Naples Favorites

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  • gmg61's Profile Photo

    Tourist assistance toll free phone

    by gmg61 Written Jan 23, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: For every kind of request you can contact this toll free number
    800 22 33 66

    The service works 7 days a week, 8:30 - 19:30. Automatic answering service all around the clock.

    From abroad dial +39 06 39 96 78 51

    Website (in Englisgh, but other languages are available):
    http://www.turismoregionecampania.it/servlet/page?_pageid=55&_dad=portal30&_schema=PORTAL30&act=0&id_lang=en

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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  • vikendall's Profile Photo

    Pompeii and the Blue Grotto

    by vikendall Written Jan 22, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Naples is enchanted. The view from the various balconies in the port is magical. The water is lovely, and the old port is rustic, and beautiful. As the sun moves, the colors along the shore, the rooftops, the hues of stucco, change. It is difficult to find bad food in such settings. I had perhaps the best pizza I've ever eaten while sitting on a balcony, overlooking the harbor. You could have fed me alpo and I would have thought it wonderful. After a overland bus trip to Pompeii, through beautiful countryside, about 45 minutes, we arrived at the city of Pompeii. It was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to see the historical ruins. As much as I have read, and as many documentaries as I have seen, I still was bowled over. An absolutely must see. Pleanty of shops and hawkers, selling very fine pieces to take home for just a few euros.

    Fondest memory: Did I tell you I had the absolutely best pizza of my life there? This while sitting on a piazza, as dusk fell, magical twinkle lights came on, and music filled the streets. No wonder everyone there smiles.

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    Dining

    by ruki Written Oct 16, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Neapolitan cuisine is famous worldwide, and there is no shortage in Naples of quality restaurants catering to all budgets. Dining in a Neapolitan restaurant is traditionally a festive occasion - enlivened by the numerous variety of savory pasta and pizza dishes listed on most menus. Although pizza and pasta are the culinary symbols of Neapolitan cuisine, Naples is also known for its superb cheeses (including the famous mozzarella), its tasty fish and seafood dishes, and its delicious ice cream and pastries.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Via Tribunali - San Paulo Maggiore

    by yooperprof Updated Jun 13, 2005
    St. Paul in a niche

    Favorite thing: There have been religious associations with this site for more than 2000 years. A pagan temple was located here when Naples was "Neapolis" - the new city of Magna Graecia. Christians of the 8th Century built a church here dedicated to St. Paul, and retained two large Corinthian columns which dominate the balcony facing the Piazza.

    Much of the church was heavily damaged in earthquakes of the 17th century, and rebuilt in the course of the 18th. Much of the interior is gilded in late Baroque splendor. The church was again heavily damaged in 1943 during the Allied bombing of Naples, and has (again) been beautifully restored.

    In its intricate layering of distant and recent pasts, San Paolo Maggiore is a very Neapolitan place!

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Spaccanapoli - at Via Duomo

    by yooperprof Written Jun 13, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: I was strolling one afternoon in Naples and noticed this striking and recently renovated building at the corner of Via Duomo and Via San Biagio al Librai. I snapped a picture of it, but I didn't take the time to check out what it was. When I was back in Michigan and had my photos, no matter how much research I did in my travel guides and on the internet, this was one structure which I could not identify. What is a person do? Simple answer: ask our talented and helpful VT community for assistance!

    A wonderful band of students in Tourism Studies at the University of Naples "Federico II" saw my posting. (They go by "egicom05" and they have a great page on Naples themselves.) They took time out to check the building and report back what is was. Isn't that keen? That's what the internet should be all about!

    So that's how I know that this building was at one time the "Church of the Archconfraternity of the 3rd Order of St. Francis." Though it hasn't been used religiously since 1900, the building is currently been cleaned up and renovated, with part of the structure to be used as apartments! This would be a great location to live in Naples - right in the middle of everything.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Cappodimonte Museum - view from Vomero Hill

    by yooperprof Written Jun 13, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    skyline view, literally

    Favorite thing: The "ramparts" (isn't that a great word?) next to Castel St. Elmo offer tremendous views of Vesuvius, the Bay, and the City of Naples below. On a clear day you can see planes taking off and landing from the airport as well.

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Castel St. Elmo -- view from below

    by yooperprof Written Jun 4, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Neapolitian heights

    Favorite thing: The streets of the Centro Storico (the historic central area of Naples) tend to be narrow and tight, and so there are few vantage points to look up to the hillside to the north. But occasionally a view a possible, in which case you can understand the strategic value of commanding the heights. The Castel St. Elmo has its origins in the early Medieval period, when the knights of this area realized that "he who controls the hillside controls the port, and he who controls the port control the region."

    Related to:
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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Piazza Vanvitelli

    by yooperprof Written May 31, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    bourgeois Naples

    Favorite thing: If you start to feel claustophobic and overly-confined in the tight density of Naples' urban center, I suggest that you take the funicular or the Green line subway up Vomero Hill and get off at Piazza Vanvitelli. This is a comfortable middle-class neighborhood comparable to one you would find in any other large European city. There's nothing particularly Neapolitan about the place - but that might be welcome after spending too much time amidst narrow overcrowded streets that never receive any daylight!

    Around Piazza Vanvitelli are a number of shops, bakeries and restaurants - including Caffe Scarlatti, which I can recommend. It's two blocks down from the Piazza on Via Alessando Scarlatti.

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Cavour at his Piazza

    by yooperprof Written May 31, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Unifier

    Favorite thing: Piazza Cavour is an elongated rectangular square on the northern edge of the central historical district of Naples. It's named in honor of Camille, Count Cavour (1810-1861), the master architect of 19th century Italian unification. Cavour, a Piedmontese, was the prime minister in service to the King of Savoy-Sardinia. It was Cavour's diplomatic and strategic manuovering that provided the framework for throwing the Austrian out of Italy and ending the rule of the the minor dukes and princes over the various Italian city-states. With Guiseppe Garibaldi, Cavour was responsible for Naples becoming a part of a unified Italian state.

