The largest city in southern Italy, Naples is a sprawling metropolis which, despite appearances, has a history which dates back over 2,000 years. In Naples, you’re close to some major historic sites, while the Mediterranean coast isn’t too far away for those who want to head to the beach and escape the bustling city centre.
Meanwhile, its historic city centre has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, plus there are 448 different churches, more than in any other city on the planet. Its proximity to the imposing Mount Vesuvius and ancient Roman city of Pompeii also make it worth visiting, as do all the restaurants serving traditional Neapolitan pizza with its unmistakably thin crust and sparse toppings.
Simply for squeezing into those tight spots during traffic jams, anything bigger than a supermini or city car would probably add several minutes to your journey times.
In the ‘Centro Storico’, one landmark you must visit is the Piazza del Plebscito, the city’s largest public square. From here, you can see the Royal Palace to the east and the church of San Francesco di Paola on the west.
Another landmark of note is the Teatro di San Carlo, one of the world’s and Italy’s oldest opera venues. The theatre still hosts a number of performances, attracting visitors from all over the country, although its architecture is what makes it stand out.
No trip to Naples should be complete without a visit to Mount Vesuvius. Dominating the landscape, this still-active volcano should be approached with caution, but it hasn’t erupted for close to 70 years. If you can’t get close, feel free to take a few snaps!
SSC Napoli, the city’s biggest football club, play at the massive San Paolo stadium. They’re one of the country’s best football clubs, regularly competing at the highest level in Italy and in the UEFA Champions’ League.
Some locals believe that road traffic in Naples is on a par with New York. Although not quite that bad, around the main train station, it can be pretty heavy.
Parking spots in the city centre are seen as scarce, but it’s possible to park near the motorways and head into the centre by public transport.
Traffic tends to be a little lighter on the motorways going into and out of Naples, with the exception of the morning and evening rush hours.
Napoli International Airport is three miles north-northeast of the city centre. It has two terminals for passengers and serves many major cities elsewhere in Italy as well as other European countries. Some flights even serve North America and Africa.
The airport is near the A56, which has several exits to the south which lead to the city centre. To head to the Centro Storico, go onto the Via Arenaccia then the Via Foria, which goes straight there.