One of the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world and the largest city in Southern Italy, Naples is a fascinating, chaotic place to visit.
If you have only one day to visit, we have put together a list of top things to do in Naples. So start with a cup of strong coffee, make sure you’re wearing comfy shoes (Naples is best explored on foot!) and get ready to embrace the madness that is Naples.
National Archaeological Museum
Museum buffs will be spoilt for choice in Naples, but if you only have time for one, then we recommend the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. Located in an impressive 17th-century house in the heart of the city. Here you will find what’s considered the world’s best ancient Greco-Roman artifacts. There’s some cool Pompeii frescoes and mosaics. And don’t forget to visit the secret room, if you want to see some ancient erotica from Pompeii.
From here, it’s just a short walk to Via San Gregorio Armeno. This narrow cobbled street is filled with artisan workshops producing nativity scenes. Yes, it’s Christmas every day on this street and not surprisingly gets really busy in December. It was pretty busy when we were there too. There were also some unusual tourist gifts too – would you like toilet paper with your ‘favourite’ politician’s face on it or some lucky chili pepper?
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A ten-minute walk will bring you to Naples Cathedral. Inside the church is a small vial of blood from the city’s patron saint, Saint Gennaro. His blood is brought out twice a year on the first Saturday of May and on his saint day, the 19th September, when the ‘miracle of the blood’ occurs, and the dried blood liquefies. Legend has it that if the blood fails to liquefy, then disaster will befall Naples!
Just five minutes from the Cathedral is Spaccanoli. This narrow cobbled street which stretches for two kilometers through the heart of the old city is filled with cute shops, cafes and small eateries. It’s a fabulous place for people watching, and exploring the side streets. Be sure to try the local pizza, you know it’s great when you see massive queues of locals waiting outside. Or we can recommend a hole in the wall, pasta and seafood place, Pescheria Azzurra, if you are getting burnt out on pizza.
Top tips for exploring Naples
1) Wear comfy shoes – Naples is a city best explored on foot but don’t worry, they do have a metro system.
2) Be careful when crossing the streets, the driving here is crazy, watch out especially for the motorbikes.
3) Keep an eye on your belongings at all time, there are pickpockets but don’t be paranoid.