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For other places with the same name, see Naples (disambiguation).

Naples [4] is the capital of the Campania region in Italy and the largest city in Southern Italy. It was founded between the 7th and 6th centuries BC by the Greeks and was named Neapolis, which means new city. Because of its vast artistic heritage, the historic centre of Naples has earned the UNESCO World Heritage Site denomination. Its territory, particularly the iconic sight of the gulf of Naples, along with the colorful folklore (the pizza, the celebrated Mount Vesuvius, the music) is recognized abroad as on of the most powerful symbolic images of Italy. However, many Neapolitans do reject such stereotypical portrayal.

Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius


The most widely spoken language in Naples [5] is a mixture of Italian and Napulitano (Napolitan). Napolitan is sometimes described as an Italian dialect, but may be considered a separate and sometime unintellegible language. Napolitan does not enjoy any official status, but it does have a rich literary tradition and it is still thriving in Campania and adjacent parts of Lazio, Abruzzo, Basilicata, Molise and Calabria. This said, the official language of Naples (as of all of Italy) is Italian and practically everyone speaks it. Napolitan has strong spanish and french influences originating from the their occupation in the area. Therefore, some spanish and french words may be understood by the locals, more so than in other parts of Italy. English is the most commonly spoken foreign language, although the average knowledge of English is extremely low.

Get in

By plane

The International Airport is Capodichino (code NAP) [6]. It's well organized and connected to the Center of the City with public transportation.

From the airport you can take a bus for 3 euros (called Alibus) to Stazione Centrale. It also stops on Piazza Municipio near the ferry port. You can buy your ticket on the bus.

If you have time to spare, you can take the 3S bus that will take you to the same stops as the Alibus for a cheaper price. The difference is that the Alibus has limited stops but the 3S will take you to the backstreets leading to the Stazione continuing all the way to the port and a shopping district.

By train

The main station is Piazza Garibaldi Station. The bus R3 from the Piazza Garibaldi in front of the train station will take you within three blocks of the ferries at Stazione Marittima.

Get around

Be forewarned: Traffic in Naples is nuts. It is the place where the social order breaks down and it is every man for himself (the traffic lights are usually ignored). You will find cars double and triple parked. Cars going down one way streets. Traffic around the train station is nuts. Before attempting to cross the street, observe the locals. The idea is to spot a gap in the traffic and start across and hopefully people will stop. If this fails look for a pretty girl or a mother with young kids and let them run interference for you. Good luck!

There are several ways to see Naples and the surrounding area. These include by taxi, train/subway, bus, boat (ferry and hydrofoil) and car.

By taxi

Taxis are the quickest way to see Naples, but is also the most expensive. Before getting into a taxi make sure it is licensed. Licensed taxis will have a city crest on the door and a taxi number. Also, make sure it has a meter.

By public transportation on land

It is fairly difficult to get a clear picture of the public transportation system in Naples, since different lines are operated by different companies. Nonetheless, one can buy a daily pass for three Euros valid on all vehicles.

There are three different private regional train services that operate in Naples and the surrounding areas. They are listed here:

  • Circumvesuviana. The Circumvesuviana railline operates out of the basement of the main train station at Piazza Garibaldi and has different routes that service the local Naples area. One route goes from the train station to Sorrento with several stops in between, including Pompei Scavi and Ercolano. A second route travels around Vesuvius. Other routes go to Acerra and Nola-Baiano. The Circumvesuviana website has more information on timings, routes and cost of tickets.
  • Cumana. This railline that operates from Montesanto in Naples and follows the coastline for approximately 20 km before ending in Torregaveta (Bacoli). The Cumana runs the urban centres of Montesanto, Fuorigrotta, Bagnoli, Pozzuoli, Arco Felice, Baia, Fusaro before reaching Torregaveta.
  • Circumflegrea. This railline also starts in Montesanto and ends in Torregaveta. However, it runs along the western edge of Naples through the districts Soccavo, Pianurat, Quarto Flegreo, Licola and Cuma. It also approximately seven kilometres alonger than the Cumana. because the Cumana and Circumflegra start and end in the same places one can quickly transfer from one train to the other. Both services are owned and operated by the same company and more information can be found at the S.E.P.S.A website.
  • Regional Trains. In Addition to the aforementioned trains, Trenitalia operates regional trains from Naples to Salerno.
  • Metropolitana di Napoli. There are two lines of subway in Naples crossing at Cavour/Museo.
  • Funicolare. The subway company also operates three cable cars.
  • Trams. ANM operates two tram lines (1 and 4), of which one goes along the shore of Santa Lucia - Castelnuovo - Garibaldi (Central Station).
  • Buses. ANM also operated all bus lines within Naples, most of which are circular. Naples suffers from a serious problem of traffic jam and usually buses are overcrowded, so if you can (unless in the evening or on the weekend) try to avoid them.

