To visit Naples and see all the main attractions would not be enough even a week, so if you are in the neighborhood or in case one of the stops of your trip is Salerno, Capri, Sorrento or the Amalfi Coast, no worries, the following list of things to see in Naples, will help you discover the main attractions to see in Naples, so as to make the most of your time available. So let's have a look together at what you can visit in Naples in a day or a weekend.
- HOW TO GET TO NAPLES FROM SALERNO: By train from Salerno to Napoli Centrale in about 39 minutes. Fast and cheap, the train is definitely the best way to get to Naples, especially if you consider that once you arrive in Naples Centrale you can move comfortably with the metro.
- ARRIVING TO NAPLES FROM CAPRI: Hydrofoils and ferries connect Naples and Capri all year round. Trips from Capri leave from the port of Marina Grande and arrive at Molo Beverello (hydrofoils) or Calata Porta di Massa (ferries). Molo Beverello is located near Piazza Municipio, close to the city center, while Porta di Massa is much closer to the central train station. Cabs and the Alibus bus are available from both ports, connecting the airport with the city center. For more info: Hydrofoils Naples Capri.
- GETTING TO NAPLES FROM SORRENTO: Circumvesuviana and Hydrofoils. There are several ways to reach Naples from Sorrento, the main one is the Circumvesuviana, a regional train that leaves every twenty minutes and arrives in Naples Piazza Garibaldi in just over an hour, while hydrofoils leave from Marina Piccola in Sorrento and reach the port of Naples Molo Beverello in about 40 minutes. For more info: Hydrofoils Naples Sorrento.
- GETTING TO NAPLES FROM THE AMALFI COAST: Reaching Naples from the Amalfi Coast in the low season may be difficult due to lack of direct connections, in fact there is a bus line that takes two hours to reach Naples from Amalfi, or from Positano is good to reach Sorrento first by bus and then continue with the Circumvesuviana. For more info on ferries during the summer season: Ferries Naples Amalfi Coast.
1. Historical Centre - Spaccanapoli
Naples is an open-air museum, every corner of the city deserves to be visited inch by inch but the pulsing heart of the city is definitely the historic center, which unlike many historic centers of Italian art cities, still belongs to its inhabitants who live it fully, respecting local traditions while being visited daily by many tourists. There is no alley, building or courtyard that does not deserve a short visit. The heart of the old city is Spaccanapoli: a long street in the historic center of Naples that divides it in two, linking the Forcella district with the Quartieri Spagnoli. Along and around the street are some of the city's most important churches, including the Gesù Nuovo church, the Monastery of Santa Chiara and the complex of San Domenico Maggiore.
2. Cappella Sansevero and Veiled Christ
In the historic center of Naples is one of the city's most interesting attractions: the Cappella Sansevero. Located behind San Domenico Maggiore square, on Via Francesco De Sanctis, is this mysterious church, now deconsecrated but once belonging to the Prince of Sansevero. Nowadays it is well known for housing the very famous Veiled Christ, a work of art so incredibly beautiful that according to legend it was made thanks to an alchemical process. The sculpture of Giuseppe Sanmartino, depicting the body of Jesus with a transparent veil covering his body, was made from a single block of marble. This magnificent masterpiece, according to many critics is among the most beautiful sculptures ever made. Moreover, the chapel is not only known for the Veiled Christ, but also for some macabre legends... you just have to discover it!
3. Piazza del Plebiscito
Considered the most famous square in Naples, Piazza del Plebiscito, is not far from the sea and is one of the symbols of the city of Naples. At the center of the square you can admire the two equestrian statues of Charles III and Ferdinand I that are located on one of the sides of the hemicycle, the first made by Canova, while the second only partially by the same. On the large square there are many palaces:
- the Royal Palace, currently home to the National Library
- the Prefecture Palace
- the Salerno Palace
- the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola
From Piazza del Plebiscito it is easy to reach the other places to visit in Naples: the Maschio Angioino, via Toledo the shopping street, the famous Galleria Umberto I and the Naples promenade.
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4. Naples Underground
Did you know that underneath the historical center of Naples in Italy is hidden another "city"?
Among the things to see in Naples there is definitely Naples Underground, a labyrinth of ancient tunnels hidden under the city, which will take you back in time allowing you to rediscover the stratification that Naples has undergone with the influence of many cultures: from the Greek civilization to the Roman one, and then move on to the medieval to the contemporary one.
If you're wondering what one of the must-do things in Naples is, this is certainly one of them: discover the history of Naples' underground and the city beneath the city:
5. Catacombs of San Gennaro
The history of the city of Naples is very old, in fact in the historic center of Naples hides another wonder that dates back to the second century AD, the Catacombs of San Gennaro, which are recognized to be the most important of southern Italy. A few meters below the busy streets of Naples you can discover with a guided tour: the most venerated tombs of saints and nobles of the city, an underground basilica, frescoes and portraits. Finally, you can take a journey to discover the close bond of faith between the city of Naples and its patron saint San Gennaro. In fact, the spoils of St. Gennaro were brought here in the fourth century AD (now transferred to the Cathedral), and you can still admire the oldest portrait of the patron saint.
Are you ready to travel through time? Book your visit now:
6. San Gregorio Armeno
In the heart of the historic center of Naples is the street of nativity scenes and the most famous statuettes in the world, which takes its name from the church of San Gregorio Armeno, founded in 930 AD. This is definitely one of the most unique areas to visit in the historic center of Naples. Along this ancient street of the historic center, super crowded, especially during the Christmas period, you will find many stores handed down from generation to generation, where craftsmen make cribs and shepherds as well as representations of Neapolitan life. Very particular are the statuettes of famous people and caricatures of the most popular characters of the moment from the many TV personalities, international politicians to soccer with the inevitable statue of Maradona.
7. National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum of Naples, also known by the acronym MANN, with its rich and unique archaeological collections, is one of the most important museums in the world. It was founded by the Bourbons at the end of the 18th century, and is the most ancient museum in Europe. Its creation is closely linked to the figure of Charles III of the Bourbon dynasty, who ascended the throne of Naples in 1734. He promoted on the one hand the excavations of the Roman cities buried by the eruption of 79 AD and on the other hand the project to establish a Farnese Museum, transferring to Naples part of the rich collection that he had inherited through his mother Elisabetta Farnese. It preserves inside precious collections and archaeological artefacts divided between the prehistoric and the late Roman age to which are added many historical collections, including those of the Borgias and the collection of ancient Egypt.
8. The Capodimonte Museum
Commissioned in the 18th century by Charles of Bourbon, the Royal Palace of Capodimonte became a museum in 1957. It represents the most important art gallery in Naples and houses numerous works of Italian painting such as the Farnese collection, works by Raphael, Botticelli and Bruegel. There are also numerous works in the Neapolitan Gallery with Simone Martini, Ribera and Caravaggio's Flagellation of Christ and the Contemporary Art section with Andy Warhol's Vesuvius. You will also find the Bourbon Armory, the Royal Apartment and the Porcelain Gallery.
The museum is surrounded by the magnificent Royal Forest, which has five long main avenues and numerous side streets and esplanades, with hundreds of mature trees and fruit trees, other plants and a fair amount of wildlife.