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Naples Tourism

I am leaving. I shall not forget Via Toledo, nor any other of the parts of Naples; to my eyes this city has no equal and is the most beautiful city in the universe.

Stendhal

He could never be altogether unhappy because his thoughts would always return to Naples.

Goethe

Naples and tourism in the city

Naples is the capital city of Southern Italy and it is definitely a city that you have to visit at least once in your life.

The city, built on a hillside, is home to almost 1 million people in a lively mix of culture, history, and age-old landscapes. When you arrive in Naples, it is a good idea to choose one or more itineraries that will take you through the city that Stendhal and Goethe fell in love with, revealing all of its captivating charm

Tourism in Naples: the City Metro

The Naples Metro consists of line 1, also known as the “Collinare” line, which connects Piscinola to Piazza Garibaldi, with 19 stations, including the so-called “art stations.” The complete route is as follows:

Piscinola – Chiaiano – Frullone – Colli Aminei – Policlinico – Rione Alto – Montedonzelli – Medaglie D’oro – Vanvitelli – Quattro Giornate – Salvator Rosa – Materdei – Museo – Dante – Toledo – Municipo – Universita’ – Duomo (in completamento) – Garibaldi.
Download the metro map
Download (pdf)

According to Achille Bonito Oliva, the project consultant, the Art Stations are a widespread museum.
During construction of the new stations in the city centre, archaeological sites dating from Magna Graecia to more recent times were unearthed.
The Art Stations can be summed up with three A’s – Architecture, Archaeology, and contemporary Art.

Alibus provides a shuttle service from Naples International Airport to Piazza Garibaldi (central train station) and Piazza Municipio (port).
The shuttle service runs daily, including Sundays and public holidays, with departures every 20 minutes.
Tickets can be purchased from authorised outlets for 3 Euros or on board for 4 Euros.

The journey lasts approximately 20 minutes to Piazza Garibaldi and 30 minutes to Piazza Municipio.
The first bus departs from the Airport at 06:30, and the last bus around 23:30.

 

One-way ticket: 1 Euro
90 Minute integrated ticket (TIC): 1,50 Euro, useful for travelling on the Metro, Line 1 (ANM), Metro Line 2 (Trenitalia), Chiaia Cableway (ANM), Central Cableway (ANM), Mergellina Cableway (ANM), Montesanto Cableway (ANM), Cumana Railway (EAV), Circumflegrea Railway (EAV), Circumvesuviana Railway (EAV).

Campania Artecard
Campania Artecard is a card that gives you access to art and culture venues not only in Naples but in the whole Campania region, and is also valid for use on public transport.
The card is activated the first time you use it to gain entrance to a venue, and is valid for 3, 7, or 365 days according to the type of card that you choose.
The young card is available to EU citizens and citizens of states that are subject to conditions of reciprocity who are between the ages of 18 and 25, and must be presented together with a valid identity document.

Suggested itineraries for visitors to Naples

Explore Naples with one or more of our suggested itineraries:

  • Vomero: covers the hilly area of the city, the historical city centre, the seafront promenade, and Piazza del Plebiscito.
  • Spaccanapoli: the perfect itinerary for tourists who want to visit the picturesque ancient city centre of Naples, where tradition lives on.
  • Mostra d’Oltremare: The well-known exhibition centre, located in Fuorigrotta.
  • Coastline and Riviera di Chiaia: a coastal itinerary with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Naples.
  • Piazza del Plebiscito e Piazza del Municipio:the are the two most important squares in the city.

Don’t miss out on seeing the hill region of Vomero, the ancient city centre (Via Spaccanapoli, the Decumani, Via Duomo), the Seafront promenade, and Piazza del Plebiscito.
Vomero was the ancient resort area of Naples up until the late 1800s when development projects led to construction in the area.
It is still considered a leisure area due to the high concentration of coffee shops, restaurants, and bars in general. But it is also possible to see the Charterhouse of San Martino and Fort Saint Elmo, which dominates the city, offering visitors a breathtaking view of the city, Vesuvius, and the coastline all the way to Mergellina.

