Naples lies in the ever-present shadow of Vesuvius, the famed volcano that buried two cities and left countless dead in A.D. 79. In fact the city spreads to the very foot of the great mountain and even up its sides.
Perhaps it is this constant reminder of mortality, the constant presence of risk, that makes Naples so unlike other Italian cities. Or it could be the 4000 years of history, much of it full of strife and glory, a land of kingdoms, poverty, la Camorra, art, cuisine, and kindness. Naples is – quite simply – amazing, and well worth visiting on a cooking vacation to Italy.
Naples is the third largest city in Italy, and one of the oldest continuously occupied cities of Europe. It’s a city tourists sometime shy away from, either because of its reputation for local crime, its unabashed urban-ness, or its resistance to toning down its own character to become more commercial.
But my experience of Naples is that it is a warm, friendly place full of life. Whether you are heading to the Archeological Museum, which is one of the best archeological museums in the world, strolling through one of its many narrow-laned, picturesque neighborhoods, or visiting its masterpieces from the Baroque period, there is something to see, experience, and live around every corner.
Clients often ask us to organize a night in Naples if they are doing one of our Amalfi Coast cooking vacations or one of our culinary tours on the Sorrentine peninsula and have an early flight. And some visit Naples during one of our southern Italian culinary vacations (such as Best of Sorrento, Naples, and the Amalfi Coast). Naples is always worth a visit, and we can also offer a custom foodie tour in Naples including accommodations in a centrally located hotel, a hands-on pizza making class featuring real Neapolitan pizza, and a cultural and foodie walking tour of the city.
Check out types of pizza in Italy and the U.S.
If you don’t have a few nights to stay in this amazing city, you can also visit Naples as a day trip. Taking the ferry from Sorrento is a beautiful way to arrive in Naples. The high-speed ferries take about 40 minutes and leave you right near the center of town. It means you’ll have to pick and choose what you see and do, but you’ll find the experience there well worth your time. (Check out our top three things to see in Naples).
You can stay in Naples as part of two of our wonderful culinary vacations in the Campania region:
- Best of Sorrento, Naples, and the Amalfi Coast
- Flavors of Campania: Sorrento, Naples, and the Amalfi Coast
Have you been to Naples? Did you find it as fascinating as we do? Let us know in the comments or on social media.
By Peg Kern
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