Trips of Note:

On our 2012 visit to Naples we stayed at the LaCiliegina Lifestyle Hotel.- we loved it and will be including LaCiliegina in our listing of Great Places to Stay in Italy/.

Great location, chic decor, and staff that just could not do enough for you!

Go to Naples. For sure!

Castel Nuovo Naples

Castel Nuovo, this was the seat of the medieval kings of Naples



I must admit that for a number of years I held a fear about going to Naples. On drives to Amalfi I would make sure I selected a route that we not take me through Naples. Now, in looking back at that foolishness, I am not sure what I thought would happen!

With the fear gone, we have travelled to Naples a couple of times, and I find Naples a vibrant and interesting city. Yet in talking to some who visit the city, they say they did not enjoy being there. It is a city that you have to look past the surface and see the city. There is lots of graffiti. There can be garbage. The streets of teaming with peoplle selling everything from packages of tissue to appliances! But the architecture and the spirit of the city.

If there is one aspect of Naples you will remember, it is the street activity. The streets are often called the "living room of the people of Naples".

Yes, it has its crime and we remember walking down a busy street with our camers around our necks and one of the police pointed to their eye and then our camera. The message: watch your camera. So I would take normal caution, stay in the main areas but enjoy the city.

Founded in the 8th Century it was a Greek colony and the name Neapolis means New City. Then part of the Roman Republic. It was later the capital of the Kingdom of Naples from 1282 to 1816. It was for a time in union with Sicility and it was the capital of the Two Sicilies.

Today it is a very big city, over a million, and despite the fact that I am over my fear of going there, it is a city that one must acknowledge as a very high level of crime and while there is much to see, and it should not be missed, be on your toes.

If you stay along the Amalfi Coast there are fast and slow boats that will take you into the harbour. You will get some great views. Or, you can catch a train and whisk into the Stazione Centrale on Piazza Garibaldi. The Stazione is not only where trains come but also the Circumvesuviana railway - a kind of above-ground subway that goes along the coast to other locations.

I have taken a but to Sorrento, and then the train to Naples and it easy an easy trip. There are other train stations along the way such as Napoli Mergellina or Napoli Campi Flegrel depending on how you come into the city, but go all the way to the Stazione Centralie.

One you walk outside the Stazione, well just keep walking. The city gets better and better as you get closer to the commercial centre.

Naples is a city to walk. There is so much activity - everyone is selling everything along the main street. On the street from sidewalk markets you can buy anything from small appliances to socks and underware.

Funicolare Centrale

Get up above the the city, and see Naples from the hills. Take one of the three finicolari, or inclined railways, up to the various sites. All of these will take you upto and near the San Martino Museum and the Castel Sant'Elmo.

  • Funicolare Central - leaves from Via Toledo just behind the impressive Galleria. This is the longest funicolare in the world.
  • Funicolare di Chiaia is not that far away, it leaves from the Piazza Amedeo in Chiaia.
  • Funicolare di Montesanto goes from the Montesanto Station.

Piazza Plebisciot

The Piazza del Plebiscioto is in the centre of Naples. The piazza is named aboute the plebiscite of October 1860 that brought Naples into the unified Kingdom of Italy. The San Francesco di Paolo is an impressive domed church and colonnades that extend on both sides is impressive. Across the piazza on the other side is the Royal Palace.

Galeria Umberto I

The Galeria Umberto I is a large impressive roofed arcade, ranked as being the largest in the world. Very impressive. Work on it started in 1887 about nine years after the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele was built in Milan. It was the part of the rebuilding of Naples that took place at the time. Called the risanamento, meaning making it healthy again. After a long period of decay, the Galeria is again the centre of life in Naples although at the times we have been in it, don't expect crushing crowds. Just walk through, admire the architecture and enjoy being there!.

Castel Nuovo

Castel Nuovo a medieval castle built in 1279. Prior to this time, Palermo was the capital of the Kingdom of Naples. When the capital was moved to Naples, Charles I of Naples had a new castle built to house his court. Later in 1309 it was expanded as a centre of patronage of art. It was from various levels of condition.

In 1442 the trumphal arch, stands betwee tthe two western towers and was added to the main gate. It was built to commemorate Alfonso of Aragon's entry to Naples.

Cloister Garden of Santa Chiara Monastery Naples

Cloister Garden of the Santa Chiara Monastery - has scenes of boar hunting, bowling, dancing in bold colours on tiled panels that decore the cloister garden. Built in 1739, very few people got to see the gardens. In the early 20th century, the friars were not bound by the original vows ofe the nuns, and they let a select few in. In 1970 the gardens became open to the public.

Chiesa del Gesu Nuovo

The Chiesa del Gesu Nuovo on the outside looks like a fort. An immense solid brick wall. It was a privatge palace, transformed into a church. The shell of the church is the facade of the Palazzo Sanserverino. In the 16th Century it was converted to a church.

You will want to wal down Via Toledo from the Galleria. This is the main street in Naples.

The Santa Chiara is across from the Piazza Gesu Nuovo and it dates back to the 14th Century. It was heavily bombed in the Second World War. The Cloisters of the Clarisse, beside the church, give an idea of what of the former interior.