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Tumultuous history, passionate people and the finest food in Italy, Naples is a city alive with art, music, exquisite food, spectacular archaeological sites, extraordinary characters and a history that stretches back further than the Greeks who first named it Neopolis – New City. Year-round, Neapolitans live their lives on the streets – in bustling street markets and buzzing squares – so you only need to step outside your budget B&B or five-star hotel to feel the city’s heart pumping. Even in winter Naples is alive as Neapolitans prepare for Christmas, shopping for their hand-made and hand-painted presepi (Nativity scenes) along the ever-busy Via Gregorio San Armeno.
Main City Rome
Surface 117.27 km²
Density 8,182.60 km²
On a hill above Naples, Vomero, once a hilltop village for Sunday picnics, is where the spectacular Certosa (charterhouse) was founded by Carthusian monks back in the 14th century. The terraced gardens that stretch around it offer spectacular views over the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius. Take the cable car up the hill and admire Certosa’s Gothic arches, cross-vaulted ceilings, its exceptional range of Neapolitan art, marquetry and 18th century presepi , maps, porcelain and displays devoted to the theatre. Set around the cloister, the Museo dell'Opera art gallery contains works created specifically for the cloister by Ribera, Spadaro and Stanzione.
People from Naples are justifiably proud of their spectacular coastline, and so they regularly stroll, jog or rollerblade along the Lungomare to the Villa Comunale, a lovely 18th century park designed by Luigi Vanvitelli. Filled with 18th and 19th century sculptures and monuments, the park is also home to the oldest Aquarium in Europe and a regular Antiques Market, perfect for browsing. During the summer, frequent open-air concerts are held on the beautiful bandstand, the Cassa Armonica (Harmonic Box). The pedestrian-free sea front offers wonderful views of Vesuvius , the island of Capri, the Castell dell’Ovo and the Castell Nuovo, and Villa Comunale, and is especially romantic as the sun sets. Look out for the ubiquitous padlocks of love that line the promenade.
Those looking for quality, hand-made goods, head to Eddy Monetti. Neapolitans love to shop, and trawling their street markets provides a great opportunity of hanging out with the locals, picking up some super-fresh fish for dinner, or snaffling a spangly new top for €3. But Naples is also famous for quality craftsmanship – hand-stitched leather, made-to-measure suits and seriously classic styling. At Eddy Monetti silk ties are hand-stitched, shirts are made-to-measure and Monetti’s own-label collection is made up of carefully chosen labels. You’re in good company; Crown princes and stars of stage and screen wear Monetti Menswear.