Naples

What to do in Naples, best places to see during your vacation in Naples, Italy

The beauties of Naples have been praised by innumerable travellers.
A lovely bay, filled by a sea of dark blue, the mingling of gaiety,  sadness and noisiness and vivacity of the people make this town ” the permanent playhouse of Italy”.
Naples is Italy in the extreme, its best and its worst.
However, the industrial quarter to the east, the busy traffic which throttles the city of certain times of the day and the light mist that clouds the horizon may at first disappoint  tourists, who dream of picturesque Naples  basking under an ever blue sky in a harmonious setting.
Visitors need to have a very flexible outlook but discovery of the city although not easy, is a rewarding experience.

HISTORICAL NOTES

According to legend, the siren Parthenope gave her name to a town which had sprung up round tomb.
In the V century B.C., farmers of Great Greece founded Neapolis. The two settlements melted in an only city.
In 290 B.C. it passed under the Roman domination, becoming so, not only a strategic site for the domination of the Mediterranean from the military and commercial point of view, but also an important cultural centre celebrated by all the greatest poets of the time.
It maintained, nevertheless, a proper administration and a strong Greek imprint in the language, in the customs and in the traditions. Of the Greek-Roman structure is still visible in the historical centre the urbanistic map, constituted by the three principal decumanis, that cross it from east to
west perpendicularly intersected by the hinges.

PLANNING YOUR TIME: THINGS TO DO IN NAPLES; ORIENTATION TO THE CITY

The history of Naples is all in its monuments: in the churches, in the buildings, in the squares, in the roads.
Naples, beloved and hated city, with an enchanting charm and thousands  of treasures almost hidden by the many coloured narrow streets, that tell us about a past of ancient origins.
The majesty of its squares shows it well:  Municipio, where the Maschio  Angioino dominates.

Naples, Italy attractions

MASCHIO ANGIOINO – CASTEL NUOVO

Address: Piazza Castello – PHONE: (+39) 081-795-7713 
€ 6, Mon-Sat 9:00-19:00, closed Sunday, last entry one hour before closing)

The huge Castel Nuovo, which houses government bureaucrats and the Civic Museum offers impressive views over the bay from the upper  terraces.
It is recommended do not pay the admission fee to the museum to go in, just see from outside, as there is not  much to see inside.
It feels like a mostly empty shell, with a couple of dusty halls of Neapolitan art.
Then the dense traffic and the lack of shady areas along the coast lessen the attraction of this itinerary.
The castle is imposing and surrounded by deep moats.
Built in 1282 by Pierre d’ Agincourt, the architect of Charles I of Anjou, it is also called the Maschio Angioino (Angevin Castle), since it was modelled on a Castle at Angers. The Aragon dynasty made important  alterations.
A remarkable triumphal arch adorns the entrance.
This masterpiece  bearing  the arms of Aragon was built from designs by Francesco Laurana in 1467. It is ornamented with sculptures:  the Triumph of Alfonso of Aragon, Alfonso among his court, four statues of the Virtues in the upper niches and a statue of St.Michael on the summit.
The whole shows the Classical spirit in the perfect adaptations of the sculptures to the architectural design, the light reliefs and the influence of ancient bas-reliefs in the central features.
At the end of the square court stands an elegant Renaissance doorway surmounted by a Virgin by Laurana (1471).

NAPLES PALAZZO REALE (ROYAL PALACE)

ADDRESS: Palazzo Reale, Piazza Del Pebliscito, n°1, 80132, Napoli
PHONE NUMBER : +39-0815808111
Open from 9:00 am to 20:00 pm, closed Wednesday.

