It's said that Naples is one of the oldest cities on Earth, and to many it's the most fascinating in Italy. While a melting pot of history and culture, it's also on the doorstep of sights such as Pompeii and Herculaneum, and as the inventor of pizza, it's the place where our love of Italian cuisine grew from. It's also a deeply religious city with a fascination for miracles. If the blood of Saint Gennaro doesn't liquefy three times a year, the city is doomed! Naples also loves to party with a lively events calendar that extends far beyond religious festivals.
Things to Do
There's no doubt that the historic centre of Naples deserves to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its grandiose architecture and underground world. Although at times little seems to have changed since it was the ancient Greek city of Neapolis, some of its modern attractions are worth a look at too.
An art gallery underground
The Art Stations lie on the lines 1 and 6 of the public Metro system. These modern stations were designed by the best of contemporary artists and architects and now display over 180 pieces of art and architecture. Don't take the underground to get from A to B -- approach it as an art gallery!
The resting place of saints
Also underground but going back centuries are the Catacombs di San Gennaro. These underground passages have been the last resting places of important Neapolitans since the death of Saint Agrippina in 262 A.D..
A foodie's paradise
Take time out to indulge a love of Italian food, in particular pizza and seafood. To find the best places and see where the locals eat, join a food tour. You'll get to sample traditional dishes and contemporary cuisine or maybe even visit the limoncello factory for a tasting.
Calendar of Events
As a staunchly Catholic city, the period between Christmas and Epiphany as well as Easter Week are full of processions and parades in Naples, but throughout the year secular events range from pizza festivals to the best of Italian theatre and huge book fairs.
Festa di San Gennaro. The 1st May sees the locals brace themselves in hope to see the saint's blood turn to liquid. Vast crowds gather in the cathedral to witness this miracle. Follow the processions before joining in the street parties that end the day.
Maggio dei Monumenti. Stretching from April to June, this event brings concerts and exhibitions within the reach of all, while monuments and public buildings that are normally closed to the public are open for tours and special events. It's a great time to delve deeper into the city.
Naples Film Festival. This festival has taken place in June since 1995, when it was first known as Modfest. Over the years, it's developed a strong rapport with Hollywood and sees famous faces from the films attending. The same programme is duplicated in New York.