Close to the St. Martin’s belvedere, there are the quaint and romantic Rampe di Petraio (Petraio steps) and the area of Via Luigia Sanfelice and Via Filippo Palizzi.
Here you can see some examples of Neapolitan Liberty architecture, permeated by elements of modern European architecture, mitigated in some cases by local eclecticism.

Vomero is easy to reach by Metro (Line 1, Vanvitelli station), or from the upper terminals of the Central cableway in Via Chiaia or Via Morghen.
The true heart of Naples beats in the ancient city centre and in the picturesque area around via San Biagio dei Librai, commonly known as Spaccanapoli.
Together with another two Greco-Roman roads, Via San Biagio dei Librai is one of the most ancient roads in Naples, the course of which has remained unchanged over the centuries. These roads exude all of the energy of the Neapolitan people.
We recommend that you visit the Gesù Nuovo Church, the Church of San Domenico Maggiore, and the convent of Santa Chiara with its renowned Majolica cloister.
While you walk through the aforementioned streets, you will be able to enjoy typical local products like pizza, sfogliatella, or the famous babà, but you will also be able to get your fill of culture at the many museums in the area.
You will be spoilt for choice, and it won’t be an easy one!

Spaccanapoli is easy to reach by Metro (Line 1, Dante station), from the Montesanto stop on the Via Morghen cableway, and the Montesanto stop on the Cumana railway line.
Whether you are in Naples for work or leisure, you must make a stop at the Mostra d’Oltremare exhibition centre in Fuorigrotta. The building, inspired by rationalism, was completed in just two years and inaugurated in 1940.
36 pavilions are spread over 1000000m2 of land, surrounded by a park that is open to the public on weekends. Here you will also find the Esedra Fountain, where you can enjoy spectacular water shows, and first class restaurants and accommodation facilities.

The Mostra d’Oltremare Exhibition Centre is easy to reach by Metro (Line 2, Campi Flegrei station) or the Cumana Railway line (Mostra station).

Naples means entering into a dialogue with the sea while taking a stroll along the Promenade and the Riviera di Chiaia, against the backdrop of Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples.
This area, dating back to the 17th century, was originally outside the city walls, accessible through the Porta di Chiaia which is now in the area of Via Santa Caterina.
The Riviera that we see today was a coastal trail in the original village. Places to visit include the shopping hub of Via dei Mille-Via Filangieri, Piazza dei Martiri, as well as the Municipal Buildings and the neo-classical Villa Pignatelli.

You can reach Chiaia from the Chiaia Cableway (Parco Margherita stop), Metro Line 2 (Amedeo Station), and the soon-to-be-completed Metro Line 6.

A trip to Naples is not complete without a visit to Piazza del Plebiscito, or a cup of coffee at the renowned Gambrinus or a visit to Maschio Angioino.
Pages and pages have been written about the Piazza, once the central terminus of the city, know centuries ago as the “Largo di Palazzo”. It is incredible how the distinctive colonnade of the Church of San Francesco di Paola appears to embrace the Piazza and, metaphorically speaking, the people. As you approach the city from the sea, you will be impressed by the towers of Castello Aragonese. Restoration works are currently underway in Piazza del Municipio, where archaeological findings have revealed centuries of history up until the Classical Period.

Piazza del Plebiscito and Piazza Municipio are easy to reach by Metro (Line 1, Municipio station).

Vomero

Line 1, Vanvitelli station

Spaccanapoli

Line 1, Dante station

Promenade , Riviera di Chiaia

Line 2, Amedeo Station

Mostra d’Oltremare

Line 2, Campi Flegrei station

Piazza del Plebiscito

Fermata Municipio, linea 1
Line 1, Municipal Station

Tourism in Naples: The city’s museums

Below you will find details of a selection of museums in Naples.
When you participate in the “Naples Underground” tour you will be taken back in time approximately 2400 years to the Greek Period, and led through tunnels and caverns approximately 40m underground.

