Naples’ centuries-long eventful backstory is a nail-biting tale where myths and facts stir and combine into one enchanting whole. The town is riddled with unsolved mysteries and unlikely tales which cast a bewitching spell over the vibrant city. Strolling through the Cimitero delle Fontanelle will have you wondering if the skulls inside boast higher powers. Visiting Castel Nuovo, you will wonder if Queen Joan II really threw her lovers as snacks to a crocodile… the questions swirling through your mind will see no end.
Don’t worry though, Naples is equally good at giving us answers about the lives of people who came before us. The town prides itself on three magnificent castles, two lush royal palaces, and an endless selection of ancient ruins. For instance, The National Archeological Museum of Naples comprises one the best collections of Greek and Roman antiquities in the world, including sculptures, mosaics, gems, silver, glass as well as numerous collections from the nearby city of Pompeii.
Important churches include Santa Chiara Church which is a part of a larger complex comprising a monastery and archaeological museum; the Naples’ 13th-century Gothic Duomo dedicated to Naples' patron saint, San Gennaro and the medieval San Lorenzo Maggiore hiding Greek and Roman remains underneath. If churches are not exactly your cup of coffee, turn your attention to the Teatro San Carlo (famous for its perfect acoustics and as the best place to hear opera in southern Italy). Stroll down the Spaccanapoli (or Via San Biaggio), the main street dividing Naples in the heart of the historic center; or the Capodimonte Museum and Park (former hunting lodge of King Charles III). And still, we are barely scratching the surface of all the things to do in Naples.
When your belly starts to rumble after all that sightseeing, Naples won’t let you starve. In fact, you might come across the best food you have ever tasted. Being blessed with a friendly climate and rich volcanic soil, Naples along with the rest of Campania had nature on their side. The local full-flavored staple ingredients are to die for. This is the region to find the best pesto, best pizza, and even the best espresso. There is nothing quite like a Pizza Napoletana fresh from the wood-burning oven. Also be sure to try the delicious eggplant (parmigiana di melanzane), and the famous spaghetti with clams parmigiana (spaghetti alle vongole).
If you tire of sightseeing or the food (though unlikely), shop around! Shopping in Naples takes on a whole new meaning as you hop through the many family-run businesses and artisan workshops. From clothes, through accessories to decorations, the options are endless.
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