Fun things to do in Naples

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    Basilica of San Francesco di Paola

    by shavy Written Apr 15, 2014

    Walk on the Piazza del Plebiscito, the large public square with the white cobblestones in different patterns, your eyes wander immediately to the curved facade of the church that the western side of the square embraces
    The more than 30 columns standing in a semicircle around the piazza, form an impressive backdrop for the central basilica.

    The San Francesco di Paola Church is on the pedestrianized Piazza del Plebiscito, the main square of the city, not far from the harbor

    Buses and cable cars stop near the square . The church is free and open every day but closed at the beginning of the afternoon a couple of hours. Half an hour is usually enough to walk through the church and view the artwork in the square but you might want to spend some more time if you are interested in religious art

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    Basilica di San Paolo Is On Piazza Gaetano

    by hquittner Updated Dec 13, 2013

    The church of San Paolo has a facade with a double staircase and statues of Saints Peter and Paul. The facade also contains remnants of ancient Corinthian columns from the 2C BC. The inside has a fine main altar.

    Facade of San Paolo Note the Ancient Corinthian Columns Main Altar of San Paolo
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    There Are Many Lesser Churches To See In Naples

    by hquittner Written Dec 5, 2013

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    Near the Porta Capua, slightly to the south, is the large church of the Santissima Annunziata Maggiore. The nave is surrounded by pairs of Corinthian columns with a complete entablature above it. The facade is simple and somewhat concave. There is a prominent campanile. The church housed an orphanage for several centuries until the government overtook the responsibility in the 1950s.

    Nave of Church Facade of Church Campanile
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    There Are Many Tenements Near the Capuan Gate

    by hquittner Written Nov 30, 2013

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    There are clusters of rectangular narrow streets around the Capuan Gate filled with tenements with laundry hanging across the narrow streets and at the ground level markets and open stalls in every open space not covered by parked cars and the noise of a busy world.

    Tenement Street Fish Stall Small Fancy Suit and Dress
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    Meet The People

    by painterdave Written Nov 6, 2012

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    If you are walking Naples, take some time and get to know the people. If you find it hard to talk to them, think of a question and ask someone. Those shopkeepers, workers, nuns, and teens seem to enjoy talking to visitors. We had the greatest discussion with a senior citizen on the bus who told us that his job was to transport prisoners all over Italy. We got his viewpoint on restaurants, where to go, and life in general.
    We found the people always interested to know who we were and where we were from, all of which opened the door to talk about everything under the sun. These moments I remember to be special, and I think you will have your own to bring home.
    Don't be afraid to break the ice!

    Chances To Know Someone Famous Pizza Makers Just Waiting For Conversation & A Break From Work Waiters Like To Talk To Customers
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    La Solfatara

    by JeanNavedo Updated Jun 15, 2012

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    Il Vulcano Solfatara (or just simply La Solfatara) is a Volcano in Pozzuoli, Italy about 10 km from Naples. It is essentially a volcanic crater with massive sulfur deposits exposed above ground. Yes the smell can be quite annoying, however, it's a beautiful park, and the cafe on the park grounds has some pretty good espresso and gelatto.

    There's also a campsite in the park with showers, washers, dryers, and bathroom facilities.

    Solfatara Solfatara Solfatara Solfatara
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    Like walking in the horror movie..

    by Turska Updated May 1, 2012

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    At Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco (what a name!) -church cellar there is a graveyard inside. It was quite greepy! I felt like walking in to the horror movie and like in any moment a killer coul come behind the corner and bury be with his old victoms allready buried in here.. I don´t understand why someone might have wanted to by buried this way. Not under the sky, but at the dark cellar. If the graves weren´t creepy enough, there was also sceletons (yes, I have seen them before, and even more of them at some churces but) some of these were dressed, like one with bridal crown. If we understood it right, it was the scull of some onehappily died bride, just before her wedding or something like that. If so, why do local brides come to ask her a good marriage?? Beats me..
    And why do they bring plastic roses to graves? O.k., they do last longer, but if you would take plastic roses to frave in Finland, it would be allmost insult to the buried one..
    It wasn´t open whole day. When we went before 15.00, they said we need to wait until 15.00 to get in. There´s no that kind of info at their page. The church was open all the day, but the cellar (witch also paid a little, 3e or something) wasn´t open all the time.

    Scull at the front of this little church Grvaes at the cellar..greepy.. She had lots of letter from brides to be! Huge black cross on the wall Plastic roses for dead people.. strange..
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    Bothanical garden

    by blusky Written Apr 12, 2012

    Oasis of green in the city of Naples. One moment you're walking through one of the noisest streets and in the next moment you're enjoying shadows and light breeze surrounded by the green. It's nice change.

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    The National Archaeological Museum

    by leics Updated Nov 5, 2011

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    Yes, you must go.. even if this is the only thing you visit in Naples. The museum is housed in a rather magnificent 1586, originally the headquarters for the University of Naples and later used as a cavalry barracks before being turned into a museum during the late 1700s.

