Places to visit in Naples
Over five and a half million people arrive at Naples Airport each year, since the airport serves as a major gateway to Southern Italy. Many of these passengers are tourists coming to visit the beautiful Bay of Naples, and the city, which is rich in history and stunning architecture. There are also many attractions nearby Naples, such as Mount Vesuvius. Naples Airport is located only 4 miles, or 7 km from the center of Naples, in the suburb of Capodichino, and it is therefore also well known as Naples Capodichino Airport. The airport consists of two terminal buildings, of which Terminal 1 is the larger, handling the majority of arrival and departure flights. Terminal 2 is mostly used for charter flights and tour operators.
Bus tours and walking tours are particularly popular in Naples, as it is a delightful city filled with many appealing tourist attractions. Various different tour packages are available according to your needs. The bus tours not only include the Naples city area, but the Gulf of Campania, Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri as well. The tourist buses run every day, and are very comfortable with air conditioning. They are certainly a very good way to see all the sights in Naples. If you prefer to go on foot, daily walking tours are available as well. The tours are usually lead by English speaking guides, so you will not miss out on any information. They last for between two and six hours, and allow you to see the classic landscapes of Mediterranean Italy.
Popular tourist attractions in Naples include the Teatro San Carlo, or San Carlo Theater, the Grandoni Di Chiaia and Piazza Matteotti. The theatre is a grand building dating back to the 1700’s, and is built with magnificent architecture and wonderful acoustics. Its six levels took more than eight months to built, and also had to be rebuilt after the fire in 1816. One of its unique features include a huge stage with a backdrop that can be removed. Behind the backdrop are the gardens of the Palazzo Reale. Many performances are held in the theatre, but guided tours over the weekends are also available between 14:00 ad 15:30. A rather unusual sight in Naples is the Grandoni Di Chiaia, a street that is so steep that steps needed to be added. The street was constructed in the 1870’s, in a hilly terrain of Naples. Today it is lined with tall town houses from the 1900’s. The Piazza Matteotti is the area where many of Naples’ important buildings can be found, including the modern, curving post office.
History and culture go hand in hand in Naples, with a large variety of interesting museums and art galleries to peruse. The most popular of which may be the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, or National Archaeological Museum. It is found in Piazza Museo, and is open mainly from Mondays to Wednesdays. There is also a charge to view this museum. Some of its highlights include spectacular treasures unearthed at Pompeii and Herculaneum, a collection of interesting ancient Egyptian and Etruscan relics and many more displays in connection with Naples’ history. The first floor of the museum is filled with ancient sculptures and many other items found in the nearby vicinity of Naples which depict the lives of people living in the Greek and Roman-era.
Other museums in Naples include the Museo de Martina, which has one of the most spectacular collections of porcelain figurines, and is located on a grand 18th century estate. It is also known as the Museo Nazionale della Ceramica, or the Villa Floridiana. The Castel Nuovo Museo Civico is located in Piazza Municipio, and contains many lovely 14th and 15th century frescoes, while the Museo Principe di Aragona Pignatelli Cortes displays furniture items and noble carriages from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Museo Nazionale de Capodimonte and Museo Nazionale di San Martino are also well worth a visit. Most of the museums in Naples charge an entrance fee.
One of the lovely things about Naples is that many of its attractions are child friendly. There is even an amusement park offering endless entertainment for the whole family. If you are in Naples with your children, the Naples Aquarium (Acquario) is a must for your sight-seeing agenda. It is the oldest of its kind in Europe, dating back to the 19th century. Over 200 species of fish and marine plants are on display in large glass tanks. The Acquario is open during the months of May to September, Tuesday to Saturday from 09:00 to 18:00, and during October to April, Tuesday to Saturday from 09:00 to 17:00. They are open on Sundays as well from 10:00 to 18:00 and 09:00 to 14:00 respectively. The Edenlandia is Naples’ amusement park filled with enough exciting rides and adventures to thrill any child’s heart. It can be found towards the south-west of the city center nearby the Stadio San Paolo. It is also the largest amusement park in Campania. A third attraction enjoyed by children is the Museo Nazionale Ferroviario, or National Railway Museum, with many lovely old fashioned engines, cars and railway equipment on display.
Some popular cathedrals and religious buildings in Naples include the Duomo di San Gennaro, one of the most stunning buildings in Naples, the Chiesa San Domenico Maggiore, or San Severo Chapel, the San Gregorio Armeno, one of the oldest convents in Naples, and the Cappella di Santa Restituta, the oldest church in Naples, and one of the oldest in the whole of Italy.
There are also many attractions located just a short journey from Naples in the nearby surrounding areas. Many tourists love to visit the catacombs nearby, and the Solfatara is a large crater of a collapsed volcano known as the Forum Vulcani just to the west of Naples. Mount Vesuvius is another popular area, featuring the Mount Vesuvius volcano, while Pompeii offers attractions such as the Vesuvian Museum and Antiquarium, with many wonderful works of art.
Further information is available at the official tourist information centers on the Piazza dei Martriri, the Piazza dei Gesu Nuovo and the Via San Carlo, as well as at the Mergellina and Stazione Central train stations. Tourist information is also available at Naples Airport, at the information desks located within the arrivals area.