The Sites, Smells, and Sounds of Summer in Naples
Summer in Naples is simply magical! As Italy’s third largest city, there is never a shortage of entertaining activities to engage in. Naples has been inhabited since ancient times. This is reflected in the elegant architecture that dates back to the Greek and Roman empires. In addition, the city overlooks the beautiful Tyrrhenian Sea. Naples is a bustling port city and traveler’s dream! Visiting Naples is a full sensory experience, with sites to see, food to try, and ruins to tour. In the evenings, music fills the air as tourists and locals fill the streets.
Checking Out Castel Nuovo
This beautiful medieval castle adds interest to the Naples skyline and is considered one of the most popular sites. The castle has five towers, as well as a beautiful archway entrance. The property has a lovely courtyard for visitors to relax in. A top of the castle’s towers, I caught incredible views of the harbor and historical architecture in the city. The painted ceiling in Baron’s Hall should not be missed!
This site was truly extravagant! It was built as private building for the Duke of Torremaggoire in 1590. The exterior was misleading because it was quite simple. However, the interior is full of intricate frescos and sculptures. The structure is home to Giuseppe Sanmartino’s sculpture the Veiled Christ. It’s not far from Castel Nuovo, which made it an excellent place to visit during the same outing.
Running Through the Ruins of Pompeii
One of Naples most famous sites is the ancient city of Pompeii. Pompeii was once an advanced city, but today only remnants remain of its existence. Surprisingly, the structures that once comprised the city are still very much intact. Visiting the amphitheater, Temple of Apollo, and Temple of Jupiter were major highlights!
Stepping into the San Gennaro Catacombs
I entered into another world when I descended into this site. The San Gennaro Catacombs are full of ancient graves and crypts. What’s most shocking about this space is its size. The tombs take up two levels and the lower floor is home to over three thousand graves.
Cruising the Castel dell’Ovo
This was one of the most breathtaking sites in all of Naples! Waves cascade and crash upon the castle’s foundation. The 6th-century castle overlooks the ocean. Walking through its corridors and peeking out into the Mediterranean sea to breath in the fresh ocean air was a major highlight of my summer in Naples.
Naples Harbor Never Gets Old
This port is always bustling, which makes it an excellent place to visit any time of day. A variety of activities and exchanges stretch across this gateway to the city. On the western end, you’ll find incredible spots to wine and dine.
Eating Pizza Required
I couldn’t spend the summer roaming the streets of Naples without trying some authentic Italian pizza. I was hit with the fresh smell of cheese, tomato sauce, and dough baking in the oven when I entered the doorway of Pizzeria da Michele. This is one the oldest pizzerias in Naples and you can’t beat the quality or price.
Fantasia Gelati has sixty different handmade flavors of ice cream for patrons to choose from. Pistacchio quickly became my favorite summer snack. Trying Italian gelato is equally as important as not missing out on a hot slice of pizza.
Stop for Seafood
Pescheria Mattiucci is an absolute gem in Naples. This fish shop doubles as a seafood restaurant! Seafood doesn’t come any fresher than it does in this port city. I thoroughly enjoyed the wine selection that supplemented my delicious seafood dinner. As I wined and dined, I enjoyed watching a beautiful sunset.
Music to My Ears
I was fortunate to catch a classical concert at Centro di Musica Antica Pietà de’ Turchini, a beautiful old building that was once a church. My ticket was less than ten euros, an excellent price for an amazing show. Visiting the transformed church is worth the trip alone.
Late Night Adventures
There is a unique and almost secret club known as the Moses Club located in the heart of old town, Naples. It is a space that uniquely fuses the new and old worlds. Dancing the night away with locals to a variety of musical genres is the best part.
A Mix of Night Life
Lanificio 25 is the place to go for ambiance, company, drinks, music, theatre, and even art exhibits. This space is located inside an old wool factory, making it completely enchanting. This beautiful space is the place to go to converse with locals and hang for a while. Activities pickup in the early evening and go late into the night.
Wine and Dine
A highlight of my summer in Naples was the wine tasting outing I attended. All the wines were local, the grapes cam directly from the volcanic slopes of Mt. Vesuvius. After trying a variety of wines and exploring vineyards, I enjoyed a fabulous Mediterranean lunch with more wine! I chose this guided tour so I could learn about local culture and craft while breaking away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Visit a Volcano
I visited my first volcano during my summer in Naples. Mount Vesuvius is a short distance from the city and an extraordinary site to see. It’s the only European volcano to have erupted in the past 100 years. Still active, it is considered quite dangerous given its proximity to the city.
Sunshine and the Sea
You can’t beat the beaches of Naples! There are an array of locations to soak up some sun. One of my favorite locations to admire the sea was at the Marine Protected Area Gaiola Underwater Park. This protected cove is home to Roman ruins. There is also the beautiful beach Bagno Elena. Both of these beaches are just outside of Naples and it didn’t take long to access either. After late nites and busy days seeing all the sites, relaxing on a beautiful Italian beach was just what I needed!