    The best sculptures, paintings and mosaics from Pompeii, Herculaneum and the other ancient sites are gathered here (and other things too). That does not, of course, mean you will see them all; there are simply far, far too many of them.

    And you may well find, as I did, that some galleries are closed for restoration or renovation or re-exhibition or...well, just because they are closed (lack of staff, perhaps?).

    But even so you will see the most magnificent things: vast sculptures, intricately-detailed sculptures, amazingly-skilful sculptures.......incredible mosaics made fromn the tiniest of tiny stone pieces or (a style I'd not come across before) larger slices of black and white stone...cases of glass vessels (some of which could have been produced yesterday), of ironwork, of pottery...and a whole hall of magnificent centrepieces from the superb frescoes found in the richest buildings destroyed in the Vesuvian eruption of AD79.

    There's a 'secret cabinet' as well. It contains the rudest of the frescoes and artefacts from Pompeii, considered in the past to be inappropriate for general public viewing and, even now, considered inappropriate for general public viewing. You can gain access (if you are over 14) by asking at the information desk but I did not know that before I arrive at the iron gates to the room, and I simply couldn't be bothered to go all the way down, ask, and come all the way back up again.

    This place is absolutely unmissable if you have any interest whatsoever in ancient sites and ancient lives. Even if you have visited Pompeii, Herculaneum Oplontis and so on you still need to go because those sites have been stripped of the artefacts which really demonstrate both their wealth and the wealth of Roman culture in AD79.

    See my mosaic photos here and my sculpture photos here and here

    Open 0900 -1930 every day except Tuesday. Closed 25th December, 1st January, 1st May.

    Entrance in October 2011 was 6.50 euro. Note that credit/debit cards are *not* accepted. There are audioguides available for hire at 5 euro.

    Museum exterior Gigantic sculptures Intricately-detailed sculptures Magnificent mosaics Beautiful glass
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    Santa Maria Restituta and the baptistry

    by leics Written Oct 30, 2011

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    You access the basilica of Santa Maria Restituta via the Duomo itself. Although once a separate church, the two buildings are now one.

    SM Restituta is the oldest structure in modern Naples, a church which was first erected under Emperor Constantine in the 3rd century (200s). As soon as you enter you can feel its age: the columns supporting the roof came from a Roman temple which stood on the same site.

    It's a lovely place, its side-chapels decorated in styles over the centuries. One in particular (on the far left, as you look towards the altar) has the most beautiful mosaic apse, with golden touches which reminded me very much of the early Byzantine mosaic work I have seen in similarly old Christian structures.

    But SM Restituta has more for you to uncover, for its 4th century (300s) baptistry has been restored and renovated. You'll have to pay a small fee (1.50 euro in 2011) to enter, but it is worth it to see the 5th century (400s) frescoes and the vast stone font which, it is thought, originally came from a temple to Dionysus. Look at it, cast your mind back almost 2000 years, see believers undergoing total immersion when they were accepted into the faith...

    Like almost all the centro storico, the Duomo is built on top of the Graeco-Roman city. You can access these excavations from SM Restituta (a Roman street, an earlier church with mosaic floors) but, unfortunately, when I visited the excavations were closed. It was not clear whether this was an ongoing closure.

    I was unclear about whether photography is actually allowed in SM Restituta, but noticed others taking photos without comment from staff.

    5th century fresco SM Restituta Truly ancient stone font Beautiful Byzantine-style mosaicwork 5th century fresco
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    Wander the centro storico

    by leics Written Oct 30, 2011

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    Naples' historical centre is absolutely fascinating.

    It's a rabbit-warren of narrow streets and arched alleyways, decrepit buildings, tiny shops, cobbles, hidden courtyards..... and a vibrant atmosphere.

    Naples centro storico is literally built on top of Graeco-Roman Naples...underneath your feet lie two-storey-high Roman streets, temples, theatres, cisterns, water-channels... The two main streets (Via dei Tribunali and Via San Biagio dei Librai, follow the exact lines of the Roman decumanus major and decumanus inferior (and those original streets still lie below).

    But in modern centro storico you'll find shops selling everything you could possibly desire (from junk to one-off artworks), scooters picking their way through the crowds, trolleys making deliveries, people shopping, neighbours chatting,children wandering home from school, cafe staff taking trays of espresso orders to and from local offices, tiny street shrines, odd bits of Roman stonework cannibalised and re-used.....and, everywhere, the iconic (to me, anyway) Neopolitan sight of washing lines strung across the streets.

    Absolutely unmissable. I could have spent all day just wandering this area of Naples.

    It's a maelstrom of crowded humanity but absolutely wonderful to explore.

