Exuberant and colourful, Naples is one of Italy’s most energetic cities and set around a historic harbour that has long connected it with the world. Not only has it claimed to be the birthplace of pizza but it’s also home to one of Italy’s finest archaeological museums.
Things to do in Naples
Take a step back in time as you enter the 2nd-century Catacombs of San Gennaro, a maze of chambers and passageways set beneath the city. Be sure to visit the large underground basilica that is adorned with frescoes, providing a rare example of early Christian architecture.
Also named in honour of San Gennaro is the city’s magnificent Cathedral, surrounded by the Archbishop’s Palace and the Gothic church of Santa Maria Donnaregina. The Cathedral dates to the late13th century and houses vessels containing San Gennaro’s blood, as well as a silver bust encasing his skull.
Don’t miss a visit to Castel Nuovo that stands on the southern edge of Piazza del Municipio, as it served as the residence of the kings and viceroys in Naples since the 13th century. Wander through its Armoury Hall and Sala della Loggia to admire the period furnishings and artwork, then visit the Gothic church of Cappella Palatina in the castle’s courtyard.
No visit to Naples is complete without stopping at the National Archaeological Museum, set within a 17th-century palace in the city centre. Admire ancient artefacts from Pompeii, then make a day trip to see the homes, temples and people frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Getting around Naples
Naples Airport is the main gateway to the city, while Napoli Centrale is a hub for both trains and the city’s subway system. Trams, buses and cable cars access all areas of the city, with daily tours making the 30-minute journey south to the ruins of Pompeii.