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Castello Nuovo, Naples
by Jesse Andrews

View of
Capodimante Castle
by Jesse Andrews

Palm trees in Naples
by Jesse Andrews


Most Photos on VisitsItaly are by Jesse Andrews. Please Contact VisitsItaly.Com for reproduction of any kind at:

Welcome to Naples
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 1,000,470 (2004)
Official website:

Naples: A city of many faces, colours and stories.  It is a city of extremes; one visitors will either love or hate.  Often, this city is disliked by many visitors for those exact reasons for which it is acclaimed by others.  Chaos. People. Noise.

To tell the story of Naples is to tell the story of Europe, for ever since the first inhabitants of the Old Continent came to its shores nearly six millennia ago, Naples and its bay have played a role of primary importance in European history. 

All the great powers-from the Greeks and Romans to the British, French and Austrians-have aspired to control it; several of the continent’s more powerful rulers made it their capital. The history of Naples however, dates much further than Greek colonization.  Etruscan and Samnites, native-Italic groups were in the area long before and it has been confirmed that the city was inhabited as early as the Stone Age (3500BC).

Today, Naples is the most vibrant and exciting city in Italy, it is also the second most populous city, home to 1,206,000.  It is the most important port after Genoa and the intellectual and commercial centre of the south.  The animated and noisy town, bright with the southern sun, enjoys one of the more wonderful geographical situations in the world, spread out fanwise above its beautiful gulf.

Naples is a unique city for several reasons.  Most importantly, it bears traces of more than twenty centuries of continuous habitation by various civilizations.  Its remarkably rich past is reflected in its art and architecture, but it is also evident in the very form and structure of the city. 

The city once again is flourishing.  Under the guidance of mayor Antonio Bassolino, Naples has become a much safer city.  A vast urban renovation programme has revitalised and enhanced the beauty of the city centre, buildings have been restored and repainted, and a considerable area of the waterfront, as well as several of the elegant shopping streets further inland, have become pedestrianized. 

One of the special things about Naples is that you can walk from the city centre to its garland of hills in just a couple of hours-or even less, if you hop on one of the famous funicolari (cable cars).  On the walks that follow you can explore the heart of the city, ascend to the magnificent museums of Capodimonte and San Martino, and wander the lush paths of the Posillipo headland.  And there is much more to do as well, for Naples is almost overwhelming in its wealth of art, culture and history.

Like London or New York, Naples has grown haphazardly over the centuries-which means that the modern city centre no longer corresponds to the centre of the Roman and medieval town.  This make Naples more difficult to explore than say, Florence or Venice, where many centuries of architectural history are concentrated in a very small space.  Obtaining a good map of the city is therefore essential for visitors upon arrival.  It is recommended to choose an area and concentrate on that, then move to another.  Don’t try to do everything at once, or you will end up seeing nothing at all. 

Travellers should be advised that while Napoli is beautiful, interesting and glorious, the city does have an underside, particularly evident in the Spanish Quarter of the city, which is just off of Via Roma.  The maze of streets narrow streets and dense living conditions, offer little light in this area.  Travellers who venture off of Via Roma into this area, may as well consider their money and anything of value, lost.  Motorcyclists in this area are famous for robbing tourists and numerous contributors to VisitsItaly have made it known that travelling alone of with valuables in this area, has ended in disaster. 


40°50′N 14°15′E


Pompeii - 28 km
Caserta - 36 km
Positano - 58 km
Sorrento - 51 km
Salerno - 56 km
Ravello - 57 km
Amalfi - 73 km
Paestum - 104 km
Maratea - 210 km
Praia A Mare - 215 km
Rome - 228 km
Tropea - 428 km


Airport Hotel
Charming International

Motorcycle riding in Naples
by Jesse Andrews



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