Full of life and earthly, Naples lay claim to the discovery of both Sophia Loren and pizza. Italy’s third biggest city also boasts of outstanding museums, enchanting castles, a magnificent cathedral and vibrant areas linked by cobblestone roads.
Naples’ famous MuseoArcheologicoNazionale provides an exceptional variety of antiques. Fans of both history and artwork flock to the museum to look at glass, statuary, the magnificent frescoes and silver excavated at Herculaneum, Pompeii and elsewhere. Highlights of the treasure trove of historical art and artifacts add an exquisite blue vase with cherubs bringing in the grape crop as well as the fabulous jewels in the Farnese family group, an enormous, powerful mosaic of Alexander, The Great fighting the Persians.
But, hey – there is even more!
The ill-famed GabinettoSegreto, paintings and explicit frescoes taken from the ruins of brothels in Pompeii, is welcoming to visitors on a regular basis. Instead respected or condemned for centuries, the Room of the Obscene Item by curators and king, as it was called, has become an X-rated favorite.
It is simple to find out the Amalfi Coast, a 43-mile stretch from Sorrento Salerno has inspired musicians, poets, and fans for years and years. In the time of the ancient Greeks, the crystal clear blue waters, turquoise heavens, and stunning scenery have tempted Kings, Hollywood royals and modern day jet setters.
Modern visitors still recognize steep cliffs of the shore and the soaring landscape. In Sorrento, just south of Naples, legend maintains that sailors enticed. You may find shopping in Sorrento for exquisite jewelry, designer clothes and handicraft as tempting, although these days you will not locate any enchantresses.
The cliff-hugging ride along the rugged shore to the chic, fashionable towns of Amalfi and Positano is breathtaking and exhilarating. Among many highlights of the trip is a stop in the peaceful village of Ravello, where Romans concealed in the wrath of Visigoths and Huns in the first, fifth century A.D. Refined residences such as Villa Rufolo, which is said to have been the inspiration for Richard Wagner’s last opera.
Excellent ingredient count, but so does the ability of the pizzaiolo, the pizza makers who learned from their grandpas to roll the slowly risen dough, turn the pizza from a long-handled paddle right into a wood-burning oven, and remove it with split second time, perfectly cooked. Now, regardless of the variants that are endless, Naples’ favorite pizza stays the simple tomato-mozzarella-fresh basil Margherita, created for the Queen of Italy with shades of Italian flag in 1889. So significant is the Margherita to Neapolitans that it’s been designated a merchandise that is safe using a different seal of credibility.
Naples will be the most underestimated city in all Italy. This coastal city is a reminder of the days when Italy was molto Italiano-actually Italian. For visitors, it may be both noisy and scenic at one time. It is a spot where scooters zip via a sea of traffic, crumbling walls were hidden behind by palaces, and streets lead to tempting trattorias that serve full-bodied red wines and delicious pasta. It’s a steaming, dynamic city that will make an ideal backdrop for an Italian opera.