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Backpacking in Naples


Known for its rich history, art, culture and gastronomy, Naples has played an important part in history. An ancient 2,800 years old and located halfway between Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, the city is the birthplace of the pizza, the romantic guitar and the mandolin.

Regarded as the third largest city in Italy, its economy is based largely in tourism, commerce, industry and agriculture. Despite being a modern city bustling with business, Naples is home to some of the most prominent architecture from the medieval, renaissance and baroque periods. In fact, the historical centre of Naples has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The most striking architectural characteristic of Naples is its Catholic churches, reaching to 488 in number. Football is something of a religion in this part of the world and music play a large part in the city’s identity.

What to see

Naples has a scattering of piazzas, palaces, castles and even museums. There’s the Piazza del Plebiscito and the Castel Nuovo, and the Piazza dei Martiri, somewhat controversial because the monument of the Four Lions was added after the Italian unification. The Naples National Archeological Museum is one of the main museums in the city and is home to many rare finds.

Underneath Naples, you will also find a series of caves and structures created by the many centuries of mining in the area. Many of these underground tunnels are part of tours and there’s even a museum.

Tourists can also visit the surrounding islands of Procida, Capri and Ischia via a short ferry ride. The scenic Sorrento and Amalfi coast are also nearby.

Getting there and around

The Capodichino Airport is Naples’ main connection with Italian and European destinations. Located 8km northeast of the city, the airport is serviced by major airlines like Alitalia, British Airways and Go. There are also several buses and trains which service the city so transportation is not a big problem. Those who want added convenience can opt to hire a car, a motorcycle and a taxi.

Where to sleep

There’s only one official HI Naples hostels but there are a number of guesthouse type establishments. For budget accommodation, you can also check out several private and dormitory listings. Some of the most popular include the Hostel of the Sun, Welcome Inn Hostel, La Controra Flashpackers Hostel and the Hostel and Hotel Bella Capri.

Where to eat

Whether you are looking for gourmet or local cuisine, local specialties such as Calzone and Carozza, or fast food, you will surely find a restaurant, trattoria and pizzeria to answer your cravings. But if you are travelling on a budget then it’s best to head out for the market, and pick up some fresh produce to prepare back at the hostel.

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