If i ever was to make a top with the most beautiful cities I’ve visited, Naples will certainly take one of the first places – you might see a slight note of bias in this article, so I might as well admit that I have always been fascinated by Italy’s culture, rich historical and archaeological heritage, gastronomy, music and lust for life.
Arriving In Naples
When you visit Italy, don’t forget to add to your itinerary the city of Naples and its metropolitan area. It’s the largest city in the southern half of Italy, at approximately 2 hours drive from Rome – by the way, you can also choose to get here by plane, train, bus or boat. Once in Naples, though, you might want to use the local means of transport (bus, tram or subway) instead of a car, because the Italian metropolis can be very crowded especially during the weekdays.
The geographical location of the city and its splendid surroundings (the Bay of Naples, the harbour and Mount Vesuvius) are the ingredients for the fascinating sight that is Naples.
Castles And Palaces
I wanted to see how Italian nobles lived centuries ago, so the first day in Naples I toured the castles and palaces in the city. All are home to valuable works of art and you can still fell that magical something of the times when kings and queens lived there.
The Royal Palace was built by the architect Domenico Fontana in the seventeenth century and decorated with statues that can still be watched today.
The New Castle (Castel Nuovo) was built by King Charles I of Anjou. The time has undoubtedly left its mark on this fortress built between 1279 and 1282, although it was renovated and restored many times during its life. Today it attracts visitors from all over the world and impresses through its rich collection of artwork. Tourists arriving here are greeted by a marble arch built at the entrance of this 700 years old castle.
Egg Castle (Castel dell’Ovo) is located in the gulf of Naples. According to legend, the roman poet Virgil put an egg in the foundations of the castle during the construction, to increase the resistance of the building. The castle was a royal residence for many years until the completion of Castel Nuovo.
If you plan to go to Naples soon and booked several days just for visiting the monuments, I would also recommend you check out these great places too: Museo di Capodimonte, Castel Capuano and Castel Sant’Elmo.
Pompeii – The Museum City
Not far from Naples are the ruins of Pompeii, an open air museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was destroyed by the Vesuvius volcano eruption in 79 AD and rediscovered in 1748. Archaeologists found ruins of old buildings, tools, paintings, sculptures, many of which are exposed in the museum.
Italian Cuisine In Naples
Another good reason why you must visit Naples is the Italian cuisine. Of the thousands of tasty dishes based mainly on tomato sauce, basil and olive oil, stands the most famous Italian food – pizza.
Naples is one of the places where they keep the best original recipe, so you must have a traditional pizza napoletana with a glass of red wine if you really want to feel the taste of Naples.