10 reasons to add Naples, Italy to your Italian itinerary
Italy consistently remains one of the most popular destinations in the world. While most travelers opt for Rome, Venice, Florence and the beloved Amalfi Coast, Naples is generally overlooked, dubbed a seedy and dangerous destination. However, this little-known city deserves the same attention as its more popular neighbors.
There are plenty of reasons to add Naples to your Italian itinerary, but to get you started, here are ten.
ten The story
Naples has been hit by a few bouts of bad luck, including several eruptions of nearby Mount Vesuvius around the time of World War II, when Naples was the first Italian city to rise up against Nazi military occupation.
Not to mention that Naples has struggled with being a center of highly organized crime. With all its ups and downs, Naples has a lot of history and remains a cultural center where you can experience everything the city and its people have experienced.
9 Culture preserved
Entering Naples is like entering a kind of time warp. Sure, there are plenty of modern spots in the city, like touristy restaurants serving Aperol Spritz and somewhat fine dining, but what sets Naples a bit apart from the rest of Italy is its authentic charm. and old school classic.
If you take the time to talk to restaurant workers, chances are they are third or fourth generation workers in a family business.
Naples has managed to stay true to its heart, without transforming or evolving with the latest and greatest trends.
8 The price
Italy used to be an affordable destination, but now that’s rarely the case in major tourist cities like Florence, Rome and especially Venice.
Italy may indeed still be affordable, but you need to know the hidden local gems in order to find good prices. This is not the case in Napoli. Everywhere in Naples it’s incredibly cheap.
For context, a large pizza in a typical pizzeria is 4 euros, a large plate of pasta with fresh seafood is between 5 and 8 euros, large hotel rooms are often less than $100/night, and even an Aperol Spritz will cost you around 1 euro.
Looking for some chaotic Italian action? Direction Napoli. Crossing the street feels like an extreme sport, with two-way streets disguised as small alleys and main roads seemingly never obeying traffic rules.
Most of the pedestrians are locals, either youngsters covered in funky style tattoos or an older conservative crowd wearing some of the most stylish Italian streetwear you’ll find.
There are street vendors on every corner, selling everything from fried seafood dishes to handbags to suitcases. Naples is overloading the senses in the most beautiful way possible.
6 The Pizza (In particular)
Which tourist does not visit Italy without wanting to eat a pizza at least once? If you’re looking for the real deal, you’re sure to find it in Naples.
Naples is the hometown of the beloved pizza. Don’t expect the kind of pizza you’ll find in cities like New York, Chicago, or even Detroit, but rather a thin, wood-fired creation meant to be folded and a whole pie meant to be eaten by one person. .
Go for gold and try the pizze fritte, a classic diamond-shaped deep-fried pizza stuffed with cheese, sauce, and often pieces of pork.
5 Food (in general)
If pizza isn’t reason enough to visit Naples, the rest of the Neapolitan culinary game surely will be.
Naples is home to some of Italy’s best food; from paccheri con baccala (cod pasta), frittatina (leftover fried pasta), to many other fresh seafood dishes and fried street food.
4 The sea
Naples is ideally located right by the sea, offering not only breathtaking views of Mount Vesuvius, but also an ideal location for cruises and/or day trips to islands such as Capri or Ischia.
In addition to the sea offering stunning views, it has excellent seafood options on every Neapolitan menu.
3 The people
Naples has a bad reputation for being more criminal than the rest of Italy, and tourists might associate this with the Neapolitans being unfriendly and dangerous. It is far from true.
Neapolitans are incredibly hospitable, often greeting visitors with welcome arms, offering recommendations on where to go, what to see and what to eat.
Yes, of course there will always be a few bad apples, but overall Naples is filled with friendly people.
2 The churches
Naples is officially known as “The City of Churches”. While you may not be religious or fancy seeing holy sites on your trip, it’s worth making the exception for Naples.
In fact, it’s hard NOT to visit a church, even by accident. They are everywhere ! Chiostri di Santa Chiara is one of the most beautiful and famous in the city, with marbled blue pillars accompanied by painted mosaics.
1 The possibility of seeing it in a single day
Short on time ? Naples has you covered. While weeks could easily be spent in Italy’s third-largest city, you could just as well make it a day trip.
In a single day, you can see a few churches, eat delicious street food, have seafood or a good pizza for dinner, and enjoy a spritz in a Neapolitan bar.
When in Rome, or Naples, as they say.