Nothing better than doing the whole tour on foot and without rushing.
I needed to reconcile with Naples. The first time I went we didn't really fit together. I was not able to find the charm. I saw it dirty and I was even scared. But too many people around me spoke wonders about this city and that always made me believe that reconciliation would come sooner or later.
Two whole days were enough to return fascinated.
The historic center of Naples is declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco and I decided to experience it with the camera in hand and good sneakers. No hurry.
I start the route in Via Vicaría Vecchia, which is the access street to Forcella, one of the main areas of the center and which was relevant to the Neapolitan mafia. A lot of life, narrow streets, people shouting, hanging clothes... everything more or less predictable, except the Mural di San Gennaro (San Gennaro di Jorit Agoch). A good tribute to the patron saint of the city that, honestly, surprised me a lot: the surrounding buildings are visibly decaying, while the mural is really good maintained.
I turn into Vico dei Zuroli street to reach the famous Via dei Tribunali. Right there is a square with the Obelisk of San Gennaro. It is an obelisk dating from 1636, of Baroque construction and built to thank the saint for the protection he gave Naples during the eruption of Vesuvius in 1631. Just in front of it is the Pio Monte della Misericordia where there is one of the masterpieces of Caravaggio. He was commissioned to paint the Sette opere di Misericordia in 1606... and there is the painting: presiding over the altar!
I go back up Via dei Tribunal to Via Duomo to visit the impressive Naples Cathedral (Duomo). It is the main place of worship in the city. They say that formerly in that same location there was a temple dedicated to Apollo in the past. Don't forget to raise your head and look at the ceiling! Awesome. It's worth queuing to visit the Treasury Chapel, where the bust of San Gennaro stands, along with 51 other statues and capsules of the saint's blood.
I take Via dei Tribunal again (it's clearly an artery of the city) until I reach Piazza San Gaetano. On one side is the church of San Paolo Maggiore and on the other, La Neapolis Sotterrata. It is fascinating as any church in Naples is awesome. I say it for San Paolo, for example. From the outside it is a normal church and once you are inside it is amazing. From the underground Naples, I must say that everybody recommends this destination and I was quite disappointed. It is interesting because it is the ancient labyrinth of aqueducts and cisterns in Naples, but I highly recommend visiting Pompeii or Ercolano, which are really impressive and have much more history behind them.
It is time to gather strength and there is nothing better than doing it in what is considered the best pizzeria in the world: Sorbillo. You will recognize it quickly by the long queues at the door. You will lose at least an hour, but it is worth it.
I continue the tour. My goal is the Monastero Santa Chiara, but on the way I find Piazza di San Domenico Maggiore, from which I highlight the magnificent obelisk in the middle. I can only say about the monastery that it is mandatory to visit it. Regardless of its historical-cultural value, its highlight is the cloister. The columns in the courtyard are decorated with majolica and the walls with frescoes from the 17th century. It's a show! I do not know the veracity of the information, but they say that it is the only one in the world with majolica.
I take the opportunity to visit Piazza Gesu Nuovo with its impressive Chiesa Gesu Nuovo. Its façade is actually the façade of the 15th century Palazzo Sanseverino. The interior is baroque and of a beauty that I am not able to describe. This is one of the churches that I liked the most. Do not forget to raise your head again to look at the ceiling!
I go back in Via Benedetto Croce to approach the Sansevero Chapel Museum, which is where the famous Cristo Velato is located. You will queue a lot; but, once again, you will see it is worth. In the chapel there are more marvels apart from this one, such as priceless sculptures and frescoes that leave you breathless, but the work of Giuseppe Sanmartino is beautiful.
I decide to get away from the historic center to enter the amazing Quarteri Spagnoli, which is in the southwest and very close on foot. It is the neighborhood that arose in the 16th century, during the Spanish denomination of Naples, to welcome the Spanish troops destined to suppress possible Neapolitan revolts. It has always had a very bad reputation for high prostitution and crime. To this day, for me, walking is a good experience. Narrow streets, clothes hanging, noisy trattorias, progressive clubs... wow... it's the real Naples. Many people say that the Pignasecca market (the oldest street market in the city) is a must-see. It was closed when I get there.
South of the Quarteri Spagnoli is the Galleria Umberto. It is an impressive marriage of Neo-Renaissance façades with glass dome and luxurious marble flooring. You have to see it day and night. I continue the route towards the Castel Nuovo, which is one of the most emblematic and most photographed places in the city, but I don't stop. I'm in a hurry to get to Piazza del Plebiscito with its majestic Palazzo Reale.
I managed to get away from the bustling and noisy Naples by walking the Lungomare. It is the waterfront formed by Via Partenope and Via Francesco Carrociolo (one is the continuation of the other). A very quiet pedestrian walk. It is 2 and a half kilometers with hotels and luxurious houses on one side and the sea on the other. The final part of Via Partenope, just before reaching Piazza Vitoria, there are many (tourist) restaurants with views. On this walk you can enjoy views of the entire Gulf of Naples and even Capri.
I decided to spend a whole day visiting Procida. It is a very photogenic island due to the colors of the houses and the charm of its port. It was a total success, although I must say that in May it is already crowded. Having seen the most relevant parts of the city and having visited two of its most representative islands, I decided to continue the route towards the Amalfi Coast, passing through Pompeii and Ercolano. I can say that this is one of my favorite getaways in Italy.
I was staying at Dimora San Felice. It is a very well located B&B, with good facilities and they are charming. I would repeat and totally recommend it.
Lots of life and infinite cultural wealth. I definitely made peace with the city. In fact, now I can say that "from love to hate there is only one step", but in reverse.
If you need to be connected even abroad, buy the Italy eSIM card at Holafly before traveling. They will apply a 5% discount for coming from Raconets.
Do not hesitate to send me a mail if you need help to organize your trip!Duration:
A couple of days were not enough for me. Three would be better.
No problem, although it can be a bit tiring for them, as it is best to visit it on foot.