Tag: Naples Italy

Naples, Italy

A- Overview:
Naples is a city of warmth and enthusiasm. Its ambience is passionate and intense. In fact, Naples retains a reputation as the most vibrant city in Italy.

Naples stretches out along the scenic Bay of Naples from Piazza Garibaldi in the east to Mergellina in the west. At its back is lofty Vomero Hill. From Stazione Centrale, on Piazza Garibaldi, Corso Umberto I (known as the “Rettifilo”), a walking tour would head southwest to the monumental city center, around the piazzas Bovio, Municipio, and Trieste e Trento to the Palazzo Reale, Teatro San Carlo, and Galleria Umberto Primo. Central Naples is best explored on foot, as traffic jams of all sorts are commonplace. It is wise to take a bus or cable car (funicular) to a general area and then proceed on foot.

To the north are the historic districts of old Naples, to the south lies the port. Farther west along the bay are the fashionable neighborhoods of Santa Lucia and Chiaia, and finally the waterfront district of Mergellina. The residential area of Vomero sits on the steep hills rising above Chiaia and downtown. At the center is the picturesque quarter of Spaccanapoli, the heart of the historic center.

The area surrounding Naples has a Greco-Roman history. The Greeks set out to Hellenize Italy’s southern regions in the 6th and 7th centuries BCE by settling at Cumae. Later, the Romans inhabited the area. Both groups left ruins of archeological significance. The area west of Naples is known as the Campi Flegrei: literally, the fields of fire. These were described by the ancient Greeks as the entrance to Hades and were immortalized in literature as the “Elysian Fields”, a paradise for the deserving dead. Italy’s two major seismic faults intersect at that point, and the whole area floats freely on a mass of molten lava very close to the surface.

From Naples, visitors can travel down the coast to Pompei and the Sorrento Peninsula, both of which can be reached by train. A boat trip to Sorrento gives the opportunity for a spectacular view of Naples from the sea. Other side trips that should not be missed are to the slopes of Vesuvius where once flourished the upscale, first century city of Pompeii; the archeological site at Herculaneum, and the lovely islands of Capri and Ischia. These tiny islands with their scenic beauty, picturesque villages, and crystal clear waters welcome more than two million visitors annually.

Neapolitan cuisine is famous worldwide, and ranks among the best in Italy. There is a strong emphasis on the freshest fish and seafood and local fruits and vegetables form the fertile volcanic soil of the region. Local wines of note are Lacryma Christi and Greco di Tufo. Limoncello is a delicately flavored lemon liqueur that is made all along the neighboring coast.

Dining in a Neapolitan restaurant is traditionally a festive occasion accompanied by a wide variety of savory pasta and thin crusted, tasty pizza dishes baked in wood-fired ovens. Although pizza, pasta, and seafood dishes are the symbols of Neapolitan cuisine, Naples is also known for its fine cheeses (including mozzarella), and its delicious ice cream and superb pastries. Numerous salamis and excellent locally produced prosciutto round out the wide array of culinary possibilities.

The finest shopping area lies around Piazza dei Martiri and along Via dei Mille, Via Calabritto, Via Toledo, and Via Chiaia. Along these streets can be found outlets fo Italy’s top designers, as well as local stores selling fine leather goods. There is more commercial shopping between Piazza Trieste e Trento and Piazza Dante. Jewelers abound near Via San Biagio as do the crafters of traditional nativity figurines.

Coral is much sought after by collectors. Much of the coral is now sent to Naples from Thailand, but it’s still shaped into fine jewelry at the workrooms at Torre del Greco, on the outskirts of Naples, off the Naples-Pompeii highway. Cameos are also made there.

In recent years, Naples has made world headlines for its cultural renaissance and its proactive stance against crime. The mayor received a national government grant of $30 million to make Naples safer and more to enhance its appearance, and has been aided by a group of concerned citizens who since 1984 have consistently collected funds for the upkeep of the city’s treasures and monuments. The result of this widespread project has been a resurgence of cultural activity among the city’s musicians, writers, moviemakers, artists, and playwrights. The Neapolitan art scene has been revitalized.

