Naples, Italy’s Gem

Naples is not only the capital of the Campania region, it’s also the gateway to the Amalfi Coast and the Isle of Capri. Naples is one of the finest examples of authentic Italy. From the mozzarella to the austere sights, the city of Naples has something for everyone, and more than enough for most of us.

The city of Naples is beautiful not only for its sights and history, but simply because it’s located in such a fabulous place. The city sits on one of the world’s most delightful bays and the scenery is dominated by Mount Vesuvius – the same volcano that destroyed Pompeii. When arriving, take in the views and the overall impression of the city before settling in to some serious culture and experiences.

At the heart of the city, you’ll find the castle built in the 13th century. This proud relic is surrounded by an authentic moat and is protected by five guard towers. After examining the castle and learning a bit about why such a massive structure was necessary all those centuries ago, head over to the church of S. Francesco di Paola, in Piazza Plebiscito. The sweeping grandeur of the structure is simply to see from the piazza, but even better when you’re studying the monument closely.

In the evening, arrange tickets to an opera at Teatro San Carlo. Not only is this a luxurious theater in Naples, it’s one of the most extravagant theaters in all of Italy. Attend an opera and you’ll have the opportunity to bedazzle others with your splendor while you admire that of others and the opera house itself. If opera isn’t your style, you can still see the populace simply by finding a comfortable seat inside the Galleria, Naples most posh meeting spot.

The next day, you can leave society haunts behind and spend some time in the religious section of the city. Within these blocks are countless churches and religious monuments available for viewing although most will be in use for religious purposes and functions as they are still very much in use today.

In the religious sector, you’ll find two of the city’s religious treasures. The first is the Bourbon’s church, Santa Chiara. The church has a hand-painted majolica cloister, considered to be one of the most beautiful sights in the city. The other treasure in the religious area is found in two small ampules. This is the blood of San Gennaro, a Christian martyr who is actually the city’s patron saint. The blood should liquefy three times a year during the Miracle of San Gennaro. If it doesn’t, this is a very bad sign for the city.