Set around one of the most beautiful bays in Italy, the Bay of Naples (Napoli), and lying in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, and in close proximity to the romantic islands of Capri and Ischia, Naples (Napoli) is the third-largest city in Italy.
Naples (Napoli), a former Greek trading center, was established around 600 BC. The city was later conquered by the ancient Romans and became a residence of several emperors and other important persons of that time. Today, Naples (Napoli) is a bustling city located in a beautiful natural setting, with a colorful street life, chaotic traffic, and numerous narrow and winding alleyways that lead to many quaint shops and restaurants.
In fact the street is where Naples (Napoli) happens. Life is lived here in all its chaotic glory. It's bustling; it's unique, where Neapolitan is a language in its own right and you'll hear the harsh dialect bellowed at volume; it's rich in historical, artistic, and cultural traditions and with its own distinct cuisine, where the pizza originated in the 18th century and is eaten, like so many other delicious local foods, out on the street. Naples (Napoli) is alive with movement; Neapolitans will engage nearly anyone in conversation and they love to interact almost as much as they love to eat outdoors.
And what does all of this add up to? One of the most exciting, vivid places you'll ever visit. It also has some beautiful architecture, a thriving port area, and frequent ferries out to the lovely islands of Capri and Ischia; and the ancient world lies just out of town in the ancient ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Naples (Napoli) is an unforgettable experience. Visit the city's grand cathedral, the Duomo. Originally dating from 1272, it has undergone numerous alterations.
The Chiesa dei Girolamini, a beautiful baroque church with two facades, lies directly opposite. Don't miss the Chiesa del Gesu Nuovo on the piazza of the same name. Dating from the 16th century, the church is one of Naples (Napoli)'s finest examples of Renaissance architecture.
Wander north of the Spaccanapoli district and visit the Museo Archeologico Nazionale. It boasts one of the most comprehensive collections of Graeco-Roman artifacts in the world, including some discovered at Pompeii and Herculaneum. It also houses the Borgia collection of Etruscan and Egyptian relics.
The beautifully located Castel Sant'Elmo is well worth a visit. Offering spectacular views out over the bay and the city itself, this star-shaped castle was built under Spanish vice-regal rule in 1538. The Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte is striking. Dating from 1738, it was the residence of the Bourbon King Charles III and is surrounded by what was once the hunting ground of the aristocracy. Today, the palazzo is home to the Museo e Gallerie di Capodimonte which houses an outstanding collection of Renaissance paintings: Bellini, Caravaggio, Botticelli, and El Greco are all represented.
Sunny, lively, and simply unforgettable, Naples (Napoli) is music, theater, Vesuvius, coffee, pizza, and the sea.