Film companies, following in the footsteps of Neapolitan directors such as Francesco Rossi and Gabriele Salvatore, are choosing to shoot in Naples once again. Neapolitan writers are gaining increasing recognition, especially Ermanno Rea for Mistero Napolitano and Gabriele Frasca for his poems. Naples is now becoming popular with a younger generation, especially those from countries to the north. They flood into the city and lend it a new vitality.

Naples, the birthplace of both Sophia Loren and Enrico Caruso, is host to the entire spectrum of entertainment offerings. Restaurants traditionally have musicians serenading their patrons, classical music and opera are high on the list at Teatro San Carlo with performances from October through May. Rock groups are born in Naples on a regular basis, yet at the same time, interest in traditional Neapolitan music is increasing. Founded by a group of young Neapolitans, the Falso Movimento troupe has brought new life to the city’s theatrical scene. The hippest night life is said to be at the bars and cafes on Piazza Bellini, near Piazza Dante.

In a word, Naples is a friendly place. It has the feel of coming home to a place of beauty and timelessness that is at the same time in a perpetual state of excitement and celebration of life.

B- City Information:
Population: 993,386

Time Zone: UTC/GMT +1 hour (+ 1 more hour from the end of March-the end of October for Daylight saving time). The time is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard or Eastern Daylight Time. When it is noon in New York City, it is 6PM in Naples.

Average Temperatures:

Month
High
Low

January
53F
40F

February
55F
41F

March
59F
44F

April
65F
48F

May
72F
54F

June
79F
61F

July
84F
65F

August
84F
65F

September
79F
61F

October
71F
54F

November
63F
48F

December
56F
44F

When to Visit:

Naples experiences late summer heat waves and vacationing crowds. . Any other time of year is less congested and has a more temperate climate. Summer is also the worst time for ascents to Vesuvius as the best visibility occurs around spring and fall In winter, the temperatures are and rain is rare. The best times are May-June and September-October. Due to the temperate climate, bougainvillea and other flowers can bloom through Christmas, and swimming is possible (though less popular from October-May) year-round. August, when much of the population is on the move, especially around Ferragosto, Vacations are usually taken around the time of the August 15 national holiday. In August, cities are deserted and many restaurants and shops are closed.

Holidays

National holidays include

New Year’s Day (January 1)

Epiphany (January 6)

Easter Sunday and Monday (dates vary)

Liberation Day (April 25)

Labor Day or May Day (May 1)

Festival of the Republic (June 2)

Assumption of Mary, better known as Ferragosto (August 15)

All Saints’ Day (November 1)

Immaculate Conception (December 8)

Christmas Day and Boxing Day (December 25 and 26)

In Naples, two annual celebrations are held at the Duomo on the first Sunday in May and on September 19 to celebrate the Festa di San Gennaro.

Telephones

The country code for Italy is 39. The area code for Naples is 081. For example, a call from New York City to Naples would be dialed as 011 + 39 + 081 + phone number.

When dialing an Italian number from abroad, do not drop the initial 0 from the local area code as in the past.

Directory & Operator Information

For general information in English, dial 176. To place international telephone calls via operator-assisted service, dial 170 or long-distance access numbers.

International Calls

The country code for the United States and Canada is 1; for Australia, 61; for New Zealand, 64; and for the United Kingdom, 44.

Smoking

In 2002, laws were enacted in Italy banning smoking in many public places, including bars and restaurants. Some smokers comply with the new rules; others don’t. Large restaurants are more likely to be smoke-free. If you are a smoker, check to see if there’s a “Vietato Fumare” (No Smoking) sign before lighting up. All FS trains have no-smoking cars: always specify when you make reservations.

Getting There

By Air

Domestic flights from Rome and other major Italian cities fly into Aeroporto Capodichino, Via Umberto Maddalena (tel. 081-7896259), 6km (3 3/4 miles) north of the city. A city ANM bus (no. 14) makes the 15-minute run between the airport and Naples’s Piazza Garibaldi in front of the main rail terminus. Flying time is 1 1/2 hours from Milan, 1 1/4 hours from Palermo or Venice, and 50 minutes from Rome.

