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Read on to discover why Naples will open your eyes, tantalise your taste buds and steal your heart…
Italy’s third-largest city. The capital of Campania. Home to three million people. None of these factual titbits can prepare you for the onslaught of sensory experiences delivered by holidays to Naples. Why? Because Naples is a behemoth of pulsing activity, a constantly changing destination that ebbs and flows with life like the swell of passengers that stream in and out of the bustling port.
At the lower end of the crime scale, graffiti artists score the city’s architecture with their spray cans. At the top end, corruption sullies the waters of authority. But you don’t even have to scratch the surface to uncover the marvelousness beneath it all. It’s there in the opera houses, the palaces and museums, the rich mouthful of perfect coffee and the cheese-topped slice of pizza perfection.
Naples holidays can be spent within the borders of the city centre, perusing art, touring cathedrals, shopping for fine Italian threads, and licking your fingers after yet another delicious dish of authentic fare. Or they can be enjoyed mingling with the summer crowds, where the surf meets the sands and the sounds of the lively coastal scene. Alternatively, skip along the craggy shoreline to the south and stop in at Sorrento, hop across to Capri or find out what makes hearts flutter wildly in gorgeous Amalfi. Hire a car in Naples and you are no more than 90 minutes from Sorrento and Amalfi (or a ferry journey from Capri). For a totally different daytrip, head towards the fearsome Mt Vesuvius crouching low on the horizon beside Naples. It erupted nearly 2,000 years ago and buried the city of Pompeii under a blanket of ash. And no trip to Naples is complete without a haunting walk around the temples, theatres, homes, public baths and cart-worn streets of this unearthed city.
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Plan your trip around the weather with our brief guide on when to book cheap getaways to Naples…
Perched at the edge of the Med, you can expect warmish weather in spring and autumn, scorching summer days and mild but wet winters.
The months of spring and autumn are excellent times to visit, with cheap holiday prices, some warm days and comfortable sightseeing conditions. July and August can be unbearably hot in Naples. Many city dwellers (including business owners) pack up and head for the coast at the peak of summer, so you might also discover that some services are not operating as normal when the mercury swells past 30C.
You’ve arrived at one of the tastiest cities on the planet. Here are a few events to sink your teeth into…
Festival of San Gennaro; May, September and December: You’ve got three chances to witness this supposed miracle, when the preserved blood of the city’s patron saint is said to liquefy for the crowds gathered at the cathedral.
Summer in Naples; June-September: Warm summer evenings provide the ideal backdrop for a hit of culture. Catch an open-air film, a concert or a live theatre performance at one of the many amazing locations in the city. Check before you travel to see what’s on.
Pizzafest; September: Tomatoes from the volcanic plains, mozzarella made with milk from herds of local water buffalo (yes, really)… the best pizza on the planet is celebrated, discussed, prepared and devoured during this annual event.
Culture, food, history, shopping… will you answer when Naples calls?
Kids and teens: History comes alive in Pompeii and there is much to keep young minds enthralled in this fascinating ghost town just half an hour from Naples. Bring hats and plenty of water in summer (and sunscreen, of course).
Romance: Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast lure the romantics, that’s for sure. But don’t overlook Naples as a source of romance. Take a seat at any bay-facing café table and order something cold, or wander among the hushed halls and masterpieces of the National Archaeological Museum, which contains frescoes from Pompeii.
Shopping: The Naples Antiques Market is a fine place to pick up a few bargains. However, its prime position between the seafront promenade and the beautiful park of Villa Comunale is the main draw for even the most zealous shoppers.