Naples is a city that is wonderful and chaotic at the same time: the richness of its art coexists with today's degradation and the historical past with the liveliness of its inhabitants.
Yet it remains one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, to be visited at least once in a lifetime to discover all its imperfections but above all its merits.
Its origin is linked to a fascinating myth with the mermaid Parthenope in the starring role. According to the Odyssey, Ulysses managed not to fall into the clutches of the enchanting and irresistible voices of the mermaids. In their disappointment, the mermaids threw themselves on the rocks and let themselves be carried away by the waves. The mermaid Parthenope was dragged as fars as the rocks in front of Naples and there she dissolved giving the present shape to the landscape.
But beyond the legends, what can you see in Naples in one day? Among the many attractions, which are the ones not to be missed?
The heart of the city: indeed, the artery that cuts it in half. This explains the name Spaccanapoli, as can be clearly seen by looking at the city from above, for example from the belvedere of San Martino.
Walking along this road is the best way to discover the secrets of the city and its true essence: the chaos of the motorbikes that drive without heeding pedestrians, the artisans shouting from their shops, as well as the splendid monuments and the charm of history.
Suffice to say that this street is one of the three decumans of the Greek construction on which the Roman city was organised!
The beauty of Naples extends to its roots. That's why visiting the underground city is a must for the most curious tourists.
It is a path at a depth of 40 metres that includes tunnels, passages and ancient aqueduct remains. A real dive into history.
It all began 5,000 years ago, when the Romans built a network for water supply. Then, during the Second World War, the underground city became a perfect refuge for thousands and thousands of Neapolitans fleeing the bombing.
Don't miss this jewel of history, on a guided tour of about 2 hours you will discover all the secrets of underground Naples.
Let's go back above ground, in the sunlight. What is the largest square in Naples? Piazza del Plebiscito, with 25 thousand square metres in the historic centre of the city of Naples. It is the symbolic square of the city and very popular with locals. It is surrounded by an elegant colonnade and houses important buildings, such as:
The Prefecture building
The Salerno building
The Royal Palace, one of the Bourbon residences during the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
The church of San Francesco di Paola, an example of neoclassical architecture that recalls the Pantheon of Rome
You can't miss a tour of the square if you are in Naples!
Do you love contemporary art? Or simply travelling by metro? The two things only go hand in hand in Naples. The city's subway, its passages and its stations, hide real works of art, mosaics, installations and sculptures!
First stop, Garibaldi Station, with life-size photographs of passengers installed on a mirrored wall.
Do not miss the colourful walls of the University Station and above all the most beautiful in Europe: the Toledo Station, with its blue shades and wavy lines to remind you of the sea.
It's time to take a walk. And not just any old walk but one of the most romantic and loved by Neapolitans, namely the promenade along the seafront in Naples. About 3 km long, it is constantly frequented by tourists and locals, often hosting all kinds of events, as well as bars and restaurants.
From here you can admire the wonders of the city, including Vesuvius, the island of Capri and Castel dell'Ovo, the oldest castle in the city.
After all that walking, are you feeling hungry? And what else could you eat in Naples, if not pizza?
The Neapolitan pizza is considered by all the world the pizza par excellence, with a soft, thin base with high edges.
According to many Neapolitans, pizza should not have too many flavours and a lot of ingredients. If you really want to enjoy the taste of tradition, you have two possible choices from the menu:
- Pizza marinara: tomato, garlic, oregano and oil
- Pizza margherita: tomato, mozzarella, basil and oil
Enjoy your meal!
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