One of the largest cities in Italy is Naples, capital of Campania. It is also a great tourist destination since it has thousands of years of history and is one of the oldest areas in the world to continue to be inhabited.
The historic center of Naples is Heritage but its interesting places are not concentrated only there. Do you like the idea of traveling to this Italian city? Let's see what it has for the traveler.
As we said before, Naples it is a very old city and has around 2800 years of history. Thus, we find buildings and places that have significant historical value. We can speak of an archaeological Naples, a medieval one and a natural Naples. And I think I'm falling short.
So let's start with the Archaeological naples. The city is near the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum but there are also other ruins dating from the Greek period in Naples. We then have the Campano Amphitheater and Flavio amphitheater, for example. The Catacombs of San Gaudioso under the Basilica Santa María della Sanitá and those of San Gennaro, for example.
There is the Cemetery delle Fontanelle and several "archaeological parks": Herculaneum, Paestum, Pompeii, Elea Velia, Cuma and Baia. Of all these ruins, those of Pompeii and Herculaneum are the ones that you cannot miss if you have little time. With more days I would not leave out any other. In Pompeii there is the Temple of Iside, ruins of a theater, the House of Faun, the Villa dei Misteri and houses, shops, the forum, baths and other structures.
From Naples you can get to Pompeii by train or bus. The entrance costs 15 euros although the first Sunday of each month is free. For 18 euros you can buy a pass to three archaeological sites (Pompeii, Oplontis and Boscoreale). It is convenient.
In the case of the ruins of Herculaneum, very similar to Pompeii, the main street, Decumenus, which goes to the Forum, the House of Argo, the House of Ariside, the thermal baths, the gymnasium and the theater with capacity for 2500 people, for example. Nearby there is also a virtual museum, the MAV, where you can experience the daily life of the ancient city before the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius.
By train from Naples it takes 40 minutes. The entrance costs 11 euros but if you have the Naples Pass you pay about 5, 50 euros less. It opens from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm, in general, but check before you go because it varies by month. Leaving these two well-known destinations, if you like history the National Antiquarian of Boscoreale It is another interesting option because it is a site that documents the daily life of the people of the area and there are the beautiful Villa Regina ruins, a typical Roman villa.
Then we have to talk about the Medieval naples and its castles. The city, in fact, is known as the "City of the seven castles", but with three that you visit you will be fine: the Castle dell'Ovo, the Castle Sant'Elmo and the Castle Maschio Angioino.
The Castle dell'Ovo is the oldest in Naples and it is built on a small island in front of the port of Santa Lucia. Before the XNUMXth century there were already Roman fortifications there, as part of the Roman villa of General Lucio Vicinio Luculo. Frederick II transformed everything into a castle and the fortress was renamed the Egg Castle in reference to the "egg" that Virgil may have placed / hidden in some cage in the basement. Admission is free.
El Castel Sant'Elmo or Fortress of Saint Elmo it was transformed into such by the viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo in the XNUMXth century. It is shaped like a six-pointed star with bastions and moats. It should defend the city but control it at the same time so that is why it is connected to the Spanish Quarter and the Plaza Real. Nowadays it's a museum and save a beautiful panorama. Admission is 5 euros.
Finally, the Castel Maschio Angioino on the Piazza Municipio. It dates from the times of the first Neapolitan monarchy and was built on the orders of Carlos I d'Angio in the XNUMXth century. Later kings made their modifications and the current form dates from the time of the Aragonese domination of the city. Today It is visited with a tour and the entrance costs 6 euros.
We also said that Naples has natural attractions. You can visit the Grotto of Castelcivita, the Gruta di Pertosa-Auletta and two volcanoes, the famous Vesuvius and Solfatara volcano. Knowing Vesuvius is taking a walk through history. It belongs to a natural park that is a World Heritage Site and you can climb it to admire the flora and fauna and have, from above everything, a fantastic view.
In terms of museums, Naples has many that are interesting but it all depends on what you like. I, for my part, would choose to visit the Museum of Torture, the Wine Museum, the San Lorenzo Maggiore Monumental Complex, the Virtual Archaeological Museum, the Acropolis Museum, the Villa dell'Antica Capua Museum, the Gladiator Museum or the Royal Palace of Naples. These are just some of the many museums that Naples has and I have left out the art ones, but if you like plastic arts there are many.
If your idea is to take a walk around the surroundings, that is, do day trips from Naples, there are a handful of recommendable sites: Capri, Amalfi, Eremo dei Camaldoli, Ischia, Sorrento, Pozzuoli or Procida. For example, in Amalfi, if necessary, you arrive by regional train in two hours.
To enjoy tourism in Naples you can get the Naples Pass, a tourist card which provides 40% discounts in shops, restaurants and hotels and museums. In addition, you can use public transport in the city.
There are three versions: 3 days, 7 days and a whole year. The 3-day pass up to 25 years costs 29 euros and for 13 euros plus the use of transport and museums. The Naples Pass of 7 days for more than 25 years costs 49 euros and for 10 more you have the entrance to museums. The pass does include admission to Pompeii. Good trip!