The attractions of Naples are primarily the remains of the Greeks and Romans who inhabited this area in the old days. It is also a bit darker monuments, hidden literally under the city itself, which most tourists will also like. Naples is also the birthplace of one of the best pizzas in the world and a great base for visiting the surrounding attractive places to visit.
Tourist attractions of Naples
The largest and most important city of Campania is loud, a bit chaotic, but also colorful. Despite its high popularity among tourists, not everyone will like it. For some, the highlight of the trip will be a visit to one of the largest historic old towns in Europe, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, while the other will be disturbed by the mountains of rubbish that have already grown into the local landscape.
Nevertheless, no one will remain indifferent and there is a good chance that many people will want to come back here again.
Naples is one of the top three most visited cities in Italy. For this reason, when visiting, you have to be prepared for the crowds. Especially in July and August, when the weather is too good, because it’s hot outside. May, June and September are much better dates to come to this city. There are fewer tourists then, and the temperatures are lower, as are the prices. A lot of people also choose the Christmas period to visit Naples.
But then, unfortunately, accommodation prices increase again.
A trip to this city can be a good idea to spend a weekend abroad. Two or three days are enough to visit Naples. Although if we want to see everything carefully and move a little further outside the city, then it’s best to come here for a week. Then we will calmly visit all the attractions of Naples, as well as go to other attractive places on the Amalfi Coast, or to the nearby islands or to the world-famous Mount Vesuvius.
Naples is a great city for people who like to visit. There are many interesting museums, stunning monuments and sacred buildings. For people with strong nerves, there are underground tunnels, cemeteries and catacombs. On the other hand, Neapolitan cuisine is a real treat for lovers of good food.
On site, you can try not only the local pizza, but also various types of pasta with sauces and excellent coffee, which, among others, this city is famous for.
Importantly, the historical center of Naples can be easily visited by simply walking. We can get to the rest of the attractions and monuments in the city using the local public transport. In Naples, there are metro, buses and funiculars to reach the Vomero hill.
You can also travel with your own car, but as in any larger city, there will certainly be problems with finding a parking space.
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Monuments in Naples
So let’s start exploring the attractions of Naples from its greatest monuments.
The heart of Naples, with the greatest historical value, is the Centro Storico, or Old Town. Even though there aren’t really many remnants from ancient times on it. You can see much more literally beneath the surface of the old town by visiting the local underground. As for the buildings in this part of Naples, the Neapolitan Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic architecture dominate here.
It is also worth noting that in 1995 the Old Town of Naples was entered on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List.
Royal Palace of Naples
One of the major monuments in Naples is the quite inconspicuous building of the Royal Palace – Palazzo Reale di Napoli. Located in Piazza del Plebiscito square, the exterior does not impress. However, the interior of the Royal Palace is impressive. This former seat of the Spanish governors and one of the four residences of the Bourbon Dynasty attracts attention with its staircase.
Further on, it is even more lavish, you can visit rooms full of splendor, equipped with period furniture and valuable paintings and sculptures.
Currently, the Royal Palace houses the National Library and the opera theater – San Carlo.
See on the map of Naples attractions how to get to the royal palace:
Cathedral of Naples
The number one religious monument in Naples is definitely the Cathedral of Naples – Duomi di Napoli. Its foundation dates back to the Middle Ages, the facade itself represents Gothic, while the interiors are decorated in the Baroque style. Its patron is St. January, whose relics (a vial of blood) are kept here. Interestingly, every year the residents take part in the event of the transformation of the blood clotted in St. January in liquid, which is to ensure the city another year of prosperity.
Inside the cathedral, it is worth paying attention to the beautiful coffered ceiling, excellent acoustics and the oldest baptistery in Europe – San Giovanni in Fonte with mosaics from the 5th century.
Another monument and visiting card of the city is Nuovo Castle, located in the port part of Naples. Its history dates back to 1279, where over the years, due to its quite strategic location, it was plundered and attacked many times. Then it served as a cultural center, and now it houses the City Museum.
So we will learn here the history of the local inhabitants over the centuries, along with the royal family and nobility, living in the south of Italy.
The greatest tourist attractions in Naples
What other attractions in Naples are on your list to see on a trip to the city?
National Archaeological Museum
One of the major attractions in Naples is its National Archaeological Museum, which boasts one of the most important archaeological collections in the world. It is here, on four floors, that you can see exhibits dating back to ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt.
Including those more local from Pompeii, Stabia and Herculaneum. Among them there are mainly everyday objects, as well as mosaics, decorations and sculptures.
Catacombs of Naples
Another big attraction in Naples are the local catacombs – Catacombe San Gennaro and Catacombe di San Gaudioso. Catacombs of St. January were created in the 2nd-3rd century on the site of a Roman tomb. Then, around the 5th century, St. January, and more and more of the people of Naples, wanted to be buried next to him.
Nowadays, you can visit two levels of this necropolis with Christian paintings, Byzantine paintings and old churches.
