‘See Naples and die’ is the best compliment ever received by the city of Parthenope and it’s a phrase by Goethe, whom travelling around Italy, described Naples as a place of extraordinary and absolute beauty, to be visited at least once in a lifetime. Believe us, seeing it in just 48 hours, it’s a quite difficult task because there is plenty of things to see, to do and mostly to live. But no panic; we have the right addresses to recommend to you! Enjoy your trip, guagliò!
WHERE TO EAT
Needless to say this is the city where gastronomy in general, be it savory or sweet, is a real institution. There are restaurants at every corner and every single one of them is worth a ‘visit’, but we selected just 4 of them. Here they are.
Da Michele (via Cesare Sersale 1/3). THE pizza. If you’d like to experience the real one, you have to come here. The wait? At least half an hour, they don’t accept reservations. But it doesn’t matter, be patient enough, look around, tell jokes, take selfies, but wait. Eating a Margherita like this one is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Trattoria da Cicciotto (Calata Ponticiello a Marechiaro, 32). Eating in Naples does not only mean trying unique dishes but also enjoying a breathtaking view. This is what Cicciotto offers, where you’ll eat Neapolitan traditional dishes by the sea. It is not among the cheapest places, but it will definitely be worth it.
Da Nennella (vico Lungo Teatro Nuovo, 103/105). Right in the heart of the city center and the famous ‘Spanish Quarters’ there’s this rustic trattoria that will capture your attention from outside with the aromas coming from the kitchen. Don’t let the invasive waiters scare you: here people laugh, sings and loudly tell jokes…if you are not the fun or sociable type, forget about it. Their king dish? Pasta and potatoes!
Leopoldo (via Foria 212 and Via dell’Epomeo 71). How could we forget desserts? Impossible! So here goes Leopoldo, ready to satisfy any kind of appetite. Opened in 1940, and king of the Neapolitan ‘tarallo’, this bakery offers a quantity of delicacies that will make your choice more difficult than you expected: babà, warm sfogliatelle, pastiere and the list goes on and on. There are different locations all around downtown. You will easily bump into one just by walking around.
ART AND CULTURE
Naples offers so many places of interest and monuments and seeing all of them in one weekend it’s just impossible. Obvious attractions aside – like Piazza del Plebiscito, the Spanish Quarters and Palazzo Reale- we, as only good insiders should, recommend some places you probably didn’t know about.
Sant’Angelo a Nilo (Piazzetta del Nilo, 23). Did you know that Naples has its own Donatello? No? No worries, not many of us know that. This is the monumental church located in the heart of town that cherishes 2 masterpieces of the great Italian sculptor; the Tomb of Cardinal Rainaldo Brancaccio” and the ‘Assumption of the Virgin”. What are you waiting for?
Temple of Serapis (or Macellum di Pozzuoli). In Pozzuoli, a few miles from the center of the city, lies this archeological treasure, considered among the most important of the world. It is actually the classic Roman marketplace, where you can still find the remains of the meat and fish shops. Everything is so well preserved that we can easily understand the fascinating structure and meticulous organization of our ancestors.
Santa Chiara Monastery (via Santa Chiara 49/c). Just a few steps from downtown, this treasure is an absolute must-see. A monumental complex, considered one of the largest and most ancient of the city. It’s the cloister inside the complex that will catch your eye with a garden made of XVIII century Majolica pillars and frescos. A unique spot even to take wonderful pictures.
Fontanelle Cemetery (rione Sanità, via Fontanelle, 80). An ossuary that holds the remains of more than 40,000 victims of plague and cholera, who couldn’t afford a real burial. A place of quiet and intensity that has a notorious guest: donna Concetta, the sweating skull! Legend has it that its bones get slightly wet from a light dew whenever the grace requested by a pilgrim is granted.
And if you still have some time left, don’t forget to visit the ruins of Pompei, you won’t regret it!
WHAT TO DO AT NIGHT
It always seems to be Saturday night in Naples! It’s a very lively and fun city at all times, no matter if it’s winter of summer, people here love going out even just for a drink and a chat by the water.
Caffè dell’Epoca (better known as Peppe Spritz, in Piazza Bellini). If you think you can find the real Spritz only in Northern Italy, you are absolutely wrong. Peppe is the king of Spritz: at night after dinner sera (or right before) this place is full of people, mostly young, and artists since the drink costs just 2 Euros. Just few steps away you could also enjoy the charm of the alleys of the historic city center.
Arenile (via Coroglio, 14). This is a club by the sea, that hosted the world most important DJs and had many generations dance. In summer you can dance under the moonlight reflecting on the water and there is also an indoor area for the coldest months.
Then, just walk, stroll and look around. Naples is a city to live not to visit. Try to live like locals, eat like them and dream like them, it’s the only way you could say you were in Naples!