More than a just a haphazard jumping off point for nearby sights, Naples is a beguiling city that invites closer inspection. Book one of our holidays in Naples and discover the capital of Campania.
On Via Francesco de Sanctis you'll find a chapel, Cappella Sansevero, which was founded in 1590. It may not look much from the outside and it is quite small, but inside you'll discover the wonder that is Cristo Velato (Veiled Christ), which was sculpted in marble.
The 17th-century Bourbon Tunnel was constructed as an escape route for the then ruler because of fear of uprising among the Neapolitan masses. During WWII the tunnel was converted into air raid shelters in which people lived and died. Now you can tour the labyrinth and hear stories of its history that will move and amaze in equal measures.
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens gives visitors the opportunity to see its inhabitants up close. It isn't the biggest of its kind but it's certainly one of the most fun – watching the alligators being fed is an event in itself. Take a boat trip around islands populated by monkeys, ride on a camel and even get to feed the giraffes.
For truly memorable holidays in Naples visit Mount Vesuvius and one of the cities that it devastated, Pompeii. You have to visit Pompeii to fully understand what it must have been like on that fateful day in AD 79. Much of the city is very well preserved with its amphitheatres, forum, arcade, basilica, frescos and mosaics. You'll even see the plaster casts of some of the victims in their last moments – a truly haunting sight.
As Italy's third-largest city, Naples has plenty of shops and boutiques and you'll find anything from high-end fashion to simple pasta-making machines. There are shopping centres such Campania Mall and Vulcano Buono, while Via Toledo is the city's longest shopping street. One of the most fascinating places to visit is Corso Guiseppe Garibaldi. This long, straight street is thronged with market stalls selling antique goods and various other vintage bric-a-brac.
Italians love their espresso and the Neapolitan version is short and extremely strong, so if you need a caffeine fix, you've come to the right place!
An excellent delicatesen, Antica Salumeria Pane 1864 is popular with Neapolitans for its fresh-baked breads, cheeses, hams and wines. And offering quality, not quantity, Pizzeria Napoli in Bocca serves just two types of pizza – with cheese or without cheese! And accompanied by a soda or beer, it makes for a tasty, filling treat.
Fans of high culture will enjoy an opera at Teatro di San Carlo. For cocktails and relaxed fun, Vibes on the Beach is worth a visit, particularly if you're into downtempo/nu-jazz music. Arenile Reload, close to the city centre, is a live music venue that is very popular with local students.