Unfortunately, when most tourists hear about Naples the instantly think about the Mafia, crime rates and have this weird feeling that guns are everywhere. This is not the reality. While in the past the mob did control the area, this is no longer the case. Naples is definitely crazy and chaotic but this is exactly why you want to take a Naples tour. The region is one of the most beautiful in the entire country. If you have your doubts and you do not actually know why people often recommend Naples, here are some important reasons for you to visit.
Eat Great Pizza
So many tourists will tell you that they had the best pizza ever when they visited Naples. This is basically because pizza was invented in Naples. Ever since the nineteenth century, Neapolitans perfected pizza making. Some of the very best options will be found on the Via dei Tribunali. If you are a pizza lover, this is a street you do not want to miss. Make sure that you consider Da Michele or Di Matteo. Obviously, you can try any pizza spot and in some cases you will even be able to learn how to make some real Naples pizza so you can do this at home.
The Naples National Archaeological Museum
The archaeological museum in Naples is among the best in the country. It features incredible items from Herculaneum, Pompeii and other parts of local history. This includes mosaics, everyday items, sculptures and frescoes, just to mention some of the items you can see. Numerous ancient treasures are presented, like Artemis of Ephesus and Farnese Bull. Obviously, you also want to visit Pompeii, but the museum is something that you do not want to miss out on.
Naples’ City Underground
Most tourists never learn about this but the city is built on volcanic, soft stone, tuff. Tuff has been used by the locals for over 2,500 years now. Passageways and chambers were dug right under the city of Naples. This means you can enjoy incredible subterranean gems from pagan burial chambers to aqueducts of ancient Greece. There are even some air raid shelters from World War II that can be visited. The underground part of the city can easily be enjoyed through one of the tours covering the area. Alternatively, just visit the beautiful Catacombs of San Gennaro.
Experience Three Castles
In Naples there is not just one castle you can visit. There are actually three incredible ones that scream out heritage:
- Castel Nuovo– Built by Charles I of Anjou in 1279
- Castel dell’Ovo– Ancient origins
- Castel Sant’Elmo– A huge fortress that dates back to the year 1275.
Besides these, you can also experience Castel Capuano. However, it was rebuilt and does not really look like the original twelve-century masterpiece.
Naples Is Laid-Back But Also Active
There are not many cities in Italy that are as laid-back as the beautiful Naples. You will find it hard to locate sites or stores that are open before 10 AM, with almost everything closing for 2 to 3 hours at around 1 PM. However, during the evenings, the streets are filled. This is especially the case around Spaccanapoli and the university. Some of the hotspots that you can enjoy include Piazza Dante, Castel dell’Ovo, Piazza dei martiri and Piazza Amadeo.
Most people think about pizza when they visit Naples but you also want to try many other local foods. You will love the seafood, pastas and fritti here. Also, the bakery options are to die for. Naples has a mixed heritage, with influences coming from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries. This means the area was influenced by Bourbons, Austrians, Spanish and French people. Pastries practically picked up the very best of all the foreign influences. If in Naples, do not miss wonderful options like sfogliatelle, pastiera, zeppola and baba.
As you can see, Naples is so much more than what most tourists think. It is not at all difficult to have a wonderful time in the city and you will make some wonderful memories. Just be sure that you do not skip on this part of Italy. There is a huge possibility that you will be in the area anyway while you visit Pompeii so book a couple of extra days in Naples.