Many things are said about Naples. It is a privileged destination for tourists from all over the world, who still choose it today in the midst of other cities, capitals of Europe, and other historic cities to spend their holidays. This is the merit of those who live here, the colors, the sunsets, the panoramas, the attractions, the cuisine, and the climate that make this little corner of Italy a unique place that has no rivals or imitations in any other part of the world.
The city of Naples is divided into neighborhoods with a well-defined identity, still inhabited and fully appreciated by its residents, contrary to what happens in many historical centers of great European cities, reduced to open-air museums. Behind its color and facades, Naples hides a beating heart that produces a new melody with each beat.
Spaccanapoli is the main street of the city, and as as its name suggests, it cuts the historic city center in 2. Here, you will find historical monuments and artisan shops that still practice the family business. Spaccanapoli runs from the Spanish quarter to the Forcella district. Along the way, a visit to the cloister of the Calarisse is inevitable, where it is possible to admire the frescoes. It would also be a pity not to stop in front of the monastery of Santa Chiara, which represents one of the most impressive architectural works of the Gothic style in the whole city. Right at the end of Via Forcella there is one of the most appreciated pizzerias in the whole city. We are talking about Michele, who most of all contributed to making pizza an unforgettable dish, thanks to the dough and the ingredients used, which are always of the highest quality. There are only 2 pizzas on the menu. This historic venue has already celebrated and surpassed 100 years of business. There are indubitably many reasons that justify such longevity and customer loyalty.
Piazza del Plebiscito
A short walk from the sea is Piazza del Plebiscito, one of the largest in the city and all of Italy, which is often used for concerts and large events. It is impossible to remain immobile in front of the historic neoclassical colonnade, whose origins date back to the 1600s. The same applies to the famous Teatro San Carlo, which is one of the most important international opera houses in existence. Not far from the piazza, to change it up a bit after Michele’s wonderful pizza is Mennella, better known as the best ice cream shop in the city of Naples. There are 15 flavors all with natural ingredients and produced with the best fruit from the Campania region. Inside you will find waffles and cones made to order and fresh whipped cream to finish off your composition, with the possibility to even add it even inside the cone and not just on top of the ice cream.
Beneath the buildings, the monuments, and the piazzas, there is another hidden city: an underground Naples which is a fun way to discover a side of the city that we couldn’t even imagine. The entrance to the underground city is located next to the Basilica of San Paolo Maggiore, on the famous street where the local courts are located. During the excursion, you will journey back over 2,000 years while you are 40 meters underground, from tunnels and cisterns to the remains of aqueducts, as well as what remains of the ancient Greek-Roman theater.
Just near Via dei Tribunali is another of Naples’ historic pizzerias, named after its creator Gino Sorbillo, who brought the famous Italian dish to modernity. At Sorbillo, you won’t spend very much but you can eat very well. There might be a line at the entrance, but it usually goes quickly. His pizza is worth a thousand words: just looking at the consistency of the tomato, the melting of the mozzarella, we quickly understand that we experiencing the queen of all pizzas.
The underground metro stations
It sounds strange, but you have to believe it. The subway station of Naples, specifically the Toledo stop, is considered one of the most beautiful in the world, so much so that the Daily Telegraph in 2012 awarded it with a prestigious international recognition. Located in the San Giuseppe district, the subway station was designed by the architect Oscar Tusquets, with the theme of the water that impresses the passer-by with marvelous mosaics with marine motif, that seem to ferry you to another dimension with the escalators.
Continuing along the tracks, our advice is to go the Garibaldi stop, where you will also find the Central Station of Naples. Inside the square is the mythical Bar Mexico, where classic Neapolitan coffee is served in a hot cup, already sweetened, with a glass of sparkling water to drink first, as the classic Neapolitan tradition dictates.