The National Archaeological Museum is located in Piazza Museo, in front of the Galleria Principe di Napoli shopping centre. The museum is housed in the 16th century Real Museo building, commissioned by King Charles III of Bourbon to house the Farnese collection that was previously kept in the Royal Palace of Capodimonte.
It is considered one of the most important archaeological museums in the world, and boasts the biggest and most exquisite collection of artworks and artefacts in Italy.
The key exhibits at the museum are the Farnese collection, the Pompeii Collection, and the Egyptian Collection, rated third in Italy in terms of important Egyptian artefacts.
The Capodimonte Museum is located in the Royal Palace of Capodimonte and is one of the most important art galleries in Italy.
The Palace was commissioned by Charles of Bourbon in 1737 and was the first royal residence to be built by the Bourbon family. It was his desire that the archaeological sculptures of the Farnese Collection be kept at the Royal Palace, and subsequently moved to the Real Museo.
The Capodimonte Museum houses artworks by Masaccio, Caravaggio, Jusepe de Ribera, Titian, Correggio, Giordano, Parmigianino, Guido Reni, Botticelli, Mantegna, Caracciolo, Simone Martini, to name but a few. The Palace is not only home to works of art, but is itself a historic building showcasing antique furniture, sculptures and remarkable decor.

The National Museum of San Martino is one of the most important museums in Naples, located on the Vomero hillside in the vicinity of Castel Sant’Elmo, in the Charterhouse of San Martino.
The museum bears witness to the ancient capital of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the two previous kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, as well as visual arts, Capodimonte porcelain, and ancient Neapolitan nativity scenes.
Most of the sculptures were created by Pietro Bernini, while the paintings are divided into two exhibits. The first includes paintings from the Bourbon Period, and the second paintings by Jusepe de Ribera or Luca Giordano or Artemisia Gentileschi.

The Royal Palace of Naples is situated in Piazza del Plebiscito, in front of the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola.
The initial building was commissioned in 1600 by Ferdinando Ruiz de Castro. It was subsequently added on to by Ferdinando Fuga and then also by Luigi Vanvitelli.
There are eight niches on the main façade, each housing a statue of one of the Kings of Naples. This monumental Palace is both a historical building that contains objects, furniture, tapestries, and rooms dating to the Spanish and Bourbon Periods, and a gallery in that it houses important paintings by Luca Giordano, Andrea Vaccaro, Mattia Preti, Bartolomeo Schedoni, Guercino, and frescos by Corenzio and Massimo Stanzione.

The museum is located in the Complex of St. Clare, in the vicinity of Piazza del Gesù Nuovo. The museum houses archaeological findings from subsoil of the Basilica and sacred objects belonging to the monastery.
Access to the Museum is from the Majolica cloister of the Clarisses, decorated by Domenico Antonio Vaccario in the first half of the 18th century.

The chapel is located in the vicinity of Piazza San Domenico Maggiore. It was built at the request of John Francesco di Sangro, Duke of Torremaggiore, at the end of the 16th century, near to his family residence.
Raimondo di Sangro VII, prince of Sansevero, renovated the building in the 18th century, with numerous additions that make the chapel a unique work of art.
Among the main marble sculptures we find Sanmartino’s Veiled Christ, Corradini’s Veiled Modesty, and Francesco Quierolo’s Release from Deception.
In the basement, we find the “anatomical models”, presumed to be human experiments carried out by Prince Raimondo di Sangro himself.

The entrance to the Museum is situated next to the Cathedral of Naples and the Royal Chapel of the Treasure of St. Gennaro.
The collection is made up of lavish donations made to the patron saint of the city, dating back to the 14th century.
According to the experts the treasure of St. Gennaro is worth more than those of Queen Elizabeth II and the Tzars of Russia. During the visit you will also see paintings by Stanzione, Giordano, and Aniello Falcone.

