The capital of Campania, Naples is one of the most famous cities in Italy. Home to just under one million residents, Naples' landscape features an active volcano, a 13th-century castle, and a wide range of artistic landmarks, giving you plenty to uncover on your next getaway. Art and culture go hand-in-hand in this southern city, which gets pretty hot during the summer months. Renaissance palaces, religious buildings, museums, and art galleries make up the sublime setting, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Whether you spend your days visiting historic attractions, like the city's oldest castle Castel dell’Ovo or feasting on Italian cuisine in-between sunbathing sessions at Spiaggia dei Maronti, Naples is a holiday destination that really ought to be experienced at least once in your lifetime.
Fancy a taste of Italian city life? Vibrant and charming, Salerno’s medieval buildings shine a light on the past. Salerno Cathedral is the main church, and if you venture to the heart of the Old Town, you will discover Minerva's Garden. Salerno also has a modern side to it, with tattoo studios, trendy cafes, and nightclubs peppering the landscape. Sports games and events can also be watched at the Stadio Arechi.
Torre del Greco
Ancient Greek settlers were the first people to colonise Torre del Greco, formerly a suburb of Herculaneum before Mount Vesuvius erupted and destroyed the surrounding land. This wasn't the only time this coastal commune was affected by Vesuvius, however. Back in 1631, the volcano erupted again and by 1764, 10 metres of lava was covering the city centre. Today, Torre del Greco attracts visitors with its Roman archaeological remains, Santa Croce parish church, the monastery of Zoccolanti, and stunning coral jewellery, which has been produced from the ocean's natural coral since the 17th-century.
Isle of Procida
If you’re keen to get your beach fix, you should think about setting off on an island tour of Procida. This small islet can be found between the Naples mainland and Ischia island. A boat trip to the Bay of Naples is all it takes to get to this island, which is part of the Flegrean Islands group. Much less crowded than some of Naples' beaches, Procida is the perfect spot for relaxation and wildlife watching. Restaurants and cafes open their doors on a daily basis near the island's pretty fishing port, which is enveloped by fragrant orange and lemon groves.
Mainland Europe's only active volcano can be found near Naples. Claiming a dominant position on the west coast of Italy is Mount Vesuvius. This well-known volcano looks out onto the city skyline, as well as the picturesque bay. The last eruption occurred back in 1944, but it was not as destructive as the eruption that obliterated two surrounding cities - Herculaneum and Pompeii. Part of the seven stratovolcanoes that make up the Campanian volcanic arc, Vesuvius is instantly recognisable, due to the fact it blew its peak back in 79 AD.
Naples National Archaeological Museum
Make your way to the north-west of the city of Neapolis' Greek wall to find the Naples National Archaeological Museum. Roman artefacts found in nearby cities Stabiae, Pompeii, and Herculaneum are on display inside the museum, which is one of the most important museums of its kind on the planet. Marbles, mosaics and a unique Egyptian collection are among the works exhibited inside the museum, with the Roman bronzes from the Villa of the Papyr luring in visitors year-round. Perhaps the most notable objects are contained within the Farnese collection.
Situated to the west of Naples is the Phlegraean Fields. This volcanic area is no longer as active as it once was, with the last eruption occurring in 1538. In 2003, Phlegraean Fields became a regional park and since this time, its cultural importance has grown, not to mention interest from tourists. One of many attractions on the outskirts of Naples, Phlegraean Fields may not have erupted in a while, but it is still rumbling. Its name translates to ‘burning fields’ and the complex is comprised of a staggering 24 craters, some of which are concealed beneath the ocean. Hot gas is often released from the vents around these craters and if you visit the natural attraction, you may be lucky enough to witness it.
Lido di Procida, Spiaggia dei Pescatori, Punta Caruso, and Il Sorgeto are four popular beaches in Naples, but the most popular sunbathing spot is by far Marina Grande Beach. This public beach looks out onto the fishing boats that float on the Amalfi Coast's blue waters. You will also find a great selection of beach clubs around Naples.
It’s no secret that the people of Italy take their food very seriously. When you visit Naples, you’ll begin your meal with an appetiser (antipasti), such as cheese and salami, followed by the first course (il primo), usually consisting of pasta and the second course (il secondo), which is normally meat, fish, and/or vegetables. The food scene in Naples is diverse, so if you don't fancy Italian cuisine all the time, you'll be pleased to learn that a blend of Asian fusion, European, French, and Mexican eateries are located around the region.
From burger joints like Brooks Gourmet Burgers to diners that dish up burritos like Salsa Brava Mexican Grill, Naples has it all. The Turtle Club is worth visiting if you want to drink and eat with an ocean view. Some other recommended eateries in this part of Italy include Naples Flatbread & Wine Bar, Fuse Global Cuisine, and Mediterraneo.
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