Naples – I want to come back!

written by womenofpoland 12 November 2017
Things to see in Naples!

Naples has always been on my travel list. Although I have already fulfilled my dream, I still have Naples on this list. I feel like I haven’t seen everything and I want to badly come back! 🙂 Why do I love this city? Hard to say. I am not a fan of the “Italian way of life”, but I would love to visit all Italian, big and small cities, towns, villages, etc…. Although I haven’t seen many of them, but firstly, I would come back to Naples. I remember that even as a little girl I wanted to visit this place very much. I used to be a fan Tom & Jerry fairy tale and I remember one episode was in Naples. I loved it for the atmosphere and beautiful animation in this cartoon. So I had my imagination about this city. But I didn’t think that Naples would make such a big impression on me! Let me try to explain you why I’m so into this city.

How to get to Naples?

Luckily Naples Airport offers lots of cheap flights, so I’m sure that you will find something that will fit you. (If you are from Europe of course). 😀 I was traveling from Munich with no longer existance Air Berlin and I spent 125 euro for 2 round-way tickets.

From the airport you can catch a Bus to the city center. It goes quite often and journey last around 20 min (yeah, airport is really close to the city). Ticket cost 2-3 euro and you can buy it from bus driver, but somewhere at the airport in a newsstand you can get it cheaper. However, I didn’t find this newsstand so I also got my ticket from bus driver.

What was the weather like at the end of September?

I spent almost 4 days in Naples at the end of September. During the whole stay we were accompanied by the sun and pleasant temperature in the range of 25-29 degrees. However, as soon as the sun hid behind the horizon, it immediately became chilly and the jacket was needed. I don’t know whether the Sea was warm, because I didn’t have the opportunity to swim, and I didn’t even want to bathe in Naples. Apparently the water here is not the cleanest, but I saw a few daredevils in the Sea. I don’t know how true it is. If you have any interesting information on this topic let me know.

Naples city pass

Together with my grandmother during our stay in Naples, we bought a Naples city pass. Thanks to it we had free entrance to most attractions, museums and even Herculean and Pompeii + free public transport. We bought a two day ticket and we got also a very cool tour guide. Unfortunately, from what I checked, now the matter is much worse, because the card only offers discounts to museums. Too bad, because I don’t know if it is so profitable now, but just in case click here for more details! 🙂

Hotel Ideal ***

We stayed in the 3 star Ideal Hotel at the Main Railway Station. Hotel was very fine, clean, pleasant, in convenient location and had tasty breakfasts. I can recommend it! 🙂

Naples, sightseeing, ready, steady, go!

Finally technical issues behind us, so you know the most important things. 😛 Time for attractions. From the Central Station we got on the bus and drove towards Port / Nuovo Castle. I suspect that you will also need public transport, so here is a link, where you can download the pdf maps with buses and metro routes. I also recommend to download Triposo application, which is for free. The application has a GPS which works without internet and on the map of the city you can save all the attractions, pubs, restaurants, museums, hotels etc. you want to visit.

Nuovo Castle

Our first stop is the historic castle Nuovo – the main architectural symbol of the city. Its simplicity and massive walls immediately evoke the medieval times. Indeed, the castle was built during this period (in the 13th century) and it was the royal residence of the Anjou. The last remodeling of the castle took place in the 19th century. However, Castle didn’t make a great impression on us. It reminds me more of a fortress than a royal residence. True, the age is doing its thing, but it didn’t get my sympathy. Although, I think it is worth your attention. We had a free entrance, so we checked the interiors. At present there is a museum, which also seems to me not very interesting. 😛

Nuovo Castle

The door in the Castle was preserved originally with an ammunition that was inside.

View from the castle

Piazza del Plebiscito

Then we headed straight to the largest square (25,000 m2) in Naples and at the same time one of the largest in Italy – the Piazza del Plebiscito. In 1860 there was a plebiscite, in which southern Italy, then the Kingdom of Sicily, joined the Piedmont of Savoy. Hence the name of the place “Plebiscito”.

There is also the beautiful church of San Francesco di Paola, which was built in the 19th century. As you may guess, it is a copy of the Roman Pantheon. Unfortunately, just when I wanted to enter it, they closed the church. I could only take a quick glance, but I couldn’t cross the threshold of the door anyway, because my clothes were inappropriate. (too short shorts and exposed arms).

Piazza del Plebiscito

Church of San Francesco di Paola

Royal Palace

The medieval castle of Nuovo was no longer sufficient for the royal family, so they built the new palace next to the castle. Its construction started in 1600, but it has been extended for a long time. Today its beautiful interior can be admired for a fee. I was lucky to be able to enter for free with the Naples pass. Castle interiors are a typical mixture of wealth and kitsch. The chambers remind me of the chambers of other European castles.

During my stay the castle was renovated, so it was covered by scaffolding. Of course, the interior of the castle was available, but I couldn’t find the entrance! I was going back and forth with my grandmother, because the entrance was moved somewhere, but we were not able to find it. We gave up at some point. But when we returned to the area late in the afternoon for dinner, I suddenly saw the entrance and literally shot before they closed it.  🙂

Unfortunately, I don’t have too many photos, because I respected the ban on taking pictures inside. 😛

Entrance to the palace – here you can take pictures! 🙂

San Carlo Theater

When we were looking for the entrance to the royal palace, we also accidently entered the historic San Carlo theater. The guided tour was just starting, which takes about 20-30 minutes, and our Naples pass was honored here, so we decided to take a chance on it. Especially, when it is the largest and oldest theater in Italy, which has hosted many outstanding artists. It is really beautiful, so don’t hesitate to visit it!!

