Seaside promenades lead around the bay on a Naples city break, and Mount Vesuvius hovers magically on the horizon. Book a Naples hotel overlooking the sea and feel the energetic pulse of this city of baroque churches and Neapolitan cuisine.
Naples is a dizzying assault on the senses. One of Italy’s largest cities, whose historic districts combine antique grandeur with modern urban grit, it's a rugged yet ravishing experience that'll please shoppers, foodies, and culture seekers alike. The city’s neighborhoods are compellingly diverse – you can stay anywhere from the statue-filled Historic Center to the refined elegance and natural beauty of the outlying suburbs.
Generations-old, family-run craft shops, antique hideaways packed with quirky treasures, and bustling markets selling fresh local produce are all the order of the day in Naples. The city is world-renowned for its expert tailors, so it’s the perfect place to splurge on a handmade shirt or a knockout suit. Then of course there’s the food, with irresistible delis and artisan grocery stores, selling some of the finest pasta, olive oil, and wine you’ll find anywhere.
Naples may be a loud and boisterous city, but it doesn’t feel the need to shout about its many treasures. It wears them with relaxed confidence, hiding magnificent frescoes and ornate sculptures behind rough and ready urban facades. Meanwhile, great squares teem with people, who pass by glorious architecture on their way to do some shopping, with barely a second glance. But take your time in Naples, and slowly its many glories will be revealed.
Foodies, this is it: the Holy Grail. In few other places will you see such passion poured into food, with so many grocers, butchers, bakeries, cafés, and restaurants stuffed into the tiniest of streets. Naples is the fire of Italy’s oven, and the birthplace of several classic dishes, benefitting from the glut of beautiful ingredients provided by Mother Nature in this sun-soaked, coastal region. In short, it is a city to sink your teeth into.
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.
From opera and classical music concerts held in the city’s grand theaters, to trendy beach clubs with pounding electronica, nightlife in Naples is definitely eclectic. Dinner and coffee often goes on late into the evening anyway, at which point it’s easy to trip off to a wine bar or entertainment venue to keep la dolce vita going.
Any family looking for a cultural experience and a taste of adventure will be richly rewarded in Naples. If the crowds and chaos in the Centro Storico get too much, then Lungomare, the seafront promenade, is the ideal family recreation ground with parks and playgrounds. Nearby, Pompeii and Vesuvius are intriguing for any age.
From a distance, Naples can appear a little ragged around the edges - a hot, southern city with the hulking form of Mount Vesuvius in the background. But up close, it reveals grand, Renaissance palaces jostling for space alongside medieval castles, and extraordinary works of art hidden in the most ordinary of buildings.
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