The Donnaregina Museum of Contemporary Art (MADRE) is located in the historical Donnaregina building in Via Settembrini, behind Via Duomo, and in the adjacent 14th century church of the same name in Largo Donnaregina.
The building was restored ad hoc by the well-known Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza.
The three floors of the museum and 7200m2 of exhibition area house mostly site-specific installations and contemporary artworks, including works by Andy Warhol, Alberto Burri, Mimmo Paladino, Francesco Clemente, Anish Kapoor, Jannis Kounell, etc.
The PAN is situated in the historical Carafa di Roccella building in Via dei Mille. The museum houses contemporary artworks from various disciplines including painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design, film, animation, design, and video art.

Tourism in Naples: shopping in the city

There are many designated shopping areas in Naples.

Via Duomo is traditionally the place to go if you’re looking for evening dresses, formalwear and related accessories.
Via Duomo is traditionally the place to go if you’re looking for evening dresses, formalwear and related accessories.
Via Duomo is easy to reach by Metro (Line 1, Università station or the soon-to-be-completed Duomo station)
As far as high fashion and designer labels are concerned, we suggest that you go to Via dei Mille and Via Filangieri.
The Chiaia Cableway (Parco Margherita stop) and the Metro Line 2 (Amedeo station) will take you to Via dei Mille and Via Filangieri.

If you are looking for medium-high level products, take a stroll down Via Chiaia, or Corso Umberto for medium level products.
Via Chiaia can be reached by Metro Line 1 (Toledo station), by Chiaia Cableway (Parco Margherita stop), or by Metro Line 2 (Amedeo station).
For Corso Umberto take the Metro Line 1 (Garibaldi or Università station, or the soon-to-be-completed Duomo station).

Via Duomo
Evening and formalwear
High fashion – brands
Alta moda - griffe
Via Chiaia
Medium-high level products
Corso Umberto
Medium level products

Shopping in Naples is not limited to shops… Explore the hidden treasures of the many street markets scattered throughout the city.
While you walk through the markets, you will also discover unexplored corners of the city that often remain hidden to tourists, and sometimes even to locals.

Open daily from 8:00 to 12:30/13:00.
Located in via Pasquale Stanislao Mancini behind Piazza Garibaldi, just a short distance from Corso Umberto I.

Open Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 6:00 to 14:00 – the biggest and most popular street market in the city.
Located at the intersection between Via Nuova Poggioreale and Via Marino di Caramanico.
Daily morning market close to Piazza Nazionale. This market is dedicated exclusively to clothing.
Weekdays from 8:00 to 13:00. The market is made up of two areas: the covered area for fresh produce and food products, and the open-air section for clothing. The market is situated in Via Metastasio, but there are also entrances located in Via Nino Bixio and Via Consalvo.
Weekdays from 7:00 to 13:30. A typical street market where you will find clothing, footwear, lacework, and homewear.
The market is located in the Vomero district, in the vicinity of Piazza degli Artisti.
Sunday mornings from 6:00 to 14:00
A used goods, antique, and craft market located in the parking area of the Agnano racecourse.
Thursday mornings from 7:00 to 13:00 in Viale del Virgiliano. Primarily a clothing market.
Weekday mornings.
This low-cost food market, one of the most picturesque in Naples, stretches from Piazza Montesanto all the way to Via Pignasecca.