By ferry/hydrofoil

There are several ferry/hydrofoil services that connect Naples and local ports/islands. Ferry and hydrofoil services leave from either Molo Beverello, Mergellina or Pozzuoli. Some then of them are listed here:

  • Metro del Mare has several lines that connect Naples and Sapri; Bacoli and Salerno and Sorrento; Monti di Procida and Salerno; and, Amalfi and Sapri. Besides the main stops the ferry service also connects many smaller communities. The Metro di Mare webpage has schedules, timetables and location of ticket counters.
  • L.N.G. has a hydrofoil service that connects Naples with the island of Capri, along with Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi. Schedules and timings can be found on its website.
  • AliLauro has a hydrofoil service that connects Naples with the islands of Ponza, Ventotene, Prochida, Ischia, Capri and Eolie, and the towns of Formia, Castellamare, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Salerno. Alilauro operates from both the Molo Beverello and Mergelina.
  • L.N.P. operates both hydrofoil and boats lines. It connects Naples with Sorrento and has other lines connecting Capri, Sorrento, Castellamare, Salerno, AMalfi and Positano. Schedule and timings can be downloaded from the L.N.P. website.


Most sites in Campania (including Pompeii) accept the Campania Card for tourists (free entry). Some cards also include a pass for the local public transportation.

  • Castel dell'Ovo - Porto Santa Lucia Naples' known port with the Egg Castle on a small half island. The castle currently houses the Museum of Prehistory.
  • Castelnuovo (Maschio Angioino) A huge castle at the shore which houses a museum.
  • Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte - Napolitan National Gallery, a must-see! Displays the Burgia, Farnese and Borbon collections with mainly Renaissance and Baroque Italian painting. Among the famous artists on display: Tizian, Giovanni Bellini, Annibale Caracci, de Ribera and Giordano. A beautiful park surrounds the museum.
  • Museo Archeologico Nazionale [7]- Naples Archeological Museum houses wall paintings and different objects removed from the Pompeii and Herculaneum excavation sites. In addition, you can admire the Farnese collection of Roman sculptures (including the famous sculptures of the Caracala Baths). E9.00 for admission. Guidebook in English must be purchased from the gift shop because the item descriptions are in Italian only.
  • View of Mergellina (from via Orazio or via Petrarca)
  • Castel San Elmo - Certosa di San Martino
  • Parco Virgiliano A nice park with a stunning view of the surrounding area. It is about half an hour off the city centre, but certainly worth the effort!
  • Piazza del Gesù and Piazza S.Domenico Maggiore The New Jesuite church is among the most extravagant Baroque churches in the world! Across the street you will find the Santa Chiara Monastery [8]. It is worth a visit for its beautiful garden decorated with frescoes and coulorful columns. If you continue towards S. Domenico Square you will pass by the St Angelo on the Nile Church with its Donatello's altar. The Sansavero Chappel nearby is also well known for its marble sculptures of veiled figures.
  • Napoli Sotterranea Underneath San Lorenzo Maggiore medievil church.
  • Catacombe di San Gennaro Medievil catacombs on Capodimonte hill.
  • Quadreria dei Girolamini A nice small picture gallery mainly of Italian Baroque painting and some works of famous De Ribera. Free of charge and just across the street from the Duomo.
  • Duomo Naples' main church with two luxurious chapels. Underneath it you can find excavation of a Roman site. Near the duomo you can find the St. Gennaro Treasury museum, with arts exhibits from the duomo and another heavily frescoed chappel.
  • Pio Monte della Misericordia A church and a picture gallery both belonging to an old charity organisation. The gallery mainly displays Napolitan Baroque paintings.
  • Teatro San Carlo Naples' famous opera house.
  • Piazza del Pebliscito Naples' main square. Surrounding it you will find the Royal Palace (palazzo reale - open to tourists), the San Carlo Theatre and the Galleria Umberto.
  • Acquario - Villa Comunale A park near the shore with Europe's first public aquarium in its centre. Nearby is the Cortes Museum of Applied Arts.
  • Galleria Umberto A shopping passage from the 19th Century.
  • Museo Duca di Martina in Villa Floridiana
  • Museo Civico Filanghieri
  • Citta' della Scienza [9]
  • Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina [10]
  • Pinacoteca della Accademia di Belle Arte
  • PAN - Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli [11]
  • Raccolta Mura
  • Museo del Mare (Naval Museum) [12]
  • Fondazione Pagliara
  • Piomonte di Pieta' in Palazzo Carafa A manierist church and a picture gallery. Open only on weekends.