By Train

Frequent trains connect Naples with the rest of Italy. One or two trains per hour arrive from Rome, taking 2 1/2 hours. It’s also possible to reach Naples from Milan in about 8 hours.

The city has two main rail terminals: Stazione Centrale, at Piazza Garibaldi, and Stazione Mergellina, at Piazza Piedigrotta. Most travelers will arrive at Stazione Central. For general rail information, call tel. 892021 toll-free in Italy.

Almost all trains to Naples stop at Stazione Centrale (Piazza Garibaldi, 848/888088.)

By Car

Driving to Naples is easy, but driving in Naples is a challenge. The Rome-Naples autostrada (A2) passes Caserta 29km (18 miles) north of Naples, and the Naples-Reggio di Calabria autostrada (A3) runs by Salerno, 53km (33 miles) north of Naples.

By ferry

From Sicily, you can take a ferry to Naples that’s run by Tirrenia Lines, Calata Marinai d’Italia, Porto di Palermo (tel. 199-123199 or 091-6021111) in the port area of Palermo.

Getting Around

Public Transportation: The Metropolitana (subway) line runs from Stazione Centrale in the east to Stazione Mergellina and even beyond to the suburb of Pozzuoli. Get off at Piazza Piedigrotta if you want to take the funicular to Vómero. The Metro uses the same tickets as buses and trams.

Trams and subways are the safest and fastest mode of transportation during rush hours.

The other urban subway system, Metropolitana Collinare, currently links the hill area of the Vomero and beyond with the National Archaeological Museum and Piazza Dante. Construction is under way to extend the route to Piazza Garibaldi. Subway information is available from FS at (848/888088).

Taxis

Negotiate the fare before setting out as cab drivers in Naples often disregard the meter and the shortest routes.

Funiculars take passengers up and down the steep hills of Naples. The same tickets are used for buses, the Metro and the funicular.

By Train

A network of suburban trains connects Naples with several points of interest. The line used most by visitors is the Circumvesuviana (081/7722444) which runs from Corso Garibaldi Station and stops at Stazione Centrale before continuing to Herculaneum (Ercolano), Pompeii, and Sorrento. Frequent local trains connect Naples with Caserta and Salerno. Travel time between Naples and Sorrento on the Circumvesuviana line is about 75 minutes. Benevento is on the main line between Naples and Foggia.

A second line, the Circumflegrea, runs from Piazza Montesanto Station in Naples toward the archaeological zone of Cumae, with three departures in the morning. The Ferrovia Cumana runs from Piazza Montesanto Station to Pozzuoli and Lucrino. For the archaeological zone of Baia, get the shuttle bus outside Lucrino station. Additional information is available from Circumflegrea and Cumana (081/5513328).

Business Hours

Banks and Post Offices

Banks are open weekdays 8:30 to 1:15 and 2:45 to 3:45.

Post offices are open Monday through Saturday 9 to 1; central and main district post offices stay open until 6 PM weekdays, 9 to 2 on Saturday.

Museums and Sights

The main museums, such as Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Museo di Capodimonte, Palazzo Reale, and San Martino are now open through to the evening. However, many smaller private museums are only open from 9 AM to 1 or 2 PM. The opening times of archaeological sites are subject to seasonal variations, with most sites closing an hour before sunset. When this book refers to summer hours, it means approximately Easter to October; winter hours run from November to Easter. Most museums are closed one day a week, often on Monday. Always check locally.

Electricity

The electrical current in Italy is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC); wall outlets take Continental-type plugs, with two or three round prongs. f your appliances are dual-voltage, you’ll need only an adapter. Do not use 110-volt outlets marked “For Shavers Only” for high-wattage appliances such as blow-dryers. Most laptops operate equally well on 110 and 220 volts and require only an adapter.

Emergencies

No matter where you are in Italy, dial 113 for all emergencies, or find somebody (your concierge, a passerby) who will call for you, as not all 113 operators speak English.

