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The Roman Empire • Naples • 2 • To See & Do

by mythic44

To See Do

In Naples, some may find the actual conditions of many buildings and streets, and the rampant graffiti, off-putting. Others claim this is “the immense character and culture of Napoli and even the dirt and grime has its own flavor a Neapolitan recipe for reality, and great fun”. Naples’ peculiarity is that the city centre is not the elegant part of the city. Just do not expect in the city centre the pristine conditions of many other major European cities, since the historical centre, unlike most European cities, is not the “downtown”.

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If you want to visit the elegant part of the city, you can walk around the wonderful lungomare (the Riviera di Chiaia or Via Francesco Caracciolo), and visit Via dei Mille and Vomero hill (main shopping areas).

Most sites in Campania (including Pompeii) accept the Campania Card for tourists (free entry). Some cards also include a pass for the local public transportation.

• Castel dell’Ovo at Porto Santa Lucia Naples’ known port with the Egg Castle on a small peninsula. The castle currently houses the Museum of Prehistory.
• Castelnuovo (Maschio Angioino) A huge medieval castle at the shore which houses the main city museum featuring various collections, but most importantly a picture gallery (with focus on 19th Century Italian painting). From the roof, you can get one of the best views of the city.
• Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte- Napolitan National Gallery, a must-see! Displays the Burgia, Farnese and Borbon collections with mainly Renaissance and Baroque Italian painting. Among the famous artists on display: Caravaggio, Tizian, Giovanni Bellini, Annibale Caracci, de Ribera and Giordano. A beautiful park surrounds the museum.
• Museo Archeologico Nazionale- It is the biggest roman architectural museum in the World, even bigger than the National Museum of Rome. Its collection is astonishing both considering the quality and the quantity of the objects on display. Naples Archeological Museum houses wall paintings and different objects removed from Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other excavation sites in the area. In addition, you can admire the Farnese collection of Roman sculptures (including the famous sculptures of the Caracala Baths). €9.00 for admission. European citizens pay € 6.5, children get in for free. If you are a EU-citizen, under 25 or over 60, you can get in for the reduced price of €3.25. There is also an audio guide available talking about the statue collection on the first floor, however most of the amazing artifacts such as original Roman murals of mostly Greek mythologies are not covered. All descriptions of the exhibits are in English and in Italian. It is a must-see, an incredible collection of artifacts. The Museum also contains the well signposted “secret room” containing the erotic sculptures, paintings and murals from Pompeii. Daily: 9:00 to 19:30 (closed: Tuesdays, 1st January, 1st May, 25th December).
• View of Mergellina (from via Orazio or via Petrarca)
• Certosa di San Martino A Carthusian monastery at the top of a hill near the city centre. It houses the Museum of City History.
• Parco Virgiliano A nice park with a stunning view of the surrounding area. It is about half an hour off the city centre, but certainly worth the effort! Not to be confused with the Park in which Virgil’s Tomb is found.
• Piazza del Gesù and Piazza S.Domenico Maggiore The New Jesuite Church is among the most extravagant Baroque churches in the world! Across the street you will find the Santa Chiara Monastery. It is worth a visit for its beautiful garden decorated with frescos and coulorful columns. If you continue towards S. Domenico Square you will pass by the St Angelo on the Nile Church with its Donatello’s altar. The Sansevero Chapel nearby is also well known for its marble sculptures of veiled figures.
• Napoli Sotterranea Underneath San Lorenzo Maggiore medieval church.You can witness the remains of the Roman city. The tunnels served as shelters during WWII.
• Castel Capuano
• Castel Sant’Elmo
• Catacombe di San Gennaro Medieval catacombs on Capodimonte hill.
• Quadreria dei Girolamini A beautiful small picture gallery mainly of Italian Baroque painting and some works of famous De Ribera. Free of charge and just across the street from the Duomo.
• Duomo Naples’ main church with two luxurious chapels. Underneath it you can find excavation of a Roman site. Near the duomo you can find the St. Gennaro Treasury Museum, with arts exhibits from the duomo and another heavily frescoed chappel.
• Pio Monte della Misericordia A church and a picture gallery both belonging to an old charity organisation. The gallery mainly displays Napolitan Baroque paintings.
• Teatro San Carlo Naples’ famous opera house.
• Piazza del Plebiscito Naples’ main square. Surrounding it you will find the Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale – open to tourists), the San Carlo Theatre and the Galleria Umberto.
• Acquario – Villa Comunale A park near the shore with Europe’s first public aquarium in its centre. Nearby is the Cortes Museum of Applied Arts. La Casina Pompeiana in the park is home to changing exhibitions focusing on photography.
• Galleria Umberto A shopping passage from the 19th Century.
• Villa Floridiana eat of Duca di Martina Museum of Ceramics and Marchese di Civitanova Museum of Carriages.
• Museo Civico Filanghieri Used to be a private collection mainly of applied arts.
• Citta’ della Scienza
• Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina
• Pinacoteca della Accademia di Belle Arte Mainly features 19th Century Italian painting.
• PAN – Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli Contemporary art.
• Raccolta Mura – Museum of the Napolitan Song
• Museo del corallo e del cammeo Neapolitan typical jewellery
• Museo del Mare (Naval Museum)
• Fondazione Pagliara
• Piomonte di Pieta’ in Palazzo Carafa A Manierist church and a picture gallery. Open only on weekends.
• Textil and Clothing Museum Elena Aldorandini
• Museum of Music History at the San Pietro a Maiella Conservatory. Exhibits important manuscripts of the Scarlatti family.
• Grotta di Seiano An artificial cave underneath Posillipo. It leads to an ancient Greek theatre.
• Centro Sub Campi Flegrei, info@centrosubcampiflegrei.it. A 5*IDC diving centre offering diving and snorkelling in the Gulf of Naples, around the Phlegraean islands and within the underwater Archaeological Park of Baiae (the so-called submerged Pompeii!). Open all year.
• accordi @ DISACCORDI Open Air Cinema Festival (info@accordiedisaccordi.com), Viale del Poggio di Capodimonte. If you are in Naples during summertime don’t miss the chance to experience the cinema beneath the stars on warm nights in an amphiteatre equipped with one of the widest projection screens in Italy which rises having an artificial lake all around. These events really make people revive the movies each night of the festival!
• Urban Routes (booking@urban-routes.com) Bike sightseeing along old towm, Posillipo coast and Vomero panoramic quarter.
• Caserta Royal Palace (Reggia di Caserta) Arguably the most beautiful royal palace in Europe, the Royal Palace of Caserta is a huge 18th-century palace and hunting lodge designed for the Bourbon Kings of Naples by late-Baroque architect, Luigi Vanvitelli. It beats Versailles almost in every criteria, be it in dimensions, in artistic relevance, in decorations and in park dimensions. The palace is surrounded by a magnificent, enormous park with lakes, rivers, statues, fountains and marvellous views. Just north of the Caserta train station, 40 minutes north of Naples. Open all year except holidays. Last entry at 15:30 in the winter months.
• Tour the excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii nearby to the south of Naples. Pompeii is 40 minutes via the Circumvesuviana train (Sorrento line, here is the timetable from the Naples Central train station.
• From Pompeii, take a bus to Mount Vesuvius, and hike to the summit. Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the mainland of Europe.
• Paestum, an hour and a half to the south, (near Salerno) is Italy’s most famous Greek excavation site.

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The Roman Empire  •   Locations & Activities


• Rome

• Naples

• Pompei

• History

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