Naples is female
Naples is female. She is a charming mermaid, a mom with ten sons and an imprisoned husband, a bawd of civilization and genetics. Part of her antiquity is visible everywhere: in the faces of her people, in the smell of her narrow alleys and in the buzz of her markets; part is hidden, unrevealed, underground. More like a Moroccan caravansary or an Arabian suq, she’s used and nourished by her citizens fantasy daily. The deep relationship between inhabitants and the southern Italian capital is deep and fused with love, hate and compassion, neglect and resilience, expressed in centuries by tons of music, art, theatre and folklore.
Like all big cities in Italy and in the world, Naples is a micro-cosmos of emotions and contrasts, but here everything (in positive or negative sense) is amplified. A panorama known everywhere: the urban landscape with pines, the mount Vesuvio, the islands and the Sorrento coast. A postcard.
The city centre is one of the biggest in the world (57 km2 ) and human heritage Unesco protected.
1 millions inhabitants, 440 churches, 33 theatres, 4 castles, 64 museums.
Naples is the birth place of pizza and mozzarella; the gastronomy and the pastry-making are famous across the world. Handcraft (creche, cameos, dolls, tiles) and tailoring (man suit, ties, footwear) are also good points.
The national and international tourism, sometimes distracted and superficial, stops in Naples just a couple of hours to reach the more famous and significant goals like Pompei, Capri and Amalfi coast. They ignored the richness and the multicolor atmospheres of the downtown. Discovering the city with a a professional native tour guide is essential: only with him the trunk will disclose in front of your eyes.
A classical tour during a couple of days, that is good but not thorough. I propose an itinerary of 3 days mixing classical and unclassical.
Anyway, we can fill an entire week only visiting Naples and her countless attraction. Here some of he most originals and interesting sites and areas to visit:
- San Martino Charterhouse.
On the top of the Vomero Hill, in the middle of the town, this gothic monastery (XIV cen) is an important national museum about the history of Naples. Baroque masterpieces, boats and chariots, preserves that is considered the most beautiful nativity scenary in the world : the cuciniello’s Presepe. Visit the huge cloister and enjoy the view!
2. Fontanelle cemetery .
An ancient Greek-roman quarry to extract yellow tuff, wich the old city is made with, transformed into mass grave during the terrible plague in 1656. Today is an ossuary among the biggest and famous in the world , with 25k skulls and bones in view. A mystic place full of folklore and ghost tales; it’s part of the exoteric and mystical tour I organize.
3. The doll Hospital
A small lab in the narrow roads of spaccanapoli, since 1895 repairing dolls , peluches and puppets. A short but intense visit with the same “doctors” among mannequins and tools, videos and anatomies. Magical!
4. Posillipo coast and Pausilypon complex.
A volcanic coast, famous for the villas and palaces, the amazing view and little fisherman harbour of Marechiaro. But few people knows that’s a place plenty of archeology and underwater ruins cause it was chosen since the I B.C. century by the rich roman senators and emperors as vacation place in the most panoramic area at north of the city centre. It’s possible to dive and to visit the area by boat with a glass floor or a private gozzo, maybe at sunset drinking a good local wine. Behind the coast there a roman tunnel (about 700mt) connecting the road to a secret place : the old villa of the emperor Augusto, with good preserved ruins in a natural contest with possibility of a bath during summer. Astonishing.
5. Quarteri Spagnoli ( Spanish neighborhood)
A grid of very narrow alleys built in the XVI cen. It’s the core of Naples, one of its most popular and typical areas: clothes hanged on ropes, markets, old pizzerias, fascinating palaces, “bassi” (little one room houses on ground floor) and street art. Neapolitan urban style
6.Incurabili old Pharmacy
A rococo pharmacy (XVIII cen.) perfectly preserved with original floor tiles, objects and symbolism. Also there is an interesting museum with old surgery tools and the history of medicine.
7. Santa Luciella Church
A little church of the XVII cen. Dedicated to Santa Luciella protectress of blind people. Very fascinating the crypta, where a group of young Neapolitans has set up a little collection of vintage objects found in the place when it was abandoned and used as dump. But above all is stored in the crypta a mysterious skull with….ears!
8. San gennaro Catacombs
The largest catacombs of southern Italy on the Capodimonte Hill, onto three floors, with Paleochristian frescoes and many tales to count. Dedicated to the city patron saint are dated back at I A.D. It’s included also the next catacombs of san gaudioso in the heart of Sanità Area (my birth place)
9. Tunnel Borbonico
Part of the Underground city, excavated by volunteers in the last 15 years, it’s a long gallery in the tuff rock, including secret passages, aqueducts, and WWII refugees. A trip in the past!
10. Chiaia and liberty style building.
In the maritime area oh the city, among high fashion shops and elegant squares, this district offers the beauty of the XIX cen Architecture, coutryards, stairs and decorations. Glamour bars and movie places will be illustrated during the walking.