Naples is rich of surprises
When someone asks me what are my favorite cities in the world, I always include Naples. The riot of colors, the true and well-defined soul, the contradictions, the art of smiling at life despite the problems, the swarm of people, the whole of flavors at the table. Naples is rich of surprises. I am definitely in love with Southern Italy and I think that Naples contains a bit of all regions of South Italy, with its strengths and weaknesses. It is a city that puts me in a good mood and has never made me feel unsafe. I assure you that not once did I fear for my safety: the important thing is to pay attention, as you would in any other big city.
In this article I have enclosed 10 things that are absolutely not to be missed in Naples, including history, contemporary art and cuisine. Making a selection in a city that has so much to offer was not easy, but I wanted to entrust myself to the memories that Naples left in my mind. In fact, below you find a list of the top 10 places that have immediately left something in my heart and which I will want to visit again when I will come back in Naples.
For me it is one of the most beautiful squares in the world, as well as the beating heart of the city, a stone’s throw from the sea and the historic center. From here you can admire the perfect symmetry of the buildings and, taking just two steps, you can have coffee in one of the historic bars of Naples: the elegant Caffè Gambrinus.
It is the oldest castle in Naples and it is wonderful. Thanks to its position it seems almost a small island in the sea, connected to the mainland only on one side. My suggestion is to admire it both day and night, gently lit by the moon and street lights.
This is a magical place to see at least once in your life. In its simplicity it manages to make many things understand, first of all the connection between the Neapolitans and the sea. And then I assure you that it is wonderful to see the view from here and admire the mix of houses that stand out in the landscape.
If you are a lover of contemporary art, you can’t even miss the Museo Madre, set in the city center. It is one of the most interesting museums of contemporary art so much so that it could be compared with the most renowned MoMa.
The true soul of the city is preserved by the bustling streets of Spaccanapoli. Here the Neapolitan music resounds in the air, here tourists and locals meet to each other, here historical art mixes with masterpieces of world street art (first of all Banksy’s masterpiece). Right here there are hundreds of nativity scenes, the famous “Spaccanapoli Presepi”. It is an extremely suggestive area, not to be missed.
Pizzeria da Michele
Going to Naples without eating the real pizza would be foolish. As many say “in Naples pizza is good everywhere” and yet, having to choose, I have favorite pizzeria: the Margherita Pizza by Michele. After trying this pizza I think you will not be able to find another one at the same level. Here are prepared only two types of pizzas: marinara (with anchovies) and margherita. Only two variants, but prepared to perfection. Even Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love rightly fell in love with this pizza! I recommend you go there early, to avoid the long queue of tourists.
Cimitero delle Fontanelle
Located in the less popular Rione Sanità, it is perhaps one of the most authentic and mystical places I have ever been. This place, which was built to cope with the plague and cholera, today houses about 40.000 remains of the victims of these epidemics. It is impossible to explain the emotion you feel during the visit: you have to try it on your skin.
Some say it is the best place to see Naples from above and understand the intersection of streets. And how to blame! Naples from here is even more beautiful, it looks like a painting framed by the sky.
If you like contemporary art, you can’t miss a mini tour of the best metro stops. The subway in Naples, in fact, is the winner of numerous awards including the title of the most beautiful metro in Europe. The most spectacular is without a doubt the Toledo stop, inspired by the marine world.
A real gem, a historic building linked to the legend of Donn’Anna. You can’t visit the interior, but I assure you that even the outside leaves no words, especially if you love photography. It is located in Posillipo.