Best Things to Do in Naples
Certosa e Museo di San Martino
The high point (quite literally) of this Neapolitan baroque, this charterhouse-turned-museum was assembled like a Carthusian monastery between 1325 and 1368. Centered on perhaps probably one of the very gorgeous cloisters in Italy, it adorned has been decorated and altered from a number of the finest talent architect Giovanni Antonio Dosio in the 16th century and baroque sculptor Cosimo Fanzago of Italy. Nowadays, it’s a great repository of Italian artistry and Neapolitan.
Even the monastery’s church and the sacristy, treasury and chapter dwelling which flank it comprise a banquet of frescoes and paintings with several Naples’ greatest 17thcentury artists, among them Battista Caracciolo, Jusepe de Ribera, Guido Reni, and Massimo Stanzione. From the nave, Cosimo Fanzago marble work is phenomenal.
Museo Archeologico Nazionale
Naples’ National Archaeological Museum functions one of the Graeco-Roman artifacts of the planet’s finest collections. Originally a cavalry barracks and later chair of this town’s university, the museum had been created by the Bourbon king Charles VII from the late 18th century to house the antiquities he inherited from his mother, Elisabetta Farnese, in addition to treasures looted from Pompeii and Herculaneum. Star exhibits range from the celebrated Toro Farnese (Farnese Bull) palaces and awe-inspiring mosaics in Pompeii’s Casa del Fauno.
Ahead of handling the group, look at investing at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples ($ 1-2 ), published by Electa; if you want to concentrate on the high lights, audio guides ($5) are offered in English.
It’s in this Masonic-inspired baroque chapel which you’ll find Giuseppe Sanmartino’s incredible sculpture, Cristo velato (Veiled Christ), its marble veil so realistic that it’s tempting to try to lift it and then view Christ below. It’s certainly one of the artistic wonders which have Francesco Queirolo’s sculpture Disinganno (Disillusion), Antonio Corradini’s Pudicizia (Modesty) along with riotously colorful frescoes from Francesco Maria Russo that have remained untouched since their creation in 1749.
Museo di Capodimonte
Originally constructed as a hunting lodge for Charles VII of Bourbon, the monumental Palazzo di Capodimonte was begun in 1738 and took over a century to finish. It’s currently home to the Museo di Capodimonte, southern Italy’s largest and wealthiest art gallery. Its enormous collection — much of which Charles inherited from his mum, Elisabetta Farnese — has been transferred here in 1759 and ranges from lovely altarpieces to works by Botticelli, Caravaggio, Titian, and Warhol.
Catacombe di San Gennaro
Naples’ earliest & most catacombs became a pilgrimage site when the body of San Gennaro was interred here in the 5th century. The site allows people to experience the evocative another world of broad vestibules and tombs, corridors, its treasures including 5th-century mosaics frescoes and the oldest known picture of San Gennaro, dating from the second half of the 5th century.
Envisaged as a 16th century monument to Spanish attractiveness (Naples was under Spanish rule during the time), the glorious Palazzo Reale is home into the Museo del Palazzo Reale, a rich and diverse collection of baroque and neo-classical decor, porcelain, tapestries, temples and palaces, disperse across the palace’s imperial apartments.
Whether you choose Giovanni Lanfranco’s fresco at the Cappella di San Gennaro (Length of St Janarius), the 4th-century mosaics in the baptistry, or even the thrice-annual miracle of San Gennaro, don’t overlook Naples’ cathedral. Kick-started at 1272 from Charles I of Anjou and dedicated in 1315, it was largely destroyed in a 1456 earthquake. It’s received nips and tucks.
Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara
Vast, Gothic and cleverly deceptive, the powerful Basilica di Santa Chiara stands in the middle of the tranquil monastery complex. The church has been severely damaged in WWII: Everything you see today is a diversion of the 14th century original of Gagliardo Primario. Adjoining it are the basilica’s cloisters, adorned with brightly colored 17thcentury majolica tiles and frescoes.