    What's up there? Fruit and vegetables...and clothes... What's under that archway? Street shrine. What's along there?
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    The mill valley

    by egicom05 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    In the small town of Gragnano there is a mill valley which allows you to redescover some ancient traditions which made the town the main centre of the “white art”. The road to reach the valley begins behind the bell-tower of Corpus Domini church, in the town centre. Along Vernotico stream 25water-mills for the grind stone of wheat were already working in the middle age and continued till last century. The mill activity increased until becoming the main source of meal supplying for ovens in Naples. The factories of “long dough” were first beside the mills, then, they supplanted them starting up the end of XVII and above all in XVIII. The manufacture of pasta, which needed bran of hard wheat, became the best in Naples kingdom. Its success was helped by some good circumstances like abundance of pure water, a quite humid and windy climate and capability of excellent workers who used to work wheat by products and who became artists creating “the white art”.
    Some mills, even if in ruins, are still today a visible in the rich vegetation and Monaco mill, Ponte di castello mill, Zi’Cesare mill, Grotticella mill, Forma mill…generate a very suggestive landscape. The valley ends up with an appreciated water source, the “forma”.
    The tradition still goes on. Actually there are several pasta factories (Garofalo, Faella…) many of those can also be visited. The secret of their success is the use of ancient techniques during some phases of working , like natural drying process and bronze draw-plates for different shapes of pasta. Every two years in September they prepare a “Museum of Pasta” near S.Michael cloister in S.Croce street, where are saved ancient utensils and essential pasta machines, like for example the fans for drying pasta, different sized balances, different bronze draw-plates for the several shapes of pasta, paper for the end-packaging of products like the unforgettable “light blue-paper” and much more. One of the main exhibitions is “Maccaroni feast” usually in September.
    [Egicom05]

    Old Mill in Gragnano
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    The golden mile

    by egicom05 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The term "Miglio d'Oro", describes the line of the Strada Reggia delle Calabrie (The Royal Road of Calabrie), because of the very high concentration of eighteenth-century villas, and also architectural manufactured articles of very high value, which from San Giovanni a Teduccio almost reaches the borders of Torre Annunziata.
    Of the former 200 villas, at present 121 are under the guardianship of the Ente Ville Vesuviane (Organism for Vesuvian Villas), and the greater part of them now belongs to private citizen. It is however possible to arrange a tour among the many residences scattered on the vesuvian territory, so as to be able to admire both the amazing architectures, and the wonderful furniture, still preserved inside the villas. From a strictly architectural point of view, villas have the typical characteristics of the baroque, and rococo style, a scenographic taste, a wise use of perspective effects, with an architecture behind the scenes, and with backgrounds like the Vesuvio, and the sea.
    A tour among the villas of the vesuvian area, can only start from Portici. First stop at Reggia di Portici, that from 1873 became the centre of the Agrarian Faculty of Naples University Federico II. Approaching Ercolano dont miss a visit to Villa Campolieto, which regained its original magnificence, after some restoration works made thanks to the ente Ville Vesuviane (Organisam protecting Vesuvian Villas), that purchased it.
    From Ercolano let's move to San Giorgio a Cremano. First stop is at Villa Bruno. Its actual aspect is strongly influenced by the transformations operated during the neo-classic period. Another villa to be visited is Villa Tufarelli built in the sixtheenth century, to be a chase country house. Also Torre del Greco is part of the so-called Miglio d'Oro and also in this place it is possible to have a look at a series of villas, whose natural aspect has been altered. Very important is the roman site of Oplonti with the magnificent Poppea and Crassio’s villas.
    [Egicom05 - Naples Eyes]

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    If it rains...

    by xxgirasolexx Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Stop by the National Archaelogy Museum. There is tons of stuff inside. The signs and captions for the stuff are all in Italian, but you can have a guided tour or get one of those little contraptions that you punch in the number of the exhibit and it will tell you about each article in great detail in the language of your choice. I went just to see the Egyptian stuff. There are adult mummies and even kid mummies... even a baby crocodile mummy... Oh yeah, and there was a mummified human head inside a jar complete with hair and teeth intact... There was a security guard here that took it upon himself to offer his phone number to my friend and me. He offered us free entrance the next time we are in town. Is this the part where I'm supposed to say, "What a nice guy?"

    I think this is the right picture...
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    Naples Archeological Museum

    by Lacristina Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If you're in Naples, this museum is an absolute MUST SEE! The best treasures from Pompeii and Herculaneum were brought here. There is a wonderful collection of mosaics, the most important of which is undoubtedly "Alexander the Great defeating Darius," taken from the "House of the Faun" in Pompeii. It is 10 feet high and nearly 20 feet long, with a million and a half tesserae! There's the astonishing and huge "Farnese Bull" sculpture group (the largest ancient sculpture ever found), as well as many other famous works, including paintings, bronzes, and jewelry. Be sure to sign up for the escorted tour of the delightful "Gabinetto Segreto" (Secret Room) with it's collection of ancient erotic art, including frescoes which adorned the walls of one of Pompeii's brothels (there's no extra charge for this). Even if the tour is only given in Italian, it's worth seeing. Usually open from 9 am to 8 pm, closed Tuesday. An audio guide in English is available.

    Farnese Bull: Largest ancient sculptural group!

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