Naples is often criticised for being messy, gritty and unkempt. But there is so much more to explore, discover and experience in the southern Italian city that is exciting and fun. And we can’t go on without mentioning their most famous creation… Pizza. Arguable, Naples makes the best pizza in the world!
Enticing today’s artists and writers, much as it did in the 20th Century with Hemingway and Andy Warhol among the names of cultural icons enchanted by Naples. It is a place of excitement from the street art to the historical buildings that create a truly unique city, brought to life by the people that live there.
Naples is a canvas to urban artists, with the Mayor of Naples pledging his support to graffiti artists, saying that street art fits with the ‘city’s social and political revolutionary drive’. Naples has attracted international artists like Cyop&Kaf, Blu, Alice Pasquini and Banksy.
Cyop&Kaf are local artists and are responsible for more than 220 murals on shopfronts and street corners in the Spanish Quarter. Contriy to what you might think, but store owners tend to use grafiti to brand their shops, a unique way to bring the shops to life. Although graffiti is not to everyone’s taste, admiring it from an ‘artsy’ view point, you might be able to see the beauty in street art.
If you like art, an exciting museum to visit in Naples is The MADRE that is located in old Naples close to the Duomo, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale and the Accademia di Belle Arti. The building itself has a long history and houses the many permanent collections and changing exhibitions.
Naples has an intense culture and art is a big part. It shows up everywhere, from shop fronts and stutters to cafes and in the galleries. It blends in with the hustle and bustle of Naples city life.
Naples is great for shopping, from the Chiaia district with the designer and beauty shops to Via Toledo, which holds the position for being the best place to for shopping in Naples. It is Via Toledo where you will find the shops that we are all most familiar with.
Naples is great for Italian designer clothes and accessories, but be careful about counterfeit goods, buying a fake may leave you with a hefty fine at customs on the way home or an in the spot fine by the police.
One of the best things about Naples is the large array of small, independent boutiques, with Via Toledo housing antique gold and coral jewellery stores, as well as stores that sell bespoke men’s clothing.
Naples has a vivacious nightlife for all different tastes. Most locals spend the nights on the street around bars and cafes in the Spanish Quarter, because of the large student population, bars range from grungy to sophisticated. On the weekends, you will find that locals tend to hang out in piazzas with a group of friends and a bottle of cold beer.
Inspiring all kinds of art, Naples has an abundance of opera, live music, theatre and dance performances. With some being impromptu!
In the upscale area of Chiaia, you will find trendy cocktail bars. For a quieter evening you can head this way for drinks and places to eat. Lungomare, at the seafront has places to eat and lounge bars to enjoy a drink with a view of the sea.
Here is a little more about the neighbourhoods that have been mentioned in this post;
Centro Storico is the heart of ancient Naples and is full of the city’s biggest attractions, such as the Church of Santa Chiara and the MADRE museum. There is a warren of lanes and avenues and is a great place for find the best pizzas.
Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quarter)
Built in the 16th Century by Don Pedro de Toledo, this is the place to see an authentic Neapolitan neighbourhood. Down the back alleys, you can see the laundry hanging from windows above you. It is a great place to explore.
A more bourgeois part of Naples, with boutique and independent stores and big brands, but it still has its history. Vomero is good for shopping and the restaurants are a little more up-market.
Considered the Posh area, with the designer stores like Armani, Prada and Louis Vitton, it is a place to ‘be seen’ shopping. There are a few museums and art galleries but the main reason for a visit is the designer shop and boutiques. There are a number of independents, like Il Cappellaio, who has sold hats since 1870. Take a stroll through Villa Comunale, a strip of greenery by the shoreline. It was originally built as an 18th century royal garden that has been opened to the public following the unification on Italy.
Planning a visit to Naples? why not book a tour with us?
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