    (You could argue that Italian unification has been a long extended process, and that it is still continuing today. Different regions of Italy retain a very strong sense of their local identities - and this is an understatement in regards to Naples!)

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Spaccanapoli - snack bar

    by yooperprof Written May 30, 2005
    neapolitan fast food?

    Favorite thing: You're bound to get hungry while walking up Spaccanapoli, absorbing the atmosphere and engaging with all the dramatic art and architecture. Why not grab a local specialty from one of the "snack bar" vendors along the street. There are great cannolis and "sfogliatelle," but its okay if you can't speak Italian: pointing works fine!

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Spaccanapoli - Sant'Angelo a Nilo

    by yooperprof Written May 30, 2005
    Saint Angel's church

    Favorite thing: The Church of Sant'Angelo a Nilo could be easily overlooked - it is just opposite the grand San Domenico - but it is well worth a look-in. Notably, inside the fine arched doorway you will find a remarkably beautiful tomb of Cardinal Rinaldo Brancaccio. It was one of the first works of the Renaissance to be unveiled in Naples - and one of the artists who worked on it was the "wunderkind" Donatello - a rare instance of this Florentine's work being found so far south.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Spaccanapoli - Obelisk of San Domenico

    by yooperprof Written May 30, 2005
    thanksgiving offering

    Favorite thing: This stately obelisk stands proudly in the Piazza opposite the Spanish-looking Church of San Domenico. The Neapolitans have been very fond of erecting this kind of monument, usually to offers thanksgiving for deliverance from one of the many kinds of misfortune that regularly afflicts their community. (You can pick from earthquakes, volcanos, wars, famine or plague.) The occasion for this pillar was a terrible pestilence that hit Naples in 1656. The figure at the top is St. Gennaro, patron protector of the city.

    (In Italian, this is the "Guglia di San Domenico" - but do note that is Gennaro and not Domenico who presides over the square.)

    (N.B. Personal note: my Italian grandfather, born in the Abruzzi hill-town of Roccaraso, was baptised "Domenico.")

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Spaccanapoli - San Domenico Maggiore

    by yooperprof Written May 30, 2005
    A mighty fortress is this church

    Favorite thing: This church was originally commissioned in the late 13th century by Charles of Anjou, King of Naples and Sicily from 1266 to 1285 and founder of the Angevin line of kings. It became the seat of the Dominican Order here, and was closely associated with the founding of the Dominican-based University of Naples. Elements of the original medieval "Gothic" can still be found here, overlaid by layers of Renaissance and Baroque construction and re-construction over the centuries. For example, the exterior of the church was largely completed under the influence of Spanish design, which is appropriate as it was constructed in the late 15th century when Naples was ruled by the Aragonese.

    San Domenico is like other Neapolitan churches in that it contains so much notably art and design elements that the first-time visitor is likely to be overwhelmed and not know where to start looking. I was most interested in the number Renaissance and Early Modern tombs and funerary monuments, but there are also numerous paintings to consider.

    Interesting too is the fact that St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest scholastic philosophers of the Middle Ages, studied and prayed here. One of the chapels is dedicated to Aquinas and features relics associated with him.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Spaccanapoli - Gesu Nuovo

    by yooperprof Updated May 30, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    don't be fooled by the exterior!

    Favorite thing: A must-see for all Art and Architecture fans!!Fascinating and unconventional facade on this splendid Jesuit Church in the heart of "Centro Storico." The austere and rather forbidding exterior gives you absolutely no hint of the magificent gold and white marble-encrusted gem of a palatial church that lies within!!

    The building was originally constructed as a private palazzo and became known as the "Sanseverino Palace" in the early 1500s. But the owners of the place were convicted in 1584 of not being loyal to the Spanish rulers of Naples, and the palace was confiscated and re-assigned to the newly established Jesuit order. Much of the original building was destroyed, and a new church for the Jesuits built in its place. A Jesuit architect, Guiseppe Valeriano, created a brilliant showpiece designed on the plan of a Greek Cross, usually acres of marble and many pound of gilt to awe the senses and to create a proper stage for appreciating the mystery and majesty of the Mass (as they interpreted it.)

    Among the numerous and overwhelming art treasures inside are two paintings by the Spanish master long resident in Naples, Jusepe de Ribera. Thus, Gesu Nuova as a whole attests to the power and wealth of Spain and of the Jesuit order in early modern Naples, and their ability to use Art and Architecture as tools in supporting and propagating their world-view.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Spaccanapoli - Piazza del Gesu

    by yooperprof Written May 26, 2005
    Honoring the Immaculate Virgin

    Favorite thing: This Baroque obelisk - the Guglia dell'Immacolata - stands at the western end of the Neapolitan avenue known as "Spaccanapoli." The Piazza del Gesu in which it stands is considered to be the entrance point of the oldest part of the city, the quarter which still retains much of its ancient and early medieval character and atmosphere.

    Although the construction of the obelisk was organized by the Jesuits of the nearby "Gesu Nuovo," it was financed through donations from the ordinary townfolk who lived in its midst, and there it has the character of a popular religious icon or devotional object. The obelisk still plays an important role in what must be called the peculiar "religiously civic" life of Naples: every year, on December 8th, the Feast Day of the Immuculate Virgin, a ladder is leaned against the statue, and both the Mayor and the Cardinal of the city both climb the ladder to the top so that they may jointly place a wreath of honor on the figure of Mary at the pinnacle.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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