San Carlo

Umberto I Gallery

In front of the Teather was located the Umberto I Gallery. It is an architectural link between the San Carlo Theater and the Royal Palace. In addition to shops, there are also offices and restaurants. It was built in the 19th century, and its designer modeled on the famous Emanuel II Gallery in Milan. The gallery is built in neo-renaissance style, so even if you don’t like to walk through the galleries, it is worth to see it’s interiors! 🙂

Umberto I Gallery

Via Partenope

Then, together with my grandmother, we dived into the thick of the small streets of Naples. We got lost, but finally we reached the coast, specifically the Via Partenope street. This is a beautiful promenade running right by the sea with views of the city and the castle of dell ‘Ovo. Perfect place for a sunday walk! 🙂

Via Partenope

Via Partenope

Via Partenope

Via Partenope

Egg Castle (dell’Ovo)

Walking along the promenade towards the harbor, you will reach another medieval castle – dell’Ovo. The castle is located on a small island on which the historic center of the city was built. The present character of the castle was adopted only in the twelfth century. Why such a funny name? According to medieval legend, the poet Virgil had a magical egg. After his death, the egg was placed in the foundations of the castle to further strengthen it.

Admission to the castle in 2014 was free. It is worth to climb these few steps for a beautiful view of the Gulf of Naples. 🙂

dell’Ovo castle – view from Via Partenope

tiny boats near the castle 🙂

My fav view of Naples! 🙂

View of Via Partenope from the Castle

dell’Ovo castle

Monastery of Santa Chiara

Naples is definitely a city of churches. There are plenty of them, both less and more spectacular. Santa Chiara definitely belongs to the latter second group. The entrance fee is payable (we get only a discount on the Naples pass), but definitely worth it. In addition to the church, you can also admire the Museum and the monastery. As far as the museum didn’t impress me at all, the monastery is just phenomenal. Don’t regret money to admire this amazing art, decor and finishes.

Monastery of Santa Chiara

Monastery of Santa Chiara

Gesù Nuovo Church

Next to Santa Chiara is located the square and church of the same name – Gesù Nuovo. My attention was paid to interesting and rather original church building. The front wall of the church looks as it was covered with studs. The color of the church is also unique – I haven’t seen a black church so far. I must admit that it is one of the most original churches I have ever seen. Its marble interior is equally beautiful and noteworthy. The entrance is free so take a look.

Gesu Nouvo Church. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ges%C3%B9_Nuovo#/media/File:Facciata_della_chiesa_del_Ges%C3%B9_Nuovo_(Napoli)_-_BW_2013-05-16.jpg

Gesù Nuovo Church

Gesù Nuovo Church

The oldest church in Naples – San Giovanni Maggiore

As I mentioned above, Naples is a true city of churches. I know that not everyone is interesting in exploring all churches in the city, but some of them (like the Gesu Nuovo) are worth your attention. San Giovanni Maggiore is the oldest church in Naples, built in the 4th century. Unfortunately, the church was already closed as we came along, so we could only admire from the outside.

San Giovanni Maggiore

Pizzeria Napoli In Bocca – time for lunch!

Remember that Naples is the capital of Pizza! Quite accidentally, we discovered Pizzeria Napoli in Bocca. For 5 euros you can eat a delicious pizza (one kind) and choose any drink from the fridge. At least such prices were in 2014. Anyway, it was the best pizza I have ever eaten in my whole life! 🙂

Pizzeria Napoli In Bocca

The best one! 😀

Listen, that’s all what we saw in Naples. But, this is not all that Naples offers. I’m missing countless churches, but when I return to the capital of Campania, I will certainly visit again:

Sant’Elmo castle

It was built at the site of the church in the 10th century. Sant’Elmo was the seat of the Anjou family, and now is a house of the Museum of 20th Century Art. From its walls you can admire the wonderful panorama of the city and the surrounding area! 🙂

Sant’Elmo Castle. Source: http://www.napoliunplugged.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Castel-SantElmo-Featured-Image.jpg

View from the castle. Source: http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/98790880.jpg

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

Ok, I know – another church, but the Cathedral is a must see! 😀 The basilica was built in the 13th century and is the largest sacral building in Naples. The relics of the patron of the city – San Gennaro are stored in the cathedral.

Cathedral. Source: http://cosedinapoli.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/01_duomo_di_napoli.jpg

Port Alba

I would definitely visit Port Alba. I was here on google maps and I must admit that the place impressed me. Especially when in this place operates the first pizzeria in the world (since 1830). Also search for Antica Pizzeria in this location 🙂 😀

Port Alba. Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/97/Port%27Alba.jpg

Port Alba. Source: https://www.google.pl/maps/@40.849456,14.2506803,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1sAF1QipM4JEOU-6joJkm5cPfoESqa5SwOlSl7z0L4fzKx!2e10!3e12!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipM4JEOU-6joJkm5cPfoESqa5SwOlSl7z0L4fzKx%3Dw114-h86-k-no!7i4608!8i3456

Catacombs

I was already planning on my first visit, but I completely forgot about them!!! I remembered 10 minutes before closing. 😀 Therefore, on my next visit, I will go first to the Catacombs, and then I will see the rest. 😀

Catacombs. Source: http://www.italia.it/fileadmin/src/img/cluster_gallery/Citta_d_arte_Ravenna/catacombe_di_napoli/_0006_CATACOMBE-DI-S.-GENNARO-VESIBOLO-SUPERIORE.jpg

Naples is beautiful

Generally, I would still like to walk along the climatic streets of the old town. You can also take a look at the subway station, which is a true masterpiece of art! Perhaps that is why I want to return to the city because I have not been able to see everything? I didn’t have time to visit the dangerous Vesuvius yet, but I will tell you in a separate content about Herculaneum, Pompeii and Capri! 🙂

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