Tuesday, October 27, 2020

7 Best Things to do in Naples, Italy

Naples may not be the first place to come to your mind when planning an Italian trip. With a multitude of beautiful Roman cities vying for your attention: from stunning Venice to history-laden Rome ─Naples’ raw, rough, and well-graffitied inner city may not just be what you had in mind when dreaming of bella Italia. 

But exploring a city with over 3000 years of history, and an epic food culture is always worthwhile. I’ve compiled 7 of the best things that you can do in Italy’s third largest city. 

1. Go on a Neapolitan gastronomic tour – Bologna may be considered by many as Italy’s gastronomic capital, but Naples is a worthy contender to the title. It is, after all, the birthplace of pizza. 

Pizza originated in Naples as the original Neapolitan pizza. After the Castile brought Peruvian tomato to Southern Italy (one of its foremost ingredients). Peasants started topping their flat bread with the red fruit, along with basil and cheese ─ giving birth to the Margherita pizza. The Italian elite was hesitant to join in on the craze until Queen Margherita of Savoy sampled the poor man’s dough and liked it. The Margherita pizza was named in honor of her. Seafood is widely eaten here too, Naples being a seaside city. Stop by at the Napoli fish market and sample some fresh catch of the day. Just be mindful of pickpockets. For light meal option, the Italian pre-main course or antipasti might just be enough to fill you up. It consists of cured meats, olives, mushrooms, artichoke, vegetables in oil and vinegar along with varied cheeses. 

2. Hike Mt Vesuvius – The sleeping giant hovers over Naples’ periphery. It is an enthralling spectacle on a fine day. But underneath the calm fa├žade, lies a force of molten destruction. It is an active volcano (the only one in Mainland Europe). It decimated the ancient city of Pompeii and Herculaneum in its most tragic explosion in 79 AD, at a time when there wasn’t any type of system that might herald an impending eruption. It is an easy hike up to the crater where you can view the beautiful Campania Region of Italy. 

3. Explore the archaeological site of Pompeii – Excavations of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii revealed a once thriving metropolis back in its day. The once wealthy Roman city along with Herculaneum perished into oblivion after the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD. Some 2,000 men, women and children stayed behind to wait out the calamity, not knowing of the fatal misfortune that awaits them. Today, you can view interesting artifacts found from these forgotten cities on display in the archaeological site Pompeii and the Roman Archaeological Museum. 

4. Go on an underground Naples tour - Naples’ history dates back to 600 BCE as a Greek settlement. But records show it has been continually occupied since the Bronze age, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. Naples endured an endless succession of rulers before it was unified with the rest of the country to form Italy as we know it today. You could say Naples’ history dates way back and way under, for beneath the hubbub of modern-day Naples, lies an underground labyrinthine tunnel built by ancient Romans to supply water to the city. During WWII it was converted into an evacuation camp sheltering the populace from allied forces air raid. 

5. Stop by and enjoy a Banksy - A surprising street art pops out of the well-graffitied walls of Naples. But this one is no ordinary graffiti. The Madonna with a pistol is a street art by the English artist Banksy. You may have heard of Banksy’s famous Girl with a Red Balloon which self-shredded after it was sold at an auction in London for $1.4 million. You can find the Madonna with a pistol on the wall of the Dal Presidente Pizzeria in Naples. 

6. Visit the Roman Museum – The most important archaeological finds from Pompeii and Herculaneum were brought here. Suffice to say, this museum curates some of the best Roman artifacts in the world. 

7. Visit a medieval castle for free – The Castel’ del Ovo has been a silent witness to the many wars waged to win Naples from one ruler to the next. It is a beautiful, historic castle overlooking Tyrrhenian sea. Admission is free. 


Featured Blogger 

MJ is the vivacious half of the dynamic sister duo behind thirtysomethingtourist travel blog. She is a travel nurse by day and a blogger at night. When she is not burping cuddly babies, she is busy exploring the current city she lives in. Born and raised in the Philippines, she now resides in California with her dog. 

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