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Map of Naples

13 Jul

Naples – the soul of Italy

13 Jul

Naples, Napoli in Italian, is the third most-populated city in Italy and the biggest city in Southern Italy. Its name comes from the Greek Neapolis meaning new city.

Naples is the capital of the Campania region. The city is the third most populated municipality  of Italy, but the second metropolitan area, after Milan. It was founded between the 7th and 6th centuries BC by the Greeks and was named Neapolis, which means new city. To one side of Naples is Mount Vesuvius, and near to the bay are the pretty islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida, which all lend themselves to day trips. Pompeii and Herculaneum are full of some of the most interesting and revealing Roman ruins in Italy, after being destroyed by Vesuvius when it erupted almost 2,000 years ago.

Naples is the soul of Itlay. Naples is… music, theatre, Vesuvius, coffee, pizza and the sea… all those colors, sounds and aromas that capture your attention, win you over and seduce you. The Neapolitans are passionate and proud  about their home town, and with good reason. Beyond the tired clichés – pizza, mobsters and handbag snatchers – is a warm, vital and often beautiful city. Churches, palaces and castles from its heyday as capital of the Bourbon Kingdom of Naples mingle with world-class galleries, museums and archaeological sites.

Exciting… The first adjective to define it is “exciting”. Naples can transmit his energy through different ways: in the traffic, the noise, but also in the cultural life: in the music, in the performing arts, in the people’s deep love for and pride in their city, and in their fervent religiosity. The city has a lot to offer, from romantic evening walks along the shore; to magnificent views over the bay with Mount Vesuvius in the background; to the beauty of Piazza del Plebiscito, Castel Nuovo, and Castel dell’Ovo. And, of course, this being Italy, Neapolitans are proud of all the good things to eat here, especially the fresh seafood; local tomatoes, which make the best fresh sauces; and the pizza they invented.

Welcoming… The second adjective that describes Naples is “welcoming.” If you take the time to notice, you will see that Neapolitans really reach out to visitors and relish in others’ enjoyment of their beloved city. Maybe that is the most truly fascinating thing about Naples: It has incredible architectural and artistic attractions, natural beauty, and fantastic food and wines, but ultimately, when you fall in love with the city — as you will if you let it get to you — you’ll do so because of its humanity. When you walk the streets of Naples, you’ll understand that.

Tradition… Another word Naples is associated with is” tradition”. Naples has the best pizza, the best coffee and arguably some of the most enchanting and entertaining people in Italy. Down every narrow, cobbled street hangs colourful lines of laundry, luxurious shrines carved into every wall and crinkled old men teaching their grandsons how to play chess.

The other important thing about Naples is the traffic; the resulting confusion and dirt have put off many visitors. If you get past — or literally, away from — the noise, you can relax and discover a city that many visitors over the centuries have described in justly heavenly terms.

Only in Naples do strangers on mopeds chat to each other in traffic jams… Only in Naples are the pizzas bigger than the plates they are served on… and only in Naples will you find a whole street dedicated to Christmas decorations in the middle of the August heat!

Naples can be criticized for many things but its character and charm will always leave you wanting more.