Naples scared me. It has a reputation for being hard, full of mobsters, and garbage. Prior to this trip with my niece Bethany, I had never spent longer than 30 minutes in Naples. And I must admit that those 30 minutes yielded one of he scariest cab rides I’ve ever taken complete with swearing and hand gestures!
However, this time Bethany and I were on a quest to have the best pizza in Naples, and that was going to take much more than 30 minutes in Naples this time.
Taming the Beast of Naples
We spent a whole afternoon in Naples eating pizza, walking around the streets, trying deserts, going into churches, and seeing castles; all thanks to our hosts Dario and Katrina. They used to live in Naples, so it was a real treat to walk around with people who knew the city and all of the cool points of interest.
Traveling with locals is always better.
Naples is one of those cities that is very easy to be intimidated by, and having a local show you around brings that intimidation factor down. I was able to relax in the city and realized that what I initially thought was scary about Naples was actually the stuff that made it interesting and unique.
In fact, I now think of Naples as a cute little kitten as opposed to the man-eating lion I vision I had from my previous visit.
Once I spent more time in Naples, I realized that what I really loved about it was the grittiness of the city. It had a hard edge to it. It wasn’t full of tourists looking for limoncello, it was real. Locals were out and about shopping, there were little fresh markets on the corners, and people made quick stops in coffee bars to get their espresso fix.
Photo Walking Naples Points of Interest
There are many points of interest in Naples, but the best way to see Naples is by foot. Simply take the day walking around and absorbing the culture. Thanks to our slow walking pace we were able see and photograph some cool sites such as this tree mixed in with graffiti art (my favorite tree ever by the way).
Venice’s Narrow Alleys
Be sure to explore the narrow laundry-lined streets and alleys. The streets looked like a giant Christmas tree with lights and decorations strung from branch to branch in the form of laundry. In addition, you often had beautiful, soft light shining through the alleys that gave them a romantic feel.
Piazza del Plebiscito
You’ll find this curved architectural beauty across from the royal palace. It’s a large public square in central Naples where no cars are allowed.
Naples Pizza – Where it All Began
Naples is the birthplace of pizza, so you’d be a fool to miss out on eating some while in Naples. It simply is the best. If you talk to locals everyone has their own favorite pizza place, but if you want to follow the tourists then head to Sorbillos for their tasty (and famous) pies, but be prepared to wait a while. One thing that the locals will agree on though is HOW to eat pizza. Take notes from the locals – it’s all in the folding!
A popular stop is the Castle Nuovo erected in 1279. It was a royal seat for kings of Naples, Aragon and Spain until 1815. The castle is surrounded by a moat and also has 3 big towers. It is now a museum and open to visitors.
Churches in Naples
As I walked around the city I found churches in nearly every block! Many were practically hidden or didn’t look like churches from the outside. Wander into as many as you can as each are different and grand.
Be sure to take some time to wander the colorful markets and see all of the fresh fish and vegetables. You’ll find little markets set up in many places in the city. Make sure you find the Porta Nolana market where you can see the large variety of fish the city has to offer.
I’ve still only barely scratched the surface of Naples, but now since it’s a fuzzy little kitten in my mind, I think I’ll be planning a trip back!