is a saying, “To see Naples is to die”. This is not
a foretelling of doom. It is just a very apt statement about Naples.
There is so much to see and experience in this city that afterwards
nothing will compare to the experience.
Whether you are a history buff, an art lover,
a student of humanity or just someone who wants to experience a
totally different culture, you’ll enjoy Naples. The history
of this country reaches into antiquity. Art is everywhere. The scenery
To save money make sure you purchase the Campania artecard. The
card covers museum admission and transport, and comes in various
forms. The Campania artecard can be purchased (prices range from
€13 to €28) at newsagents, train stations, participating
museums and on the Internet.
The Castell dell’ovo is a must see when
you get to Naples. Although its name translates to Castle of the
Egg, the castle is not egg shaped; nor is it made from eggs. It
gets its name from a medieval legend that says that the poet Virgil
placed an egg inside a jar and hung it on the truss of a coffin
hidden underground. Legend says that if the egg breaks, the castle
and Naples will be cursed for years.
Another place to see is the Castell Nuovo. The
triumphal arch is a masterpiece as is the bas-relief of Alfonso
I or Aragon. The statues of the four cardinal virtues are exquisite
and the bronze doors, with the cannonball embedded, is an interesting
sight as well as an interesting story to hear. If you have a vivid
imagination, think of the days when the moat hosted a crocodile
that ate any prisoners who had the misfortune to get thrown in.
Luckily, it was found, killed and stuffed in the 19th century.
Mount Vesuvius looks so beautiful, looming off
the bay of Naples. It is a wonder of Nature. It is actually a volcano
within a volcano. Mount Vesuvius (known as the gran cono) is within
the remains of Mount Somma separated by a valley called Valle del
Gigante. It is an interesting site, if one is willing to take the
long walk from the park to the top.
Of more interest to most people are the artifacts
found after Mount Vesuvius exploded in 79 AD. It was a tragedy when
Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried but good can come out of such
a catastrophe. The ashes preserved quite a bit of Pompeii and Herculaneum,
allowing us to have a glimpse of the life and culture of this ancient
civilization. Silverware, glass and even loaves of bread almost
2000 years old have been found in a well preserved state and now
sit in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale.
The world-renowned Museo Archeologico Nazionale
is also worth visiting to see the Farnese Collection. The Farnese
Hercules is a wonderful sculpture and one of the few showing Hercules
in repose. The collection is also valuable because they are roman
samples of classical Greek sculptures.
If you want to truly get to know Naples, walk
down the Spaccanapoli. This road literally divides Naples into two,
exactly as its name means. You’ll see many churches such as
the Santa Maria of Seven Sorrows, church of Gesu and the Capella
Sansevero. There are palaces to see on the way such as the Filomarino
della Rocca and the Capone Palace which was the residence of the
Venetian envoys to the Kingdom of Naples for almost a century beginning
from 1412 to 1511.
Like any city, some roads twist and turn and it
can be an interesting adventure walking around in underground Naples,
the market or even just finding your way back to your hotel. Wherever
you go, look for the works of art. They are all over, in the gardens,
the homes as well as in the museums. Naples is a travel destination
that you will never forget!
• Sightseeing in Rome
• Sightseeing in Venice
• Sightseeing in Florence
• Sightseeing in Milan
• Sightseeing in Turin
• Sightseeing in Amalfi
• Sightseeing in Verona