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Exploring Naples: Italy’s most vibrant city

This is another installment of Marilena’s Travel Diaries, giving personal insight into her wonderful trips taken across the Bel Paese. If you wish to see each chapter of Marilena’s travel story then follow the link HERE. Should you instead wish to learn more about what we at Italy with Class offer in this particular region, get in touch via email and the team will help right away.

Naples may not share the artistic allure of Florence or Venice, but it is a city where various artistic cultures converge to form a unique tapestry across the city.  Its once rough and ready reputation is falling away to expose something more authentic and undiscovered. We spent the weekend exploring Naples and here’s what we discovered.

Visit to Naples
We spent a weekend exploring Naples and its unique culture.

A Haven of Southern Italian Cuisine and Culture

Sprawled beneath the shadow of Vesuvius, Naples is a dazzling, brash, and unapologetically passionate city. Its ancient, crumbling exterior promises a true taste of the Italian South, but scratch below the surface and you’ll discover exquisite noble palaces, unparalleled artistic collections, and sublime panoramic views of the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius.

During our journey exploring Naples, we visited the Naples’ Archaeological Museum whose collection is unrivaled in Italy. It houses a rich ensemble of ancient artifacts and painted frescoes, including from nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum. Its baroque offerings are no less impressive, with the world-famous Veiled Christ of the Sansevero Family Chapel and Caravaggio‘s masterpieces at Capodimonte Gallery and on the Via Toledo.

Sanmartino's Veiled Christ
While exploring Naples, don’t miss out on seeing Sanmartino’s Veiled Christ, one of the greatest sculptures of all time.

Artistic Culture

Whether you’re being serenaded by a singer performing traditional folk songs from his balcony as you stand in line at Pizzeria Sorbillo, attending a performance at Theatre of San Carlo – Italy’s oldest opera house, or promenading Via Toledo or the waterfront, it’s one of the most fascinating cities to spectacles and performances.

The Campanian capital exhibits artwork for all to admire. Admire the lifelike, pathos-laden Veiled Christ in the Chapel of Sansevero, view the three works of Caravaggio dotted across the city, or descend beneath the streets to navigate roma sotteranea (subterranean Naples) – there’s something for everyone.

Vibrant neighborhoods

The Spanish Quarter which was a notorious neighborhood is now the most vibrant and touristic area in the center of Naples.

Long considered one of Naples’ most dangerous neighbourhoods, the rehabilitated (and reinvigorated) Spanish Quarter is now a popular tourist area: a winding labyrinth of narrow alleyways and sun-drying clothes.

The street of Spaccanapoli (‘Split Naples’) runs right through the ancient centre, dividing the city between North and South. Lining the street is a treasure trove of churches, monuments and obelisks only an expert local guide can bring to life.

Neapolitan CuisineEverybody knows that modern pizza hails from Naples, and while exploring Naples, it is a must to sample an authentic Neapolitan pizza with creamy buffalo mozzarella and fresh, locally sourced tomatoes.

But Naples’ culinary scene is so much more.

ll cuoppo napoletano
Munching on a cuoppo while walking around the city center is a great way of exploring Naples

Deep-fried supplì (stuffed balls of rice, similar to Sicilian arancini), il cuoppo napoletano (a paper cup filled with a delectable mix of deep-fried treats) and sfogliatelle pastry are just a few hand-held delights to seek out and sample. Naturally accompanied by a dark, moreish Neapolitan coffee.

Returning to Rome

And so ends another of Marilena’s Italian excursions. Whilst her journey through Naples is over, the area lays in wait for new explorers yearning to take in its unique charm. Through our strong connection of contacts in the region, Italy with Class can help tailor your very own Neapolitan vacation, from luxury accommodations and wonderful restaurants to hidden gems and unforgettable experiences. So, what are you waiting for?

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