Observe and absorb, the character and culture of Napoli is immense, the dirt and grime has more flavour than I've experienced in any other city. This is the Italian recipe for reality and it is great fun.





Pizza comes from Naples. Look for pizza margherita, the original one, with tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella toppings. Eating a pizza in Florence or in Rome is not the same as eating it in Naples! In Naples every pizzeria makes a good pizza, but if you want to eat pizza where the real Napolitans go, go to Da Michele (Via Cesare Sersale, 1-3) or Trianon a Forcella (Via P. Colletta 46, it's just in front of Michele). These pizzerias make the authentic pizza, but be careful because they are located near Forcella which is not the safest part of Naples. So don't wear your Rolex when you go there!!! In particular, Michele has a unique feature: they only do pizza Margherita or Marinara (just tomato, garlic and oregano, and a splash of oil, of course!). They say that these two kinds are the original pizza, if you add too much toppings you'll lose the real taste of the pizza, that is very simple, made only of a good, thin base, good tomato, and fresh mozzarella (if this is the case). Some others places very popular among the Neapolitans are almost all the pizzerie in Via dei Tribunali: in particular Di Matteo (# 94), Il presidente, Sorbillo, and his sister, a few doors away (informally known as "la vecchia", the old lady, from the owner of the pizzeria, a very small places with only 4 or 5 tables, that looks like a pizzeria of 50 years ago - very hard to find, but it's worth it!) It's easy to find a good pizzeria, just look for one without tourists!

Neapolitan cuisine in general features much seafood, befitting its status as an ancient and still functioning port. You will find many sauces based on garlic sauteed in extra-virgin olive oil, tomatoes, and local red wines. Some of the sauces are arrabbiata ("angry") or fra diavolo ("brother Devil"), which means they will contain hot pepper. It's a great cuisine. Enjoy!

Mozzarella is also typical of the region, you should not miss the opportunity to taste the fresh real one!

The city and region are also famous for their pasticceria (pastries), which is often filled with ricotta cheese, among the best are:

  • Bar Riviera Very good sweets, from 'zeppole' to 'sfogliatelle' passing through 'babà'. Riviera di Chiaia, 181 - 081 665 026

Struffoli is the typical Christmas sweet.

Pastiera is the typical sweet of Easter: anyway you can find it all year long. It is made basically of ricotta cheese melted with steamed corn and sugar, and then baked.


Naples is becoming increasingly popular with a younger generation of both Italians and foreigners. In spite of reports of adverse conditions, they flood into the city and lend renewed vitality to its nightlife. The hippest scene is around the bars and cafes on Piazza Bellini, Piazza Santa Maria la Nova and Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, becoming busy after about 11pm.


Accommodation in Naples is normally cheaper than in Rome or northern Italian cities, but quality may vary a lot. It is not uncommon to encounter hot water shortages, short power outages, and less than luxurious bed and bath linens. Also don't expect a full-sized bathtub in reasonably priced hotels. You may not even get a shower stall in the bathroom, but a drain hole that is located in the center of the bathroom with a toilet, a sink, and a shower head along the plain tiled walls. Breakfast may include weak orange juice (tasting more like powdered orange drink), hard rolls and an assortment of hard meats and cheeses. Nothing mentioned here is meant to discourage, but to help you view your experience as an adventure in Italian culture.


  • Potenza Hotel, Piazza Garibaldi 120, tel: +39 081286330 [13] [14]. The perfect and cheap place to visit Naples and all the beautiful places around, starting from down town. At just 5 minutes walking distance from the central station of Napoli.

