Home in the UK, Naples can perhaps look a little intense or scary for a perfect short break or weekend away, compared to the likes of Paris or Barcelona. Grab a slice of the action and the city, where making pizza is an art form, will not disappoint.
Naples is home to the most famous local speciality, Pizza Margherita and I must tell you about the most amazing Margherita we were lucky enough to try in the famous 50 Kalo, Pizzeria! We came across the restaurant by chance and asked for a table – gave the young lady our name and waited with the growing queue of locals outside! Thirty five minutes later our name was called and inside we went. All in agreement it was the best pizza we had tasted. So good we just had to visit a second time. In fact, it is hard to find pizza that is below par, most cost 3-8 euros and if the locals are there, follow them inside.
For a long time Naples has received very bad press, but the city is much safer now and a place where the arts flourish. Hitting the streets you will find the locals are friendly and appear to live mainly on pizza and coffee, and drinks in a bar often come with free chunks of pizza or other snacks.
With a history reaching back through Roman period, Naples is an excellent place to go if you are looking to explore Italy’s rich past. Unlike other historical cities, here you will find ancient monuments teetering besides ultra hip new shops and cafes. Naples is home to a staggering amount of beautiful buildings, many of which are late medieval and Renaissance Churches. A daily market on Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi near the Circumvesuviana railway station is fun and great value for money. There is one street in the city where it is Christmas all year round – Via San Gregorio Armeno, in the heart of the old town.
Transport is easy, thanks to fixed rate taxi fares to many destinations and the metro system is easy to navigate. A funicular takes you up the hill to Posillipo, which is one of the most enchanting areas with fantastic views of the gulf, the vesuvio and islands. The Four star Best Western Paradiso, which was our home for three nights, is well positioned and just a few minutes from Mergellina Harbour, where you can take the hydrofoil to Ischia, Procida and Capri. The Grand Hotel Parker is Naples’ version of Claridge’s and the terrace overlooks the city (Oscar Wilde went there for afternoon tea). The mainland town of Sorrento is less than an hour away and inexpensive to visit. We took the train to Sorrento and visited Pompeii on our return journey.
At first glance Naples does not look as attractive as other city-break destinations, but its narrow, back streets contradict the glorious sights just yards away. If you visit you will see it offers archaeology and art, festivals and food, plus you have the beaches on the coastline and islands.