Italy has a national police force (carabinieri) as well as local police (polizia). Both are armed and have the power to arrest and investigate crimes. Always report the loss of your passport to either the carabinieri or the police, as well as to your embassy

Language

Most hotels have English speakers at their reception desks, and you can always find someone who speaks at least a little English. Remember that the Italian language is pronounced exactly as it is written. Try to master a few phrases in Italian for daily use.

Money

Prices in Italy are in line with those in the rest of Europe, with costs in its main cities comparable to those in other major capitals, such as Paris and Madrid Good value for the money can still be had in many places in Campania, especially in Naples.

ATMs

ATMs are the easiest way to get euros in Italy. Italian ATMs are reliable, and are commonly attached to a bank rather than in supermarkets, etc.. Do check with your bank to confirm you have an international personal identification number, to find out your maximum daily withdrawal allowance, and to learn what the bank fee is for withdrawing money. The word for ATM in Italian is bancomat.

Currency

January 1, 2002, saw the introduction of euro coins and notes. The former local currency, the franc, ceased to be legal tender in mid-February, 2002. All transactions are now made in euros.

Euro notes come in denominations of EUR500, EUR200, EUR100, EUR50, EUR20, EUR10 and EUR5. The euro is divided into 100 cents, and coins are available as EUR2 and EUR1 and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 cents. The euro can be used in 11 other European countries: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.

Value-Added Tax

Value-added tax (IVA, or VAT) is 20% on clothing, wine, and luxury goods. On consumer goods, it’s already included in the amount shown on the price tag, whereas on services it may not be.

Tipping

Tipping subsidizes low wages and shows appreciation for good service. In restaurants, a service charge of about 15% sometimes appears as a separate item on your check. A few restaurants state on the menu that cover and service charge are included. It is still customary to leave an additional 5%-10% tip for the waiter, depending on the service.

C- Attractions/Things To Do:

Attractions

Aquarium (Acquario)

Via Caracciolo 1

Transportation Bus: R3

081-5833111

Tues-Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 9am-7:30pm

The Aquarium is in a municipal park, Villa Comunale, between Via Caracciolo and the Riviera di Chiaia. Established by a German naturalist in the 1800s, it is the oldest aquarium in Europe. It displays about 200 species of marine plants and fish, all of which are found in the Bay of Naples.

Carthusian Monastery of San Martino (Certosa di San Martino) and National Museum of San Martino (Museo Nazionale di San Martino

Tues-Sat 8:30am-7:30pm; Sun 9am-7:30pm

Largo San Martino 5

Transportation Funicular: Centrale from Via Toledo or Montesanto

081-5781769

Located on the grounds of the Castel Sant’Elmo, this museum was founded in the 14th century as a Carthusian monastery. During the 17th century it was reconstructed by architects in the Neapolitan baroque style. The marble-clad church has a ceiling painting of the Ascension by Lanfranco in the nave, along with Twelve Prophets by Giuseppe Ribera. In the church treasury is Luca Giordano’s ceiling fresco of the Triumph of Judith (1704) and Ribera’s masterful Descent from the Cross.

Now a museum for the city of Naples, the church displays historic documents, ships’ replicas, china and porcelain, silver, Campagna paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries, military costumes and armor. The vast collection of presepi (Neapolitan Christmas crèches) have come from the workshops of Naples’s greatest craftsmen over the past 4 centuries.

Catacombe di San Gennaro

Tours daily 9:30, 10:15, 11, and 11:45

Via di Capodimonte 13

Transportation Bus: M4

081-7411071

A guided tour covers the two-story underground cemetery, dating from the 2nd century and containing many interesting frescoes and mosaics. You enter the catacombs on Via di Capodimonte (head down an alley going alongside the Madre del Buon Consiglio Church). These wide tunnels lined with early Christian burial niches grew around the tomb of an important pagan family, but they became a pilgrimage site when the bones of San Gennaro himself were transferred here in the 5th century. Along with several well-preserved 6th-century frescoes, there is a depiction of San Gennaro (A.D. 400s). The tour winds through the upper level of tunnels, passing through several small early basilicas carved from the tufa rock. The cemetery remained active until the 11th century, but most of the bones have since been blessed and reinterred in ossuaries on the lower levels (closed to the public). The catacombs survived the centuries intact, but the antique frescoes suffered some damage when the tunnels served as an air raid shelter during World War II.