In turn, the catacombs of St. Gaudiosos are a bit younger, as they come from the 4th-5th century. They were built outside the city limits, and in the 17th century, the Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanita was erected above them. To this day, they are entered through the crypt of this temple.
Visiting the catacombs of St. Gaudioso takes place with a guide who tells about the draining of bodies and the Skull Gallery, the remains of which can still be seen today.
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Another attraction for tourists in Naples is Castel dell’Ovo, known as the Egg Castle. It is situated on a small island connected to the mainland by a causeway. Built in the 12th century, it was once the residence of King Charles I of Anjou. Its name – egg comes from a legend related to the Roman poet Virgil, who placed an egg in a small cage in the foundations of the castle.
A local prophecy says that as long as the egg is whole, Naples will be safe. Today, the castle dell’Ovo is very often the background for photographs of tourists visiting this city.
The Sansevero Chapel, created in 1590, in thanks for the recovery of prince Giovan Francesco di Sangro, also makes a significant impression on tourists in Naples. Its present appearance is due to Prince Sansevero. The chapel itself is not large, the rococo sculptures made by Italian artists in the 18th century are impressive here. Their uniqueness lies in the extraordinary precision and reality of each sculpted figure that has been rendered in an extremely difficult and hard material – marble.
The most famous works here are “Christ Shrouded in a Shroud”, “Deliverance from Deception” and “Modesty”. These sculptures were so truly rendered that many people suspected the founder of this chapel of magic and witchcraft.
What’s worth seeing in Naples?
What else is worth seeing and visiting? Interesting places, monuments and tourist attractions.
Naples metro stations
The metro stations here deserve special attention in Naples. As part of the project called “Art Stations”, the stations of the local metro – lines 1 and 6, were decorated with paintings and artistic installations. From boring and not very interesting places, they have turned into colorful and truly interesting attractions. The most beautiful stations include: Toledo, University, Garibaldi and Dante.
However, the first one, Toledo, designed by the Catalan architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca, deserves a special mention.
Its appearance is cosmic-futuristic, and the whole thing looks like a stairway to heaven.
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Umberto I Gallery
Another place worth seeing in Naples is the Umberto I Gallery. It is a shopping arcade, but not so ordinary, as it was built in the Renaissance style, following the pattern of the much more famous Victor Emmanuel Gallery in Milan. The whole was created in 1891, on a Greek cross plan, topped with a glass roof and a dome located in the center. Inside there are of course shops, cafes and offices.
The Umberto I Gallery is located in the very center of Naples, opposite the San Carlo Opera House.
The building was also placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Cimitero Delle Fontanelle
In Naples, the cemetery is also worth seeing – Cimitero Delle Fontanelle. It is definitely not an ordinary necropolis, as it is located in a huge cave, where mainly victims of the plague and cholera that hit the city are buried. In the Cimitero Delle Fontanelle cemetery, covering an area of 3,000 square meters, the remains of almost 40,000 dead were placed.
The whole thing is divided into three parts, on the left side there are people associated with the church and the congregation. On the right, the poorer population, and in the center the victims of the epidemic.
Interesting places in Naples
What other interesting places in Naples are worth seeing and visiting? A handful of other attractions and monuments in Naples.
Underground of Naples
An interesting place in Naples are the local underground. They are located around the hill Monte di Dio (Pizzofalcone). In Naples, just outside the city, there are kilometers of corridors, aqueducts and caves. They were built back in Greek times, when houses were built from the tuff mined here. For this reason, Naples is often called – the mirror city, because the buildings were made of excavated materials just below them.
At one time it was supposed that the height of the house corresponded to its depth underground.
Later, rainwater was stored in the basement, then aqueducts were established there, and during the war they were shelters. Today they are an attraction that tourists willingly visit (routes with guides, eg Napoli Sotterranea or Galleria Borbonica).
When visiting Naples, it is definitely worth going a bit further and seeing one of the most interesting places in all of Italy, i.e. the Vesuvius volcano. Only 9 kilometers away from the city, it is one of the most dangerous and, importantly, still active volcanoes in the world. The climb to Mount Vesuvius is not difficult, and from the very top there are unforgettable views of Naples and the entire bay.
At the very top, a National Park was created to protect the local flora and fauna.
See the map of Naples attractions on how to get to the Vesuvius volcano:
Pompeii is the second interesting and must see place during a trip to Naples. It is an eye-catcher of the eruption of Vesuvius, from the time of the Roman Empire. Then the volcanic eruption literally buried the entire ancient city. Today, the remnants of this tragedy can be seen to familiarize yourself with what the everyday life of its inhabitants used to be like.
While walking among the ruins you can see reconstructed paintings, mosaics and old artifacts.
Of course, we also invite you to the official website of Naples where you will find more.
Naples tourist attractions map
On the map of Naples tourist attractions below you will find all the most interesting monuments and interesting, interesting places: