Have you seen a movie “Eat Pray Love”? There was a great scene in a movie where Julia Roberts was wandering around the streets which were super busy an a small girl showed a middle finger to her and she just laugh at her and said “oh look I am rude cause I’m from Naples”. It’s a great movie if you need to feel the Italy spirit! A bit cheesy, but I love to watch it every time I am traveling somewhere alone…solo.
When I was living in Bologna Italians warned me that North Italy is different from South of Italy, especially Naples. It’s dirty, people are not so nice, it is easy to get hit by a motorbike and there is many pickpockets. Despite that this city is so astonishing! I fell in love instantly. If you will act like a tourist then Naples will be rude to you, but if you just get lost in Italian culture then you will love it.
Things to do in Naples, Italy
Is it safe in Naples?
For decades – if not centuries – Naples has been seen as a ‘dangerous’ destination, dogged by petty crime, and entrenched in poverty. (Sad to say, there’s even some home-grown racism from the Italians themselves on this score). The bottom line with Naples is that like any thriving metropolis the world over; you have to approach it in a savvy way. Hold on to bags and be aware of your belongings wherever you stop, but particularly in the grimy station area, and showing particular care if you venture into some of its more notorious districts, like Quartiere Stella. During daylight hours, most of the city center is perfectly safe, but again, watch out for silent backstreets and crowded markets. After dark, not all of the streets are so well lit, but if you stick to main thoroughfares, you should have a peaceful trip.
That’s definitely the first thing which you have to do in Naples is to eat a true Italian pizza. Everybody knows that the best pizza in Italy is in Naples. When I tasted pizza in Naples for the first time it was such an intimate moment that I even felt a bit dirty and that I should be alone with this pizza in my bedroom. I couldn’t stop myself from making weird noises and I felt like making out with this pizza, but I saw that everybody else at the restaurant felt like I did. I had pizza at “Di Matteo” and it was just perfect! I can highly recommend it.
Address: Via dei Tribunali, 94, 80138 Napoli NA, Italy
What kind of pizza to order?
Pizza Margherita!!! I love it with Buffalo mozzarella. Just know that for a good pizza you don’t need many ingredients. Perfection is in simplicity. If you want to try making it at home check my pizza Margherita recipe.
Traditional Neapolitan pastry is Baba. An airy, fluffy cake smothered in a rum. Yes, you can get buzz a bit from it. Must to try.
Maschio Angioino castle
This is the place where trip in Naples usually starts, because this castle also known as Castel Nuovo is the first thing you see from the harbor. Maschio Angioino castle was built in 1279 -1284 by Charles I of Anjou. Over the years castle welcomed important poets, artists and writers. Today, it works as Civic museum.
Fun fact! According to the legend, in this castle underground prison there was living a huge crocodile which ate the prisoners who had had a death sentence. In Naples there never was crocodile, but everybody used to think so.
Monastero di Santa Chiara
Santa Chiara is a religious complex that includes the Church, a monastery, tombs, and a museum. The Basilica church has a great garden with interesting fences with tiles full of lemons
Buy a coffee for someone in need
Also known as “Suspended coffee”, you can pay for coffee in advance for somebody who can’t afford it. The suspended coffee idea was born in Naples in 1860. You can buy this coffee at cafe “Gambrinus”. This cafe is worth visiting, fancy interior and a great variety of desserts.
Visit Umberto gallery
This beautiful glass dome is a must to visit in Naples, Italy. Although, because it is public and always open there usually are homeless people sleeping or pickpockets just wandering around. Make sure when appreciating this beauty to always know where your things are.
Go to Procida
If you decided to spend a week or more in Naples, Italy then discover also islands around Naples. The most famous is Capri island, but I chose to go to Procide because of the local’s recommendations. This little island is a bit less crowdy with cute little, colorful houses and abandoned prison on the mountain.
In Procida you can get fresh, just brought by fisherman prawns, also we saw that locals are eating raw prawn and my friend ordered it, those were so delicious, tastes so creamy. Love it! It was not on the menu though, but when we asked a waiter it was no problem.
We spend the whole day there if it’s Summer time you can spend the whole day at the beach when it gets dark most of the people leave the island and it is possible to build a tent there and spend a night at the beach.
Trip to volcano mountain Vesuvius in Naples, Italy
Wherever you go to Naples, Italy, you can’t miss its iconic Vesuvius top. There are many organized tours to go to Vesuvius, but the price can add up, don’t be afraid to organize this trip by yourself. The easiest way is to go to Pompeii by a local train line, and then from Pompeii main station, catch a local bus to the Vesuvius it takes around 55 minutes. From the stop here you’ll have to hike the last half-mile up the volcano, about a 15 / 20-minute walk. Totally worth hiking for the view!
Visit the ancient Pompeii in Naples, Italy
In 79 AD, Mountain Vesuvius recorded one of its most catastrophic eruptions and covered the Roman town of Pompeii, burying what were estimated to have been some 11,000 inhabitants. Almost 150 years later, a Spanish engineer started excavating the site, and archaeologists team started to build together what the town once looked like. Plaster was used to fill in the voids in the ash left by people who died that day, and these shapes (displayed in the Garden of the Fugitives) are some of the most touching aspects of Pompeii.