Complesso Museale di Santa Chiara (Museum Complex of St. Clare)

Mon-Sat 9am-1pm and 2:30-5:30pm; Sun 9:30am-1pm

Via Santa Chiara 49C

Transportation Metro: Montesanto

Phone 081-5526280

You have to exit the church and walk down its left flank to enter the 14th-century Cloisters of the Order of the Clares (Chiostri dell’Ordine di Santa Chiara). In 1742, Domenico Antonio Vaccaro took the courtyard of these flowering cloisters and lined the four paths to its center with arbors that are supported by columns, each of which is plated with colorfully painted majolica tiles. Interspersed among the columns are tiled benches. In the museum, rooms off the cloisters are a scattering of Roman and medieval remains. On the piazza outside is one of Naples’s several baroque spires, the Guglia dell’Immacolata, a tall pile of statues and reliefs sculpted in 1750.

Il Duomo

Daily 8am-12:30pm and 4:30-7pm

Via del Duomo 147

Transportation Metro: Piazza Cavour

081-449097

Free admission to the cathedral

The Cathedral of Naples was consecrated in 1315. It was Gothic in style, but has been altered over the centuries: the facade is from the 1800s. The Duomo has access to the 4th-century Basilica of St. Restituta, the earliest Christian basilica erected in Naples. The Chapel of San Gennaro (Cappella di San Gennaro), is entered from the south aisle of the Cathedral. The altar is said to contain the blood of St. Gennaro, patron saint of Naples. The church contains two vials of the saint’s blood, said to liquefy and boil three times annually (the first Sun in May, Sept 19, and Dec 16).

National Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale)

Mon and Wed-Sun 9am-7pm

Piazza Museo Nazionale 18-19

Transportation Metro: Piazza Cavour

081-440166

With its Roman and Greek sculpture, this museum contains one of Europe’s most valuable archaeological collections. Particularly notable are the Farnese acquisitions and the mosaics and sculpture excavated at Pompeii and Herculaneum. The building dates from the 16th century and was turned into a museum two centuries later by Charles and Ferdinand IV of Bourbon

The mezzanine galleries are devoted to mosaics excavated from Pompeii and Herculaneum. These include scenes of cockfights, dragon-tailed satyrs, an aquarium, and Alexander Fighting the Persians. On the top floor, are some of the celebrated bronzes dug out of the Pompeii volcanic mud and the Herculaneum lava.

National Museum & Gallery of the Capodimonte (Museo e Gallerie Nazionale di Capodimonte)

Tues-Sun 8:30am-7:30pm

Via Miano 2

Location In the Palazzo Capodimonte, Parco di Capodimonte (off Amedeo di Savoia)

Transportation Bus: 22 or 23

081-7499111

This museum and gallery, two of Italy’s finest, are housed in the 18th-century Capodimonte Palace, built in the time of Charles III and set in a park.

One of the picture gallery’s greatest possessions is Simone Martini’s Coronation, depicting the brother of Robert of Anjou being crowned king of Naples by the bishop of Toulouse. Another room is filled with the works of Renaissance masters, notably an Adoration of the Child, by Luca Signorelli; a Madonna and Child, by Perugino; a panel by Raphael; a Madonna and Child with Angels, by Botticelli; and, the most beautiful, Filippino Lippi’s Annunciation and Saints.

Another room is devoted to Flemish art. The State Apartments downstairs contain room after room devoted to gilded mermaids, Venetian sedan chairs, ivory carvings, a porcelain chinoiserie salon, tapestries, the Farnese armory, and a large glass and china collection.