The Naples Palazzo Reale is one of the most famous Naples monuments.
The palace was built at the beginning of the 17 Century, when the Viceroy, Fernandez Ruiz De Castro gave the work to the building to Domenico Fontana and in 1611, the son of the viceroy, Don Pedro, started the decoration, which culminates in the Mannerist  paintings that celebrate the great Spanish companies.
The facade retains more or less its original appearance. Since the late 19 C the niches on the façade contains eight statues of the most famous kings of Naples.
A huge staircase with twin ramps and crowned by a coffered dome, leads to a 17 C chapel and to the apartments. The king lived in the palace only after 1734; at the foot of the staircase is a bronze door designed by Guglielmo, a Parisian monk, in 1468. Six bas-reliefs depict the struggle of Ferdinand of Aragon against René of Anjou. The door was taken away by Charles VIII at the time of the campaigns of Italy but was subsequently returned. A canon-ball is still embedded in it.
The theatre is to the right as you enter the apartments. In a series of richly decorated rooms you will see Gobelins tapestries from designs by Lebrun, and others by Pietro Durante, the work of 18C Neapolitan weavers. Among the paintings note in Room V, the Flute Player by Grimou (18C), and in Room VI a Virgin and a Child by Francesco Ruviale (16C). In the queen’ s apartments note a delightful work-table (Room VIII), cased in Sevres porcelain, the masterpiece of the Parisian cabinet-maker Carlin and given by Marie Antoniette to her sister Marie Caroline; and an original round table (Room VIII), gift of Tsar Nicholas I to Ferdinand II, which is surmounted by a gilded bronze bird-cage adorned with Sevres porcelain. Room X was the study of Joachim Murat.
Room XIX contains portraits by Doyen and E. Vigée-Lebrun.
The entrance fee is € 4,00 and it is a reasonable price comparing to other monuments. The ticket also includes a free audio guide.
There is a special entrance fee, € 3,00, for citizen of EU between 18 and 25 years old.
The ticket costs € 3,00 with artecard.
It is free for citizen of EU under 18 years old and over 65 years old.

ACTIVITIES IN THE ROYAL PALACE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

The projects DAI has been introduced to communicate the museum to people with disabilities.
It provides in a room specially set up on the ground floor of the educational facilities of various kinds, especially based on the sense of touch, which make it easy to visit the Royal Palace.
From the hall begins a journey of the Royal studied to understand the significance of places and decorations.
In the provision of public services, it was set up a reception area for people with disabilities, from where a guided tour to the Apartment Royal starts. The disabled user to which this addressed, is divided into two major bands, one with motor deficits and the deficit with organic and psychic.
Of physical disabilities were taken into account both in the location of the room, which in the internal distribution. Visitors who are blind, deaf, with down syndrome, will benefit from facilitating experiences, both inside the reception hall that the museum itinerary.
The project was carried out in order to make the space suitable facilities and location not only for disabled users, but also to group-class school that includes students with disabilities and to all those wish to experience.
It possible to watch a Video, “ WELCOME TO THE ROYAL PALACE” translated into Italian sign language. You can have a tactile exploration of a scale model of the royal palace built by the Italian blind. You can consult and borrow the guidance braille palace. It prepared the tactile exploration of various art objects, to know the materials and forms on display in the museum. There are cards that make light-guide the tour itinerary in a playful manner, which can be used in the museum.
You can attend to a simplified version of the video “Welcome to the Royal Palace” with cartoon and original music.

TEATRO SAN CARLO

ADDRESS: Via San Carlo, 98, 80132 Napoli
PHONE NUMBER: 081-797-2111
BOX OFFICE OPENING HOURS:  open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 17.30.
On Sunday from 10 am to 14.

 

This grey and white theatre is the most famous in Italy after the “Scala” of Milan.
It was built in 1737, 41 years before “La Scala”, under Charles of Bourbon. It is Europe’s oldest opera house, rebuilt in 1816 after it burned down. The only parts of the building to survive were the external walls. The restoration was completed in only nine months and was directed by the Tuscan architect Antonio Niccolini. He re-made the hall that we can still admire.
Niccolini also coordinate the next works of maintenance.
The foyer of the theatre was built in 1937 and was destroyed in 1943 by a bomb. After the war it was rebuilt immediately.
The auditorium is a good example of a classic 18 C Italian theatre.
It is located next to Palazzo Reale.

 

The San Carlo Theatre is open to the public  for guided tours in Italian and in English.
GUIDED TOURS SCHEDULE:
From Monday to Saturday
Morning: 10:30; 11:30;12:30;
Afternoon: 14:30; 11:30; 12:30
Guided tour fee is € 6;  Reduced fee is € 5 for groups of at least 25 members, people under 30/over 60. They last 45 minutes. Tickets can be purchased on-line and they can be paid by credit card. Reduced tickets are not available on line. Tickets can be also be purchased by phone at the number 848 002 008.
Visitors if purchase an extra ticket have the possibility to complete the tour including the MeMUS, the Multimedia Museum of Theatre San Carlo. It is recommended to book the tour in advance.
MeMUS tours last 40 minutes, however in August MeMUS is closed.
Disabled can access the stalls through lifts. Persons unable to walk are entitled  to a free tickets, while persons able to walk partially are entitled to a reduced ticket.

WHAT TO WEAR
There is not a strict dress code for regular performances, but men should wear a suit or coat & tie to attend opening nights, Opera Festivals and Ballets, ladies should wear nice clothes like slancks and a sweather.

What to do in Naples


What to do in Naples