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Naples Travel Tips

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Forming a giant amphitheater around the bay of Naples, the city has an air of majesty which comes from being one of the oldest centers of civilization in the world. But time has also worn away at it, leaving its architecture a little frayed and faded, and streets which seem too small to hold the modern swell of citizens and tourists. Still, though it’s loud, crowded, and a little timeworn, that's all part of the rough and ready charm of Naples, which has a deep and joyous zest for life.

 

Best Time to Travel

 

May to June and September to October tend to be the most pleasant months in terms of temperature and crowds. Though Naples handles the high summer heat well, moving theatrical performances out of doors to avoid the stifling heat of the theaters, it can be too sizzling for some. Plus, there’s an exodus of locals in August, so some things shut down. If you want to see the highlights of religious culture, come around Christmas or Easter, or on September 19th to see the mysterious liquefaction of San Gennaro’s blood.

 

Not to Miss

 

You can’t come this close to Pompeii and miss one of the most fascinating, eerie, and historically important sites in the world. The eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD engulfed this grand Roman town in ash, preserving it for all eternity. It’s an incredibly detailed and complete example of an ancient city, and as well as the accurate casts of the poor souls who perished here, you’ll see the complexities of the city, in which bakeries, bars, and even brothels are still clearly laid out.

 

Getting around

 

Naples has an international airport located about 6 kilometers from the city center. It is served by flights from all over Europe, including major hubs such as London Gatwick and Paris Charles-de-Gaulle. There’s a very convenient airport bus which runs direct to the Stazione Centrale and then on to the main ferry port. Taxis are also widely available. Naples is not a car-friendly city, but there’s a good subway system, and funiculars to ease your journey up the hills. There’s a regular train service to Pompeii and Vesuvius.

 

Cuisine

 

Once you’ve eaten in Naples, you may be spoilt for life. It's certainly fair to say pizza will never taste as good anywhere else ever again. You'd also be hard pressed to find pastry as flaky and buttery, or coffee as dark and alluring. Campania is a region ripe in the freshest, most luscious Mediterranean produce, both from the sea and from the pastures. Food here is rustic and simple, with many of the best pizzerias only serving one or two basic varieties, but with ingredients this good, that's all you need.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Though Naples is welcoming to tourists, it’s still deeply connected to the rhythm, ritual, and riot of local life, which visitors are expected to navigate. Family and religion is at the heart of everything, so dress respectfully if visiting churches. Most things shut down on Sundays, including a lot of restaurants, so plan that into your schedule – it’s a good day for a trip out of town. Come armed with at least a few words of Italian – English isn’t always spoken, and all locals appreciate the gesture.

Fast Facts

 

Population: 961260

Spoken languages: Italian

Electrical: Italy runs on 230V, 50 Hz current

Phone Calling Code: +39 81112