New Castle (Castel Nuovo)

Mon-Sat 9am-7pm

Piazza del Municipio

Transportation Tram: 1 or 4. Bus: R2

081-7952003

The New Castle, housing municipal offices, was built in the late 13th century on orders from Charles I, king of Naples, as a royal residence for the House of Anjou. It was badly damaged and then reconstructed in the mid-15th century by the House of Aragón. The castle is distinguished by a trio of imposing round battle towers at its front; between two of the towers, guarding the entrance, is a triumphal arch designed by Francesco Laurana to commemorate the 1442 expulsion of the Angevins by the forces of Alphonso I. It’s a masterpiece of the Renaissance. The Palatine Chapel in the center is from the 14th century, and the city commission of Naples meets in the Barons’ Hall, designed by Segreta of Catalonia.

Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale)

Thurs-Tues 9am-8pm

Piazza del Plebiscito 1

Transportation Bus: 106 or 150

081-7944021

This palace was designed by Domenico Fontana in the 17th century, and the eight statues on the facade are of Neapolitan kings. Located in the heart of the city, the square on which the palace stands is one of Naples’s most architecturally interesting, with a long colonnade and a church, San Francesco di Paolo, in the style of the Pantheon in Rome.

San Domenico Maggiore

Daily 8:30am-noon and 5-7:30pm

Piazza San Domenico Maggiore 8A

Transportation Bus: 24, 42, E1, R1, R3, R4, or V10

081-459188

This massive Gothic structure was built from 1289 to 1324 and then was rebuilt in the Renaissance and early baroque eras. The first chapel on the right aisle is a Renaissance masterpiece of design and sculpture by Tuscans Antonio and Romolo da Settignano. The third chapel on the right contains frescoes from 1309 by Roman master Pietro Cavallini (a contemporary of Giotto). The seventh chapel on the right is the Crucifixion Chapel (Cappella del Crocifisso), with some Renaissance tombs and a copy of the 12th-century Crucifixion painting that spoke to St. Thomas Aquinas. Next door, the Sacristy has a bright ceiling fresco by Francesco Solimena (1706) and small caskets containing the ashes of Aragonese rulers and important courtiers.

San Lorenzo Maggiore

Mon-Sat 9am-5:30pm; Sun 9am-1:30pm

Piazza San Gaetano Via Tribunali 316

Transportation Bus: 105, 105r, or E1

081-290580, 081-454948 for scavi (ruins)

The greatest of Naples’s layered churches was built in 1265 for Charles I over a 6th-century basilica, which lay over many ancient remains. The interior is pure Gothic, with tall pointed arches and an apse off which radiate nine chapels. This is where, in 1334, Boccaccio first saw Robert of Anjou’s daughter, Maria, who became “Fiammetta” in his writings

San Lorenzo preserves the best and most extensive remains of the ancient Greek and Roman cities currently open to the public. The church foundations are actually the walls of Neapolis’s basilican law courts. In the cloisters are excavated shards of the Roman city’s treasury and marketplace. In the crypt are the rough remains of a Roman-era shop-lined street, a Greek temple, and a medieval building.

Santa Chiara

Daily 7am-12:30pm and 4:30-8pm

Via Benedetto Croce

Transportation Metro: Montesanto

081-5526280

On a palazzo-flanked street, this church was built on orders from Robert the Wise, king of Naples, in the early 14th century. It became the church for the House of Anjou. Although World War II bombers heavily blasted it, it has been restored somewhat to its original look, a Gothic style favored by the Provencal architects. The light-filled interior is lined with chapels, each of which contains leftover bits of sculpture or fresco from the medieval church. Behind the High Altar is the towering multilevel tomb of Robert the Wise d’Angio, sculpted by Giovanni and Pacio Bertini in 1343. To its right, is Tino di Camaino’s tomb of Charles, duke of Calabria; and on the left is the 1399 monument to Mary of Durazza.

Nearby Attractions

Ruins of Pompeii

Take the Circumvesuviana commuter train (downstairs at the main Naples train station) to the Ercolano stop

The ancient city of Pompeii was buried by Mount Vesuvius’s volcanic eruption on the morning of August 23, AD 79. The foremost building in Pompeii is the Basilica, which served as the law court and stock exchange. There is also the Foro, or Forum, which is surrounded by the main temples as well as commercial and government buildings. It was there that elections were held and speeches and official announcements made. Try to get to Pompeii early in the day to avoid the crowds and the hot sun.