  • 6 Small Rooms Hostel & Guesthouse, Via Diodato Lioy 18, tel: +39 0817901378 [email protected] [15]. A great hostel with private rooms right in the middle of the historical center of Naples. Clean, cozy and friendly. Cooking facilities, English speaking staff, DVDs, fridges, book exchange, tourist info and maps. It can be difficult to find, so give them a call.
  • Hostel of the Sun, Via Melisurgo 15, tel: +39 081 420 63 93 [16]. Newly refurbished hostel in the centre of town. Clean, friendly and conveniently located for the ferries. Open 24 hours with all facilities expected from a great modern hostel. Good kitchen, breakfast included, knowledgeable and multi-lingual staff, DVDs, satellite tv, small library, free Internet, etc. Bed €18, double €55, ensuite double €70, triple €80, ensuite €90, quadruple €90.
  • Hotel San Giorgio Napoli [17] - Via Alessandro Poerio, 9 (Central Station) [email protected] - renovated 3 star hotel near the central railway station. 61 air-con rooms with colour SAT TV, fridge-bar, direct dial telephone, hairdryer.
  • Hotel Speranza, Via Palermo 31, tel: +39 081269286-99n, [18]. Has seen better days and not in the best neighbourhood, but it's clean, cheap, and close to the train station. €45 for a double room with bath.


  • B&B La Corte, Via Cesare Battisti 30 Sant'Antimo (Naples) tel.+39 081 505198[19]. In old building is in the heart of the little town of Sant'Antimo, 10 km. from Naples. Run by an artist whose atelier is on the round floor. The rooms are autonomies, with private bathrooms, and air-conditioned. Doubles from €60.
  • Donnalbina7 - sleeping in Naples bed and breakfast, Via Donnalbina 7 Naples tel.+39 081 19567817 [20].
  • Hotel Cavour, Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi 32 Central station area. The Hotel Cavour is a comfortable three star long-standing traditional hotel, renovated. Near the historical sites - Decumano Maggiore. It enjoys central strategic position, garage at 20 mt., 93 rooms, 10 de luxe suites with air conditioned and minibar, all rooms with satellite tv, direct telephone dialling. Two restaurants serving delicious Neapolitan, regional and international dishes.
  • Hotel Cimarosa, Via Cimarosa, 29, +39 081.5567044, Fax: +39 081 5782852, [21]. The Hotel Cimarosa is an elegant hotel located on the hillside of the chic Vomero neighborhood, one of Naples' most fascinating districts, famous for the shopping streets, the Sant'Elmo Fortress, Villa Floridiana and many other important Naples' monuments.
  • Hotel Del Real Orto Botanico , Via Foria 192 Historical Centre. The Hotel Del Real Orto Botanico, situated a mere two kilometers from Capodichino Airport. The property is centrally located in an old building in front of the Real Orto Botanico. The hotel is a few steps to the Historical Center. Many places of historical and cultural interest in the city of Naples are within walking distance.
  • Hotel Ideal, Piazza Garibaldi 99, +39 081 269237, Fax: +39 081 285942, [22]. Right near the central train station (about 100 meters). Hotel is clean and cheap, staff are friendly and helpful. Breakfast was included.
  • Hotel Mergellina, Via Giordano Bruno 115 80100 Naples Ph. +39.081.2482142 Fax +39.081.2482142 [23].
  • Hotel Prati , Via Cesare Rosaroll 4. Located in Piazza Principe Umberto, the town historical and commercial centre.The hotel close to the airport and to the motoway turn-offs, is 200 mt. from the railway station and 1 Km. from the railway station and 1 Km. from Molo Beverello, departure place for beautiful trips to Capri, Ischia, Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, Solfatara and Vesuvio. 100 beds, 43 rooms, provided with bathroom, shower, telephone, central heating, bar and TV. Restaurant 70 seat dining-room. Not too clean and quite noisy, thus not too recommendable.
  • Hotel San Giorgio, Via Alessandro Poerio 9 Central Station area. The Hotel San Giorgio is a comfortable 3 star superior hotel completely renovated.It is situated in via A.Poerio near the central railway station and in the historic center of the city.From the hotel by the Circumvesuviana it is possible to reach Sorrento,Pompei,Amalfi ecc. By bus in 5 minutes it is possible to reach the sea-port where to get easily Capri,Ischia and Procida by ferry.
  • Hotel Splendid [24] Via Manzoni, 96, 80123 Napoli, Tel. +39 081.7141955 Fax +39 081.7146431, Hotel Splendid in Posillipo alto is located in Naples' hill famous for its wonderful view. Single, double and triple rooms are available equipped with Internet connection, TV, telephone, minibar and air conditioning.
  • Tribù B&B [25]- Via dei Tribunali, 329. Tel. +39 081 454793; 338409913. [email protected] . Located in a quiet patio bang in the middle of bustling spaccanapoli, Naples' old town, this tasteful bed & breakfast also doubles as an arts showroom. Breakfast is served on a nice terrace by the couple of young architects that own the place. Rooms €60-100.
  • Charming International Hotel, V. le Generale U. Maddalena 35/37, 80142 Napoli. The Charming International Hotel was first a farmhouse in the XIX century, but has recently been remodeled into the hotel that it is today. The locale is great, with only a 5 min walking distance from the Naples Airport. The hotel is closely connected to pretty much every area of touristy and business interest. The hotel is also only 8 km from the rail station, as well as 9 km from the seaport. There’s a minibus that comes around that will take you to Piazza del Municipio, where here you can visit all kinds of historic churches, monuments, museums, and other places of interest in Naples.
  • Phlegrean Fields Park Located on the quiet hill of Posillipo, it's the better chooise for a relaxing vacance or a cultural trip discovering the beautiful monuments of Naples and all around lands of Phlegrean Fields. Double Room from 60 Euro/night breakfast included.


