the Mosaic Atrium, the Forum and the House of the Mosaic of Neptune and Amphitrite.
#3 The markets are incredible!
Naples is rich of history and charm, and its markets wouldn’t be any different. When in town, visit ancient markets like the Pignasecca market where, fun fact, the LOTTO game was first created. There’s also the Ncopp e Mura market, which is inside walls that were originally created to enclose Naples and the traditional Borgo Sant’Antonio Abate market. In these markets, you’ll have the chance to do shopping and feel like a local.
#4 Visit the castles
Did you know that Naples has seven beautiful castles? Worried about being attacked by foreign invaders, the kings of Naples built castles in a strategic position to protect the Gulf.
All the castles worth your time, but pay more attention to Maschio Angioino (Castel Nuovo) located close to Piazza Municipio and to Castel dell’Ovo, the oldest castle of Naples. You should also visit the medieval Castel Sant’Elmo and its Novecento Museum.
#5 Naples underground
Below the streets of the historic center of Naples, you will find its 2400 years old tunnels and caverns. The tunnels were planned to be used as an escape route from the Royal Palace to the military barracks by the king Ferdinand II of Bourbon, but before the tunnels were completed, the king died and the underground was abandoned.
The tunnels were also used as a warehouse for contraband vehicles, a military hospital, bomb shelter and nowadays it’s possible to visit the gallery (Galleria Borbonica) where you can learn more about the underground life in Naples.
#6 The coffee culture
One of the things Naples is well known for is the famous coffee, especially the tasty espresso. If you’re a coffee fan, this is your city.
Something you might have heard before is the term “caffè sospeso”. It’s when you pay for an extra coffee and leave it to someone that can’t afford one. This tradition began in the World War II and remains strong until today. Pretty cool, right?
Sources: Flickr/Avital Pinnick
#7 The city of churches
Naples is home to more than 500 incredible churches that were built in the early Christian, gothic, baroque or neoclassical styles all around the city.
Take your time to visit the stunning Naples Cathedral. This church was built in 1200 and mixes the gothic, the baroque and the neo-gothic styles. Besides, here you’ll see the famous Byzantine mosaic by the painter Luca Giordano and the crypt of St.Gennaro, the patron saint of the city. Also, you should include the Gesù Nuovo and the Cappella Sansevero on your list of churches-to-see.
#8 A place to enjoy opera
If you like to be amazed you need to visit the Teatro di San Carlo. The opera house of Naples is the most important and prestigious in the world, besides being the oldest that’s still playing performances in Europe and it’s recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
#9 Catacombs of Naples
Learn a little bit about Naples’s history in the Catacombs of San Gennaro. Named after the patron saint of the city this catacombs date back to the 2nd century AD and to this date the Mass is celebrated in the underground Basilica of Sant’Agrippino. This place is worth the visit because of its amazing history, its unique architecture and its artistic masterpieces like the famous mosaic portraying the bishop of Carthage, St. Quodvultdeus.
Also, visit the Catacombs of San Gaudioso under the Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità to explore more Naples.
If you want to visit other catacombs around Italy, check out our article about the incredible catacombs of Rome.
Now that you know why you should visit Naples, how about exploring the city with a tour? Check out our tours in Naples and don’t forget that if you want a unique experience you can always customize your trip.