Herculaneum

Take the Circumvesuviana commuter train (downstairs at the main Naples train station) to the Ercolano stop

Admission includes tickets for Oplontis, Pompeii, and 2 other sites over a 3 day period.

Apr.-Oct., daily 8:30-7:30, (ticket office closes at 6); Nov.-Mar., daily 8:30-5, (ticket office closes at 3:30).

Corso Ercolano, a 5-min walk downhill from the Ercolano Circumvesuviana station, Ercolano, Italy

081/8575347

In AD 79 the gigantic eruption of Vesuvius (which also destroyed Pompeii) buried the town under a tide of volcanic mud. The semi-liquid mass seeped into the crevices and openings of every building. It covered household objects and enveloped textiles and wood. It preserved them in the process in airtight safety for future generations to explore.

Some excavation began in the 18th century, but systematic digs were not begun until the 1920s. Today, less than half of Herculaneum has been excavated; with present-day Ercolano and the Resina Quarter (the area’s largest secondhand-clothing market) sitting on top of the site, progress is limited. From the ramp leading down to Herculaneum’s neatly laid-out streets and well-preserved buildings, one can get a good overall view of the site, as well as an idea of the amount of volcanic debris that had to be removed to bring it to light. The experience leaves the visitor wishing that more archeological discovery could be undertaken in the area.

Capri

From Naples, take a short ferry or hydrofoil ride to the fabulous island of Capri, known as the playground of the rich and famous. Upon arrival at the dock, take the tramway up to the small town of Capri. The famous Piazzetta square in the center of town is a good place to shop or enjoy something to eat or drink. A walking tour of the town reveals the magnificent garden terraces, historic churches and villas. At the nearby town of Anacapri, a chair lift travels to the top of one of the highest peaks on the island for a panoramic view of the Bay of Naples.

D- Family Fun Attractions:

Castel dell’Ovo

Via Caracciolo – Borgo Marinaro

Naples, 80133 Italy

081/2400055

The oldest castle in Naples, the Castel dell’Ovo sits on the most picturesque point of the bay, standing guard over the city it protects. Occupying the isle of Megaris, it was originally the site of an ancient Roman villa. Children enjoy exploring the grounds and enacting imaginary scenarios of armies, pirate ships, and conquests.

Aquarium (Acquario)

Via Caracciolo 1

Transportation Bus: R3

081-5833111

Tues-Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 9am-7:30pm

The Aquarium is in a municipal park, Villa Comunale, between Via Caracciolo and the Riviera di Chiaia. Established by a German naturalist in the 1800s, it is the oldest aquarium in Europe. It displays about 200 species of marine plants and fish, all of which are found in the Bay of Naples.

Acquaflash

Via S. Nullo

Naples, 80014

Tel: +39 0818047122

This water park, is a few kilometres away from Naples and can be easily reached by the motorway, on the Licola exit. It has a number of swimming pools, waterslides, a solarium, gardens, rest areas and other facilities which make it a great place to spend a hot summers day. The opening hours vary according to the season so visitors are advised to telephone in advance.

Edenlandia

Viale Kennedy

Naples, 80125

Tel: +39 0812399693 +39 0812391348

5pm-midnight Mon-Fri; 10am-midnight Sat-Sun

Admission charged

Edenlandia is a theme park spread out over several acres in which adults and children can spend fun-filled days and evenings. There are games offering prizes, 25 rides, 15 refreshment stands, , a theatre, virtual reality, a roller coaster experience and more. It is easily accessible by car, and the parking facilities are excellent – take either the Agnano or the Fuorigrotta exit off the Naples ring road. Via public transport: either take bus (ANM line) C2, C3 or 152 which stops outside the park,or the Cumana railway and get off at Edenlandia.

