Yet another week of Coronavirus lock down has passed us by. The sun is shining here in the UK which at least means my one bit of exercise a day can be a lovely walk. It’s amazing how we adjust to a new ‘normal’, but I’m starting to feel sad about what this all means for us long term.
So to cheer myself (and hopefully you) up, I’m continuing with my recaps on past trips to remember happier times and dream of when we may be able to get back to travelling again.
So, this post we’re off to Naples. This post covers spending a day in Naples, but my visit to the city was part of my week long trip to the Amalfi coast. The full trip details and itinerary can be found here (coming soon).
Naples is often seen as the bad boy of Italy. All I really knew about it before I went was that it was famous for the mafia, Diego Maradona and crazy football fans. That was my ignorance and no reflection of Naples. Yes it’s a bit noisy and dirty and less picture perfect than some other Italian cities, but did you know it’s actually the birth place of pizza? And my goodness, they know how to make pizza. It’s also home to great architecture, a lovely coast line, and is close to historic architectural sites like Herculaneum and Pompeii.
Here are my top 5 things to do there in a day.
1. Eat lots of pizza. Amazing, incredible, delicious pizza.
I don’t even really know where to start. If, like me, the pizza you normally eat is either frozen or from Dominos, you haven’t really eaten pizza. Pizza in Naples is an institution, and I can honestly say they are just delicious. We were planning to eat at Sorbillo, but the queue was over an hour long, so we ate at Gorizia and Pizzeria Oliva da Salvatore. Both were absolutely delicious…and absolutely heaving.
2. Castel dell’Ovo
Probably the best named castle ever. Egg Castle (in English), sits right on the sea shore. The castle’s name comes from a legend where the Poet Virgil put a magical egg into the foundations of the castle. It was said that if the egg had been broken, the castle would have been destroyed and a series of disastrous events for Naples would have followed. Luckily, it remained unbroken, and the castle and Naples still stand!
You can now visit the castle, walk the walls, and get some beautiful sea views.
3. Piazza del Plebiscito
This fancy Piazza is home to the Royal Palace, Church of San Francesco di Paola and some lovely collonades to each side. We enjoyed visiting the palace and discovering a lot of ornate rooms and frescoes (plus an awesome staircase), and then sitting down with some drinks (and pizza of course) to watch the world go by.
4. Castel Nuovo
This Castle was built in 1279 and was a royal seat for the kings of Naples, Spain and Aragon until the 1800s. It is currently home to two historical societies, and there is also a museum inside which displays some frescoes, paintings and cultural exhibitions. Well worth a couple of hours of your time.
5. Explore the busy streets
Naples isn’t beautiful like picture perfect Amalfi or Capri -it’s noisy and dirty and busy. But it’s also real, and there’s something about the hectic busy streets that I quite liked. It’s worth exploring to see a bit of reality and not just the postcard perfect Amalfi coast.
Also walking around Naples and exploring, you will discover the Duomo di Napoli – an impressive cathedral housing lots of lovely paintings and treasures, as well as Castel Sant Elmo – a medieval fortress on the hilltop, looking down over Naples.
Thank you for reading! We enjoyed our trip to Naples, but wouldn’t put it top of our places to visit in Italy. What did you think? Are you planning to visit Naples? Let me know in the comments below.