Naples, an Italian city located on the Bay of Naples, accompanied by Mount Vesuvius the infamous and still active volcano which destroyed Pompeii.
The volcano certainly dominates the landscape surrounding Naples. Today Vesuvius is a bus tour away from the city, accessible for everyone. Impressive mountain to climb and top perspective to see into the volcanic crater.
Naples is not necessary a dream city to visit in Italy. according to the New York Times, out of all the tourists that visit Italy, a fraction 13% visit the south region of Mezzogiorno. Naples can probably be classed as a soft dark tourism destination.
In some parts, Naples has been a dumping ground for decades. According to the Wall Street Journal, the local mafia Camorra has illegally dumbed as much as 10 million tons of industrial garbage. Camorra has also been dumping toxic and nuclear waste since 1990’s.
The mountains of rotting trash has mostly disappeared from the city’s centre and moved to Naples’s impoverished periphery. However the region is still mainly controlled by Camorra.
On the bright side, the tourists do not usually get bothered by the local mafia and there is still a few very interesting places to see, experience and visit.
Photo by carlos hevia on Unsplash
Art and Architecture
Centuries of impressive and important art and architecture, attracts over 7 millions of foreign visitors year after year. The Sansevero Chapel, Castel Nuovo, Castel dell’Ovo and Piazza del Plebiscito are amazing architectures. All accessible by a footpath and road are undoubtedly stunning and impressive.
Naples a city located in the southern Italy is probably one of the more religious places in Italy. The churches in Naples are beautifully decorated to reflect this. The Sam Domenico Maggiore is proof to be admired. In Naples the Sansevero Chapel and the Sam Domenico Maggiore may not have the most impressive exterior, but the interior is a big treat worth seeing.
The Toledo “Art Station”
From my personal experience one of the most amazing things I have seen in Naples, was the artistic underground in the city centre and more specifically the Toledo “art station”. Beneath a gorgeous violet-blue ceiling, a wide escalator taking you down into one of the deepest underground stations in Napoli. It felt like an under water world from Disney fairytales. I don’t think I have ever been more relaxed and amazed travelling by tube.
Naples Style Pizza
This probably goes without saying, Naples is known for its amazing pizza due to it’s origins in Napoli. So far I have travelled Italy up and down the country, and I have not yet tasted a better pizza in my entire life. What was amazing about the pizza is that it didn’t matter what toppings you would ask for, it was all about the base and how delicate was the taste. The pizza dissolved in the mouth like never before, leaving deeply rooted memories until this day. I even once came across a lemon pizza, which was the chef’s special and as I joked about it to the waiter, he actually recommended it as really delicious and he was right. I ordered the pizza and it was truly amazing. Although I had my suspicions before it arrived.
The biggest attraction in the Neapolitan City is by far the people who make this place, and when I say the people I mean the gorgeous women. Full of self-confidence, pride and class women, so beautiful that words cannot describe.
One night while having a drink in the local bar, Mario smiled and warned me saying “You need to be careful with Neapolitan women. Neapolitan women are very dangerous” and then after short pause he added “They are very easy to fall in love with”. And right he was, the dating live in Naples is so much more intense, and so much more exciting than in the north or west of Europe.
On the flip side for the women, Mario was a very successful Italian man when it comes to dating. So I am sure you can find something too.
Pompeii is a city of Roman Empire, very well presented in a movie directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. A heart touching story, inspired by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
As of all the ruins I have seen in this part of Italy, Pompeii makes you feel like travelling in time a little bit. I think maybe due to the fact that I watched the movie Pompeii before I went there. On the flip side the ruins are very well preserved.
You can book a tour on the site, where the tour guide tells you all about the history. The history makes you feel connected with what you see, and what happened. I do recommend watching the movie Pompeii before going there, as it adds more story and colours to your imagination when walking around.
Photo by Ian Badenhorst
Another place worth mentioning to see in this area is the inhabited island of Capri, with dramatic scenery, breath taking caves and quaint Italian villages by the rugged coastline.
From Naples and Sorrento, Capri is very easy to get to. There is ferries that will take you there in less than two hours.
The most famous things to do on the island is taking a trip to Blue Grotto Sea Cave and the view from the top of Monte Solaro.
Personally I think Naples is a charming place to visit for a long weekend or a few days. However I wouldn’t end my trip there, from Naples I would definitely put on my bucket list the Amalfi Coast. A scenery that is not easy to find anywhere else in the world, with amazing cuisine a breath taking views.
Napoli is also well accessible by train from Rome or the other way round. A perfect week would combine the three places in your itinerary. Three days in Rome, Three days in Naples and a day trip to the Amalfi Coast would be a fulfilling experience for this part of the country. Starting from Rome and making your way down south to Naples and Amalfi Coast.
Naples is a great place to visit, a lot of friendly locals who do not speak much English, but a charming experience, great shopping, amazing dating and romantic culture. This is my bucket list and experiences I have from visiting Naples on numerous occasions.
Drink and pizza dinner facing the Tyrrhenian Sea and Castel dell’Ovo, with Mount Vesuvius in the landscape is probably one of the most memorable experiences one could have.
Getting Lost in Naples
Last but not least, experience for the brave which I really enjoyed and turned out very well and fortunate for me is going off the main streets in Naples and getting lost in side alleys. This can be dangerous, at the end of the day the locals would spot a tourist from a mile, and Napoli is also knows for its dark side and the Mafia.
I got lost unintentionally, I turned into an alley and did not realise my friends did not follow through. The city is so densely populated I could not find them and both of their phones were dead. So I just carried on walking, exploring and talking to locals to find my way back as I had no idea where I was. Luckily for me I walked into a girl I met a couple of months back and she helped me find my way home.
The people I met on the way could not speak much English, but were trying to help as much as they could and the little alleys, local homes and local people I have seen, was a magnificent all round authentic experience. I nearly got mugged by someone on the way, but thankfully I was warned not to fall into those cheap traps, so be careful and vigilant.
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