  • UNA Hotel Napoli, [26]. UNA Hotel Napoli a 6 storey historical building in a central position opposite the railway station, accurately restored to its XIX Century grandeur.
  • Hotel Paradiso, Via Catullo 11, +39 081 2475111 (fax: +39 081 7613449). Located on a hill (Posipillo - Airport is 10 kilometers away which is around €30 by cab. €160 for a double room with a balcony.
  • Hotel Pinto Storey, Via G.Martucci, 72, +39 081.681260 (, fax: +39 081.667536), [1]. For a double room prices are from 110€ on, depending on the season..
  • Belle Arti Resort, via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli 27, +39 081.5571062 (, fax: +39 081.447860), [2].


Stay safe

Garbage Crisis
Naples is suffering from a garbage-collection crisis, with many areas clogged by rubbish piled up in the streets. According to some reports this has led to a spike in crime and civil disturbance.

Naples is a gritty and in many parts impoverished city. Do walk around, but be watchful and keep your wits about yourself. A tourist is, all over the world, an easy prey.

Who comes in Naples has to use some, generic, precautions:

  • Do not leave valuables laying out in the open (e.g. bar tables) where they can be snatched by thieves.
  • Do not flash around money, or other valuables.
  • It is advised not to carry a purse as they can be snatched or "picked" by thieves.
  • Do not use precious watch (Rolex specially).
  • Do not use precious bijou or jewellery.
  • Do not use costly camera or video camera.
  • Do not wander down small dark allies/streets, especially in the Spanish Quarter.
  • Be careful around the main train station as there are many thieves in the area.
  • In Naples you can buy over-the-shoulder packs that are excellent as they allow you to keep an eye and firm grip on your valuables.


Get Out

There is fast express train service to Rome and points north, as well as points south. There are also local Italian Railway trains to Pompeii, but for such short distances, it is easiest to take the Circumvesuviana commuter train.

Vesuvius. Mount Vesuvius buried Herculaneum and Pompeii in 79 AD.


  • MedMar Group operates several large ferry/passenger ships that connect Naples with Sardenia, Tunisia (Tunis), and and the Aeoliian Islands. These trips usually leave in the late afternoon or evening and arrive at their destination the next morning.
  • Tirrenia Navigazione operates an overnight ferry service that has two separate routes, one to Sardenia (Cagliari) and the other to Sicily (Palermo).

Gulf of Naples

  • Tour the excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii nearby to the south of Naples. Pompeii is 40 minutes via the Circumvesuviana train (Sorrento line, here is a timetable, click on the station where you are getting the train) from the Naples Central train station.
  • From Pompeii, take a bus to Mount Vesuvius, and hike to the summit. Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the mainland of Europe.
  • Paestum, an hour and a half to the south, (near Salerno) is Italy's most famous Greek excavation site.
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