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Naples, Italy Travel Guide

Italy

Best Things To Do in Naples, Italy

Naples is a sprawling city, but most of its best things to do are tucked in the pedestrian-friendly historic center. This UNESCO World Heritage site and its surroundings are home to churches like the Museo Cappella Sansevero, which doubles as an art museum, and the Galleria Borbonica, an underground tunnel filled with curiosities. The most refreshing place to stretch your legs and experience the warm, salty air is along the Via Carrociolo e Lungomare di Napoli, but for the best views, head up the funicular to the Certosa e Museo di San Martino, a monastery-turned-gallery.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Naples, Italy

Free
For a nice seaside promenade, look no further than the Via Caracciolo e Lungomare di Napoli. Flanked by cafes and restaurants on one side and the Gulf of Naples on the other, this walkway serves as a relaxing place to stretch your legs and breathe in the fresh sea air. The views of nearby Mount Vesuvius and the island of Capri add an almost magical element to this pedestrian walkway. 
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Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Via Caracciolo e Lungomare di Napoli
For a nice seaside promenade, look no further than the Via Caracciolo e Lungomare di Napoli. Flanked by cafes and restaurants on one side and the Gulf of Naples on the other, this walkway serves as a relaxing place to stretch your legs and breathe in the fresh sea air. The views of nearby Mount Vesuvius and the island of Capri add an almost magical element to this pedestrian walkway. 
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#2

#2 in Naples, Italy

The highlight of the Museo Cappella Sansevero is the "Veiled Christ," a statue created by the Neapolitan artist Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1753. The famously realistic statue rests at the center of the chapel, but there are other works of art on display here, too, including the Statues of the Virtues, which portray themes like "Decorum," "Modesty" and "Sincerity." The chapel itself, in both its 18th-century architecture and design, is also a sight to behold. Once you've toured the chapel, head downstairs to the crypt, where the "Anatomical Machines" exhibit is housed. Not for the faint of heart, the exhibit features two glass cases with the skeletons of a man and woman that have their artery and vein systems exposed. It's believed these skeletons date back to 1763. 
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Museo Cappella Sansevero (Sansevero Chapel Museum)
The highlight of the Museo Cappella Sansevero is the "Veiled Christ," a statue created by the Neapolitan artist Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1753. The famously realistic statue rests at the center of the chapel, but there are other works of art on display here, too, including the Statues of the Virtues, which portray themes like "Decorum," "Modesty" and "Sincerity." The chapel itself, in both its 18th-century architecture and design, is also a sight to behold. Once you've toured the chapel, head downstairs to the crypt, where the "Anatomical Machines" exhibit is housed. Not for the faint of heart, the exhibit features two glass cases with the skeletons of a man and woman that have their artery and vein systems exposed. It's believed these skeletons date back to 1763. 
... more

#3

#3 in Naples, Italy

Founded in the 14th century as a Carthusian monastery, the Certosa e Museo di San Martino sits high above the city on Vomero hill, leaving visitors in awe of its intricate exteriors, immaculately-designed cloisters and sweeping skyline views. The interior has undergone many alterations over its centuries of existence, including contributions by famous Italian masters Giovanni Antonio Dosio and Cosimo Fanzago. Visitors will also find 17th-century works by such famed artists as Francesco Solimena, Massimo Stanzione, Jusepe de Ribera and Battista Caracciolo. What's more, the Certosa e Museo di San Martino is home to an impressive collection of antique presepi (nativity scenes). 
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Churches/Religious Sites Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Certosa e Museo di San Martino
Founded in the 14th century as a Carthusian monastery, the Certosa e Museo di San Martino sits high above the city on Vomero hill, leaving visitors in awe of its intricate exteriors, immaculately-designed cloisters and sweeping skyline views. The interior has undergone many alterations over its centuries of existence, including contributions by famous Italian masters Giovanni Antonio Dosio and Cosimo Fanzago. Visitors will also find 17th-century works by such famed artists as Francesco Solimena, Massimo Stanzione, Jusepe de Ribera and Battista Caracciolo. What's more, the Certosa e Museo di San Martino is home to an impressive collection of antique presepi (nativity scenes). 
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#4