Gallerie d’Italia – Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano
Built for a merchant in the 17th century and reconfigured in belle-époque style by architect Luigi Platania from early 20th century, Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano houses a compact selection of Neapolitan and art. Star attraction is Caravaggio’s mesmerizing swansong, The Martyrdom of St Ursula (1610). 5 weeks before the artist’s lonely death, the painting depicts a vengeful king of the Huns piercing his reluctant virgin-bride-to-be, Ursula’s core.
Pio Monte della Misericordia
The 17thcentury church’s gallery delivers a digestible collection of baroque art and Renaissance, including works by Andrea Vaccaro, Jusepe de Ribera, Francesco de Mura, and Paul van Somer. Additionally, it is home to contemporary artworks by Italian and foreign artists, each inspired by Caravaggio’s masterpiece Le Sette opere di Misericordia (The Seven Acts of Mercy). Considered by many to be one of the most important paintings in Naples, you will discover it above the main altar from the chapel.
Traverse five centuries across Naples’ Bourbon Tunnel. Conceived from Ferdinand II in 1853 to connect with the Palazzo Reale into the barracks and also the ocean, the never-completed escape route is part of their 17th century Carmignano Aqueduct system itself incorporating 16th-century cisterns. The conventional tour does not call for pre-booking, although action Tour (85 minutes; adult/reduced $15/10) and adults-only Speleo Light Tour (90 minutes; $15) do.
Teatro San Carlo
A day at the biggest opera house in Italy is magic. Although the first 1737 theatre burnt down in 1816, the 19th-century reconstruction of Antonio Niccolini is Old World opulence. Consider taking one of those 45-minute guided tours, if you can’t make this to your performance. Tours usually take in the foyers, elegant main hallway and imperial box (the very best chair in the house) and excursion tickets may be purchased at the theatre up to fifteen minutes before each excursion begins.
Cimitero delle Fontanelle
Holding roughly eight million individual bones, the Fontanelle Cemetery was used throughout the 1656 plague, before becoming Naples’ burial site throughout the 1837 cholera epidemic. At the end of the 19th century, it became a hot spot for the anime pezzentelle (poor spirits ) cult, by which sailors embraced skulls and prayed to their spirits. Deficiency of advice at the site makes joining a trip a lot more rewarding; reputable decals comprise Cooperativa Sociale Onlus’La Paranza’.
Complesso Museale di Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco
Consecrated at 1638, the engrossing Chiesa delle cape di Morte (the church of their skulls) sits on two levels. While the top church boasts excellent paintings — notably Luca Giordano’s The Departure of St Alessio and Massimo Stanzione’s Virgin with the Souls of Purgatory — that the lower church (just accessible by guided excursion ) is most famous as a hotspot for its cult-like worship of the anime pezzentelle (poor souls).
Once you require a break out of Naples’ hyperactive tendencies, take a deep breath on its sea-front strip that is pedestrianized. Stretching 2.5km along Via Partenope and Via Caracciolo, its views are nothing short of exquisite, taking in the bay, Mt Vesuvius, two castles and Vomero’s Liberty-style villas. It romantic at dusk, when the volcano and Capri shoot to an orange hue.
Complesso Monumentale di San Lorenzo Maggiore
Even the basilica in this richly layered religious complex is deemed one of Naples’ finest medieval buildings. Aside from the Cappella al Rosario Ferdinando Sanfelice’s facade and the Cappellone di Sant’Antonio, its baroque makeover has been stripped away past century to show its Gothic elegance. Beneath the basilica can be a sprawl of extraordinary graeco roman ruins, accessible onto a one-hour led tour.
Parco Sommerso di Gaiola
Steep steps lead down full of submerged and biodiversity strikes. Due to its size, just 100 bathers are enabled through its gates at any 1 moment (bring photo ID). Admittedly, the association managing the fragile reserve tolerates rather than encourages bathers. Instead, people should consider one of the educational activities offered, including yearlong tours of the marine reserve and the clifftop Parco Archeologico del Pausilypon, littered with all the ruins of the 1st-century BC Villa di Pollione.
Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo
The Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo that is extraordinary can be the Kinder Surprise. Its shell will be that the 15thcentury, Giuseppe Valeriani–designed facade of Palazzo Sanseverino, converted to create the 16th-century church. Indoors, piperno-rock sobriety gives way to a gob-smacking blast of baroque which can make the Vatican blush: a vainglorious showcase for the task of top-tier artists like Francesco Solimena, Luca Giordano and Cosimo Fanzago.
Chiesa di San Domenico Maggiore
Completed in 1324 on the orders of Charles I of Anjou, this was the superstar of the Angevins. Pietro Cavallini’s frescoes in the Cappella Brancaccio are among the few surviving 14th-century remnants. Take the guided tour (in Italian, with an English information sheet) to view the sacristy, crowned with a ceiling fresco by Francesco Solimena and dwelling into the sarcophagi of 45 Aragon princes along with other nobles. The excursion contains a glimpse at infrequent historical garments recovered from the coffins.
When Ferdinand Acton, a ministry in the court of King Ferdinand IV (1759–1825), requested Pietro Valente to design Villa Pignatelli at 1826, Valente whipped up this spectacular Pompeiian facsimile. Now the Museo Pignatelli, its aristocratic art incorporates sumptuous furniture and decorative arts, as well as a gorgeous assortment of 19th- and 20th-century carriages at the adjoining Museo delle Carrozze.
Palazzo dello Spagnuolo
Back in baroque-rich Naples, even staircases can be an event and the masterpiece gracing the courtyard of the palazzo is just one of its showstopping. Designed by Ferdinando Sanfelice and dating from 1738, its own double-ramped, five-arched flights were first put to use in film classics like Luigi Zampa’s Processo alla città (the town Stands Trial) and Vittorio de Sica’s Giudizio universale (The Last Judgment).
Locals know that this 13th-century castle as the Maschio Angioino (Angevin Maintain ), and its own Cappella Palatina is home to fragments of frescoes by Giotto; they’re about the splays of these Gothic windows. Additionally, you will come across Roman ruins under the glass-floored Sala dell’Armeria (Armoury Hall). The castle’s upper floors (closed on Sunday) house a collection of mostly 17th- to early-20th-century Neapolitan paintings. The top floor houses the works, for example also a watercolor by architect Carlo Vanvitelli and landscape paintings by Luigi Crisconio.
Toledo Metro Station
The monumental equestrian statue of William Kentridge trumpets entry for the award-winning, Metro Art Station that is multi-faceted, afterward his dazzling mosaic of shadowy characters parades throughout the reception together with Naples’ patron saint. Together with the 50-meter descent to the bowels of the station, dark becomes light, the ground morphs into the ocean and, in the end, waves (in the form of Robert Wilson’s light-panel installation) haul passengers to the below-sea-level stage.
Real Bosco di Capodimonte
Parco di Capodimonte makes for a chill, with a timber, lakes and various 18th-century buildings, for example, royal porcelain workshop Palazzo Porcellane. Produced by Ferdinando Sanfelice in 1742 as a royal hunting preserve, the park’s main appeal, however, maybe your grandiose Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte. The palace website includes a map of the playground, complete with a series of walks.
Museo Diocesano di Napoli
It is a repository for all triptychs religious paintings and sculptures, many from defunct churches once a host to prayer. Notable works include Luca Giordano’s final canvases (both sides of the main altar), Paolo de Matteis’ S T Sebastian Healed from St Irene, and a young Francesco Solimena’s fresco The Miracle of the Roses of St Francis, from the Coro delle Monache (Nuns’ Choir). Accessed from the museum, the Gothic Chiesa di Donnaregina Vecchia houses Naples’ biggest cycle of 14th-century frescoes.
Ospedale degli Incurabili
It’s now at this 16th-century hospital along with monastic complex which you’ll find the Museo delle Arti Sanitarie, also a little museum home to infrequent, historical surgical instruments, as well as a curious tableau of all pastori (nativity scene figurines) inflicted with diseases common in the 18th century. The complex houses the Farmacia Storica degli Incurabili, also a stunning 18thcentury apothecary that could be seen on a guided excursion.