Magic World

Via S. Nullo

Naples, 80014

Tel: +39 081804 7122

This amusement park recently opened and is close to the Licola exit on the Naples bypass. It takes less than 20 minutes to get to from the city centre by car. It has a huge carpark, many exciting rides, public conveniences and snack bars. It is open all year round (it is best to phone for the opening hours)

E- Events & Entainment:

May

International Music Weeks

Music Festival, Naples

A classical music festival known as International Music Weeks takes place throughout May in Naples. Concerts are held at the Teatro San Carlo, the Teatro Mercadante, and in the neoclassical Villa Pignatelli. For information, contact the Teatro San Carlo box office (PHONE: 081/7972331 or 081/7972412).

May

Maggio dei Monumenti (May of Monuments) is sponsored by the Council of Naples, with events occurring every weekend during the month. Each year the theme is slightly different. Included is a a series of guided walks through the historic district, even through the city’s underground passages. Chamber music recitals, concerts, operettas, performances of classic Neapolitan songs, and even soccer matches and horse races add to the celebration.

End of June, beginning of July

Neapolis Rock Festival

Italsider di Bagnoli Via Coroglio 49

Naples, 80124

Tel: +39 0812404276

This annual music show has now been running for five years and has become very popular amongst rock music fans. It usually takes place at the end of June or the beginning of July, in the areas around Italsider di Bagnoli, and lasts for about a week.

Arts and Entertainment

Opera

Teatro San Carlo

Via San Carlo 98, across from the Galleria Umberto

081-7972111

Teatro San Carlo is one of the largest opera houses in Italy, with some of the best acoustics. Built in only 6 months for King Charles’s birthday in November 1737, it has been restored in a gilded, neoclassical style. Grand-scale productions are presented on the 12,000 sq. foot main stage. October through May, the box office is open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 3pm; June through September Monday to Friday 10am to 4:30pm (closed in August).

Tasso

Via Tasso, 169

Naples, 80127

Tel: +39 081669480

Small, elegant theatre in the residential zone of Chiaia but close to the night life district.

The program varies with famous cultural works and interesting productions by small, local companies.

Teatro Augusteo

Piazzetta Duca D’Aosta

Naples, 80132

Tel: +39 081414243 +39 081405660

This Parthenopean theatre is situated very near the Via Toledo and the city centre, and is easily accessible on the funicular (ANM line Piazza Duca d’Aosta – Piazza Fuga).

Its stage regularly hosts celebrities from the world of cinema and television in a variety of performances: classical and modern, comedy, musicals etc. The interior of the theatre was recently enlarged, and it now has a capacity of 1600.

Teatro Diana

Via L. Giordano, 64

Naples, 80127

Tel: +39 0815567527

11am-1.30pm, 4.30pm-8pm daily.

This well known Vomerese theatre, was built in 1922, but opened to the public in March 1933.

Due to the successful performances, in a short time it was one of the most important theatres in Naples. In 1945 the roof was destroyed by bombs, and rebuilt by Gino Avena, one of the top architects of that time. In 1973 it was completely destroyed and rebuilt in only 6 months.

For the past 25 years, the Diana theatre has welcomed the best Italian actors: Vittorio Gassman, Adalberto Lionello, Enrica Blanc, Mariangela Melato, Aroldo Tieri, Giuliana Jodice, Pupella Maggio, Luca De Filippo, Rossella Falk, Nino Manfredi, etc.

Currently, this Neapolitan theatre has the highest number of subscribers and a growing audience which every day manages to fill 1800 seats.

Teatro Sannazzaro

Via Chiaia, 157

Naples, 80121

Tel: +39 081403827

Historical 18th century theatre, in the heart of Naples’ old town, characterised by marvellous, rococo style architecture.

The building has a large seating area with velour seats and a long series with boxes and mini boxes among which the central royal box stands out for its regal elegance. This theatre was the centre of theatrical activity for the famous Neapolitan comical actress, Luisa Conte and her company, much loved by the locals, for around 20 years. Since the actress’s death, her place has been taken by the great young actress Lara Sansone who, together with the Sanazzaro theatre company, now brings to the stage the Neapolitan comedies of times gone by, a comedy which mirrors the heart of Naples’ historical centre.