#4 in Naples, Italy

The Catacombe di San Gennaro date back to the second century, but they became a pilgrimage site in the fifth century when San Gennaro – the patron saint who lends his name to the catacombs – was laid to rest here. Along with the underground graves, visitors will view art, including fifth-century mosaics and a third century, Pompeian-style room adorned with early Christian-themed paintings. 
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Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Catacombe di San Gennaro
The Catacombe di San Gennaro date back to the second century, but they became a pilgrimage site in the fifth century when San Gennaro – the patron saint who lends his name to the catacombs – was laid to rest here. Along with the underground graves, visitors will view art, including fifth-century mosaics and a third century, Pompeian-style room adorned with early Christian-themed paintings. 
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#5

#5 in Naples, Italy

The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli is where you'll find artifacts rescued from Pompeii and Herculaneum. The collection includes everything from Greek and Roman sculptures to intricate mosaics. The building itself is also a sight to behold, as it once served as military barracks before it became the city's main university. It didn't become a museum until Charles VII declared it so in the late 18th century. 
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (Naples National Archaeological Museum)
The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli is where you'll find artifacts rescued from Pompeii and Herculaneum. The collection includes everything from Greek and Roman sculptures to intricate mosaics. The building itself is also a sight to behold, as it once served as military barracks before it became the city's main university. It didn't become a museum until Charles VII declared it so in the late 18th century. 
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#6

#6 in Naples, Italy

The Galleria Borbonica – or Bourbon Tunnel – is an unfinished underground passageway commissioned by King Ferdinand II and carved back in the 19th century as an escape route that would link the Royal Palace of Naples to military barracks in Via della Pace (now Via Morelli). Though the tunnel was never finished, it was used in World War II as an air raid shelter and military hospital. Along your tour of the tunnel, you'll spot debris and period relics, including vintage cars. 
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Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Galleria Borbonica (Bourbon Tunnel)
The Galleria Borbonica – or Bourbon Tunnel – is an unfinished underground passageway commissioned by King Ferdinand II and carved back in the 19th century as an escape route that would link the Royal Palace of Naples to military barracks in Via della Pace (now Via Morelli). Though the tunnel was never finished, it was used in World War II as an air raid shelter and military hospital. Along your tour of the tunnel, you'll spot debris and period relics, including vintage cars. 
... more

#7

#7 in Naples, Italy

Two of the area's most iconic locales – Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii – can be found roughly 15 miles away from central Naples. Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano left on Europe's mainland, while Pompeii, which fell victim to one of Mount Vesuvius' eruptions in A.D. 79, is a UNESCO World Heritage city that was preserved by the volcano's ash. It was not rediscovered until 1748. 
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Monuments and Memorials Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius
Two of the area's most iconic locales – Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii – can be found roughly 15 miles away from central Naples. Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano left on Europe's mainland, while Pompeii, which fell victim to one of Mount Vesuvius' eruptions in A.D. 79, is a UNESCO World Heritage city that was preserved by the volcano's ash. It was not rediscovered until 1748. 
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#8

#8 in Naples, Italy

Originally commissioned in 1738 as a hunting lodge for Charles VII, king of Naples and Sicily, this grand palace took more than a century to construct. These days, it serves as a museum, hanging works by names like Titian, Sandro Botticelli and Michelangelo da Caravaggio, among other well-known Italian and Neapolitan artists, as well as Andy Warhol. 
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Museo di Capodimonte
Originally commissioned in 1738 as a hunting lodge for Charles VII, king of Naples and Sicily, this grand palace took more than a century to construct. These days, it serves as a museum, hanging works by names like Titian, Sandro Botticelli and Michelangelo da Caravaggio, among other well-known Italian and Neapolitan artists, as well as Andy Warhol. 
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#9

#9 in Naples, Italy

Free
Nicknamed "Christmas Alley," Via San Gregorio Armeno bustles year-round with artisans hawking goods, such as nativity and celebrity statuettes, as well as the famous terracotta figurines created by Giuseppe Ferrigno. Visitors will find ornaments resembling everyone from the pope to popular football players to baby Jesus. Curiously, Elvis shows up here, too.
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Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Via San Gregorio Armeno (Christmas Alley)
Nicknamed "Christmas Alley," Via San Gregorio Armeno bustles year-round with artisans hawking goods, such as nativity and celebrity statuettes, as well as the famous terracotta figurines created by Giuseppe Ferrigno. Visitors will find ornaments resembling everyone from the pope to popular football players to baby Jesus. Curiously, Elvis shows up here, too.
... more
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