Tourism in Naples: the city’s parks

The Municipal Park separates the Riviera di Chiaia from the promenade, a “green lung” near to the sea.
The park runs from Piazza della Repubblica to Piazza della Vittoria. The main entrance is in Piazza della Vittoria but there are also side entrances.
The park was created in 1780 (even though it has been modified and expanded a number of times since then) at the request of King Ferdinand IV of Bourbon who, inspired by the Tuileries Garden in Paris, wanted to create a place where he could walk, but that was not accessible to the people.
Neo-classical statues, gazebos, and also Enrico Alvino’s “cassa armonica” were placed along the tree-lined avenues.
The Capodimonte Park stretches out over 130 hectares, and is home to more than 400 plant species and majestic centuries-old trees.
The wood, established at the request of Charles III of Bourbon in 1734, was originally a hunting reserve which surrounded the Royal Palace of Capodimonte, today the home of a national museum.
The original design of the park is attributed to Ferdinando Sanfelice, while the plaza at the entrance to the park, the four main avenues, and the middle avenue were designed by the architect Ferdinando Fuga.
Not to be confused with the more famous Parco Virgiliano, this area situated at the foot of the tuffaceous ridge of Posillipo is less well-known, even by inhabitants.
The park is home to the tomb-mausoleum of Virgil, from whom it takes its name.
The mausoleum is in an elevated position, near to the opening of the Neapolitan Crypt, a tunnel built during the Roman Era by the famous architect Cocceio to connect Piedigrotta with Fuorigrotta. A short distance from the entrance to the park, we find the tomb of Giacomo Leopardi, whose remains were initially buried in the San Vitale Church in Fuorigrotta and then transferred here in 1934 when the Vergilian Park was established.
The Floridiana is a complex made up of a park and a villa that houses the Duca di Martina National Ceramics Museum. The Floridiana is located at the southern edge of the Vomero hill, offering breathtaking views of the Gulf of Naples.
There are two entrances, one in Via Cimarosa and another in Via Aniello Falcone. The villa dates back to the first half of the 18th century. The park is perfect for a Sunday stroll, where children can play freely, but also as a wide-ranging cultural destination for tourists and locals alike.
The Parco Virgiliano is situated on the summit of the Capo Posillipo. From here you can admire the Gulfs of Naples and Pozzuoli, Vesuvius, as well as Sorrento, Capri, Procida, Ischia, Nisida, and Capo Miseno.
From 1999 to 2002 the park underwent renovation work to improve the quality of the belvedere and the visitors’ infrastructure. The park is open to the public 14 hours per day.
Situated at the highest point of Naples, the Camaldoli Park takes its name from the nearby 16th century hermitage of the same name, where the monks used to work the surrounding lands. Inaugurated in 1996, the park aims to safeguard a territory of significant environmental and landscape value, in a context that is unfortunately characterised by disorderly and often unauthorised building expansion.
The Astroni Natural Reserve is a WWF Sanctuary located at the eastern border of the city of Naples.
The sanctuary stretches over 250 hectares between the Municipalities of Naples and Pozzuoli, in a volcanic crater that was formed 3700 years ago. With a diameter of more than 3 kilometres, it is the biggest of the Phlegraean Fields.

The Parco del Poggio is situated in the Colli Aminei area of Naples. It is one of the more recent urban parks in Naples, inaugurated in 2001 after 3 years of work.
The park is the result of the redevelopment of a tuff quarry that was abandoned for decades. The green area looks out over Naples, offering a detailed view of the city centre, and stretches out around a semi-circular amphitheatre that faces onto an artificial pond with a platform at the centre.

Tourism in Naples: eating in the city

Pizza is one of the most typical Neapolitan dishes, and definitely the most well-known in Italy and around the world.
The name pizza referred to sweet cakes up until the 1800s. Only in more recent times did it acquire its current meaning.
Pizzas can be eaten in restaurants and pizzerias, or they can be ordered for take-away in the distinctive miniature version folded into quarters, the so-called “wrap”. The most famous pizzas are the Margherita and fried pizza (with various fillings).

Pizzelle, cuoppo, and “pasta cresciuta” (fried dough balls) are part of the culture of southern Italy. You can enjoy them in restaurants, while you’re waiting for your pizza, or on the go (street food).
Tripe salad is a very popular dish in Naples. Its unique flavour makes it an original street food.
The Sfogliatella or Aragostina (little lobster) is a traditional pastry from Campania.
It is available in two variants: riccia (“curly”), prepared with puff pastry, and frolla, prepared with shortcrust pastry.
Babà or babbà is a traditional oven-baked Neapolitan pastry made with sweet yeast dough.
Babà was originally a Polish dessert. The diameter can vary from 5-7cm to 35-40cm.
You can also find it cut in half and filled with chocolate or cream filling.