Cruising to Naples, Italy

Naples tourist information.

Naples, ItalyNaples, Napoli a big city in southern Italy, sits on the Bay of Naples near Mt. Vesuvius. Dating to the 2nd millennium B.C.E., it has centuries of important art and architecture. Its landmarks include Naples Cathedral, whose Chapel of San Gennaro is filled with frescoes and statues, and the lavish Royal Palace. Naples is also renowned for its distinctive style of thin-crust pizza.

The historic centre of Naples has earned the UNESCO World Heritage Site denomination. Naples has one of the biggest historical city centres in the world, and its pride are the 448 historical and monumental churches, the highest number in the World for a single city. Bella Napoli may seem a more apt sentiment for an era long since passed, but the aging beauty hasn’t completely succumbed to the ravages of history, politics, and crime. Its name comes from the Greek Neapolis meaning new city and expanded by the Romans will be unlike any other Italian city you have visited thus far. Here, life takes place at full throttle. Mini-operettas take place on every street corner, while flashing Vespas scoot across pedestrian piazzas. Small, narrow streets hung thick with laundry are covered in exhaust pouring from a passing bus. You may wonder how clothes in Naples ever come clean.

Few regions of Italy claim as many iconic images as the corner of Campania that holds the Amalfi Coast, Naples, and the sun-splashed islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida. If the colorful cliffside houses don’t win your heart, the azure sea will. Driving the curving coastal road is exhilarating, so unwind with memorable Neapolitan fare, or go island hopping and explore grottoes and beaches. Cultural highlights are always nearby too, from the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum to the echoes of classical history in the vibrant streets of Naples and Sorrento.

Naples has one of the best New Year’s Eve fireworks displays in Italy. During Christmas, hundreds of Creches or nativity scenes decorate the city and the street Via San Gregorio Armeno in central Naples is filled with displays and stalls selling Nativity scenes. Probably the most important festival in Naples is San Gennaro Feast Day, celebrated on September 19th at the Cathedral with a religious ceremony and procession and street fair. On Easter, there are many decorations and a big parade. During the summer, there are music festivals, too.

Naples close proximity to many interesting sites, such as Pompeii and the Bay of Naples, Rome makes it a good base for exploring the area.

The City of Pompeii

Pompeii, the city buried in 79AD is the queen of archaeological sites, and big enough to hold the millions of visitors it attracts. Allow at least half a day to get the feel of the place. Resist the tourist guides, get a map and a guidebook – and be independent. Part of the fun is finding a quiet spot and just wandering down an empty Roman street. Otherwise the high-spots include the Villa of the Mysteries and the newly restored brothel. To reach Pompeii take a Circumvesuviana train from the central station to Pompei Scavi – Villa dei Misteri.

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