What to see in Naples
To holiday in Naples is to visit the real Italy, without the frills, where grime and dirt somehow add to the flavour of a city bubbling with life and colourful characters like the lava below its surface on the convergence of seismic faults.
Most travel to Naples in order to visit the nearby and well-preserved ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, destroyed in an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which stands sentinel over the city. Pompeii is one of Italy's most famous and popular attractions and the haunting ruined city justifies a trip to the region in itself. Sightseers keen to explore southern Italy also tend to use Naples as a base for expeditions along the scenic Amalfi coast. However, the city does have its own treasures: the Cappella Sansevero chapel, in the historic centre of Naples was built in the late 1500s and contains some masterpieces of Italian sculpture. The Cathedral of Naples, completed in the 14th-century, is a magnificent Gothic structure containing many valuable artefacts and art works. The Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples is a world-class museum, containing many of the artefacts and remains from Pompeii and Herculaneum. The San Gennaro Catacombs are fascinating and spooky, full of mosaics and frescoes, and the burial site of many notable Naples figures including San Gennaro himself.
High summer means sweltering heat and crowds and is not the recommended time to travel to Naples, especially for sightseeing. Spring and autumn (April to June and September/October) are more pleasant seasons to pick for a Naples holiday, when the weather is warm and sunny and the archaeological attractions can be seen in relative peace and quiet.
The Chapel of San Gennaro is accessed from the south aisle of the Cathedral of Naples. This 13th-century Gothic building is dedicated to the patron saint of the city. Tradition tells the story of how…
This fascinating, world-class museum houses the Farnese collection of antiquities from Lazio and Campania and the incredible treasures of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Notable among these collections are…
This museum occupies a restored 18th-century palace perched on the city's hills, and its artworks are arranged by collections and not chronology. The Farnese and Bourbon rulers amassed impressive collections…
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