Naples Holidays

Naples is the lively capital of Campania. This distinctly southern city doesn’t pull any punches, sprawling out around the Bay of Naples in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.

You could start your sightseeing in Piazza del Plebiscito, which comes framed by the neoclassical Royal Palace of Naples. Nearby, a pair of castles offers sunset-watching platforms. Or you could always turn your attention underground, where you can tour ancient tunnels and catacombs.

Naples’ main claim to fame, though, is as the birthplace of pizza. That’s thanks to Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba – a pizzeria that started life as a food stall in the 18th century.

  • from£404pp
  • 34 rooms

Hotel Rex is in the perfect location for exploring Naples. It's close to the waterfront where there's lots of local restaurants where you can try the city's famous pizza. You can walk to most of the sights from here and there's good public transport links close by too.

  • from£448pp
  • 72 rooms
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This contemporary hotel is located on Posillipo Hill and has absolutely fantastic views across the Gulf of Naples, with Mount Vesuvius in the background. It's got modern rooms and a great rooftop restaurant where you'll get to eat breakfast while looking out over the sea. It's close to the metro so getting out and about is easy.

Things To Do

Piazza Trieste e Trento

This lively piazza is the city’s buzzing heart. Start at che Carciofo fountain in the centre of the square and get your bearings as you watch Naples in action. You’ll find yourself in prime position to explore some of the city’s most famous landmarks such as Teatro San Carlo, Galleria Umberto I and the Café Gambrinus.

Galleria Umberto I

A shopper’s paradise, inside a 19th century cross shaped arcade topped by a glass domed roof. The central atrium is lined with marble mosaic floors that depict the zodiac. It may not quite live up to its former glory, but it’s still an impressive architectural feat to admire and there are some nice cafes and shops to take a look around.

Café Gambrinus

The Liberty style building has retained the grandeur of the Belle Époque and has remained a popular place to meet up, discuss and debate for intellectuals, artists, politicians and everyday people since 1860. It is thought that Wilde, Hemingway, and Sartre loved to visit.

Museo Archeologico Nazionale

This impressive structure is filled with one of the best collections of Graeco-Roman artefacts around the world. It started out as a place for King Charles VII to keep the antiques that he inherited form his mother in the 18th Century and has developed over the years to become the Museo Archeologico Nazionale. Inside you’ll find treasures from Pompeii, such as the mosaics from Casa del Fauno and the huge marble Toro Farnese sculpture, depicting the mythological tale of Antiope.

Pompeii and Herculaneum

These ancient towns were cloaked in volcanic ash and preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. Archaeological excavation has uncovered these cities frozen in time. At Pompeii you’ll have the chance to see paintings, mosaics and frescoes that depict everything from gods and goddesses to the everyday life of its citizens. The nearby smaller town of Herculaneum was coated in a volcanic mud slide which meant that even clothing, furniture, wooden structures and personal items have been preserved.

Catacombe di San Gennaro

Discover the underworld of Naples as you explore the largest catacombs in all of southern Italy and the oldest in the city dating back to the 2nd century AD. You’ll be able to explore the winding tunnels and caverns and visit the two layers that have been excavated. 

Museo di Capodimonte

Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian… if these artists get you excited, then this is the perfect place to spend an afternoon, wandering through the former palace halls and ballrooms where medieval, renaissance and baroque paintings fill the walls. If you prefer modern art, then make your way up to the top floor where you’ll see works by Andy Warhol.

Teatro di San Carlo

Explore the old-world charm of the largest opera house in Italy. Attend a performance or take a tour of the opera house. You might have the chance to sit in the best seat in the house - the royal box. If you’re interested, the theatre has a museum called MeMus which holds a historical archive that documents and illuminates the historical, cultural and artistic events that have taken place here throughout its history.

Museo Cappella Sansevero

This little treasure trove is a must for any art lover. In the centre of the small chapel you’ll see Giuseppe Sanmartino sculpture of the Veiled Christ, delicately carved form marble. Its famed as one of the world’s most remarkable sculptures which you’ll appreciate when you see the incredible craftsmanship. Please note that photos cannot be taken inside the chapel.

Palazzo Reale

In this city that was ruled by many different countries and families before Italian unification, this palace was originally built under Spanish rule as a monument to Spain. Over time wings have been added, rooms have been remodelled and refurbished, so as you take a look around the beautiful halls and rooms you’ll notice the changing tastes of the royal owners over the years.

Mount Vesuvius National Park

This beautiful national park surrounds the active Vesuvius volcano. Hike through the parks interesting trails or if you’re feeling adventurous make your way up to the Gran Cono crater of Mount Vesuvius. The main route runs along the western side of the crater rim where you’ll have amazing views across the Campania region.

Castel Nuovo

One of the city’s most striking monuments, Castel Nuovo, was built in 1279 as a royal residence to defend from invaders. Robert of Anjou, during his reign, turned the castle into a centre for culture as he supported artists, doctors and writers, who include the likes of Giotto, Petrarch and Boccaccio. Following in the footsteps of its predecessors the castle today is a cultural venue, hosting events as well as the Municipal Museum.

Via San Gregorio Armeno

Also known as Christmas alley, this is where you’ll find markets selling artisanal crafts including nativity scenes, festive gifts, decorations and trinkets all year round. These crafts are known as presepi nativity scenes and have been part of Naples cultural traditions since the 13th Century.

Napoli’s Metro Art Stations

Not only is Naples Metro a handy way of getting around the city, the stations are great to see in their own right. Artists, designers and architects, including, Alessandro Mendini, Anish Kapoor, Gae Aulenti Jannis Kounellis, Karim Rashid, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Sol LeWitt, have all contributed to the Art Stations Project where they’ve transformed what were once dull underground stations into works of art. The Spanish architectural firm Oscar Tusquets Blanca, with the help of artists William Kentridge and Robert Wilson, have turned Toledo Metro Station into an underwater oasis using mosaics and light panels.

Good to Know 

  • Buy a Visitalia Tourist Card Napoli and enjoy discounts on transport and attractions
  • Enjoy spectacular views of the coast from the Parco Virgiliano, perched on top of Posillipo hill
  • Head to Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba (Italy's first pizzeria) for a delicious slice of authentic Neapolitan pizza 
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