If you arrive here by air, be sure to be prepared for the chaos at "Capo" Airport. Outside doesn't look or act like an airport you are used to from the states. It's even different than airports I've been to (Frankfurt, Heathrow, Stansted, Montpellier, and Pescara in Europe)
The location couldn't be much worse. There is no easy access to downtown from here. You can't take the train to Napoli Centrale so you must rely on cabs or a rental car. If you haven't been here before, and are renting a car, be prepared. Drive straight out the front, go through the circle, and take a right at the intersection. Get on the Tangenziale and proceed with extreme caution on the freeway. Follow the signs to Centro if you are going in that direction. Good luck.
Chocolate in Napoli
Gay Odin Chocolate shop is located on the famous Via Toledo downtown. Via Toledo is the the most popular shopping area in the city. Gay Odin has been around since 1894, and is even highly recommended by some travel guides. Chocolates
Albanesi, Trifoglio, Scorzette, Tarallini, Limoncello, Cremini,Verdeprato,
Bombonati, Africanelle, Pasta di mandorla, Chicchi al caffé, Vittoria, Tripolini,
Scricchioli, Deliziosi, Preferiti, Giapponesi, Navette, Cozze, Cico cico, Semitenero,
Formettato, Cremalthe, Columbia, Esploratori, Nugatine, Grissini, Fondant.
Without a doubt, our favourite.
We stumbled on this restaurant while shopping near via Toledo.
The staff were very friendly and helpful. Some spoke English. Expect to pay about L55000 - 60000 per person for a 3 course meal with drinks. Apparently, this place is famous for it's desserts and we tried two different ones. One was called babà and was slice of light sponge cake, soaked in rum and topped with thick custard (Americans might call it vanilla pudding). Then it was topped with wild strawberries. The other dessert was a sort of cheesecake and tasted very similar to the sfogliatelle we had earlier.
They had a good selection of seafood and this is mostly what we ate. We were there twice and this is a few of the dishes we had:
Seafood fetticini, gnocchi Napoletana, ziti with ricotta and Napoletana sauce, octopus served room temperature with oil, lemon and rocket, roasted yellow peppers and steamed asparagus.
The highs and lows of Napoli.
Yes, most of Naples is a congested and chaotic mesh of people and metal. Thankfully, there are places in the city where you can get away from it all without actually being away from it all.
Naples sports a few funiculars that can rather quickly will take you up to new heights. The highest points of all three funiculars will drop you off in the well-to-do middle class neighborhood of Vomero, which is significantly more sedate and quiet than the maddness down below. There isn't really all that much to do here beyond visiting Castel Sant'Elmo and the Certosa di Sant Martino (both worthwhile visits); yet there are some great restaurants and cafes to eat and relax at. Piazza Vanvitello is a nice area with good views, places to eat, and quality shops.
For a different kind of quiet, there are a handful of catacombs that snake beneath the city. Essentially elaborate underground tombs; they are dark, damp, but at least it IS quiet down there. Some of the better known catacombs are the Catacomba di San Gaudioso and Catacomba di san Gennaro.
Of course you could just stay at sea level and go for a stroll along the Lungomare (seafront) - which is especially enjoyable on warm & sunny weekends.
Church of San Francesco di Paola
Ferdinando I had the church built in 1817 as a thankyou offering for the reconquest of his kingdom after ten years of French control. Work was begun by Pietro Bianchi who recreated the forms of the Roman Pantheon, in full neogothic style. Inside, statues and paintings of the same period can be seen, as well as the high altar, whose origin is in the 17th century. The doric hemicycle, built by order of Joachim Murat in 1810, extends from the church and embraces half the piazza with great scenic effect. In the centre of the piazza are equestrian statues of Charles III of Bourbon, by Antonio Canova, and of Ferdinando I, of which the horse is Canova's work.