Being one of the largest and oldest cities in Europe, Naples is full of old-time charm mixed with modern intensity. Many are drawn to Naples for pizza, but the Grande Dame is more than just these delicious world favorites. In Naples, you will have the opportunity to try other types of food. You should also immerse yourself in the spirit of football, and you may even have a religious experience. Anything goes in Naples, and if you’ve never been before, prepare to be amazed because we’re sure it’s nothing like anything you’ve seen or visited before. Here are 10 things to do if you are visiting Naples, Italy for the first time.
1. Start with the pizza
Of course you have to start with the pizza. After all, this is the birthplace of one of the best foods ever invented in human history. You will have to try the authentic and original Neapolitan, which is basically the margherita. A true Neapolitan pizza is all about quality, and it is something that the citizens of Naples are proud to have shared with the world.
2. Stay off the main roads
There is nothing like experiencing Naples on foot, but you must traverse the busy neighborhood streets rather than the main roads. You will find the vitality intoxicating and you will really get a good picture of daily life in this beautiful part of Italy.
3. Visit the IRL history
Pompeii and Herculaneum are must-see sites. Both ancient cities were buried in the ashes of Mount Vesuvius, and while you will definitely have a creepy feeling as you walk through the empty streets, you will also feel the depth of history right under your feet.
4. Have an espresso, zuccherato style.
All the streets of Naples are lined with cafes. There is no special time for coffee here. Neapolitans drink their coffee all day. The coffee subculture in Naples is fascinating. You will often see unusual mixes of people enjoying a cup or two together at coffee shops. There are hipster cafes, modern cafes, historic cafes and many other cafes of all kinds. Go to one. Go to the mall.
5. Skip the pizza, eat something else
By now you should know that food will play an important role in any trip to Naples. Be sure to try the fresh local mozzarella. Have fresh catch of the day from the bay. Taste the best local desserts that are prepared daily. And of course, make sure you have the best Italian wine on the menu. There are plenty of restaurants in Naples, but be sure to skip the tourist tropes and go for local favorites.
6. See some skulls and bones.
If you are willing to do something completely and exclusively Neapolitan, you will also have to be open to doing something kinky. Naples has a large cultural subgroup that deals with the skulls and bones of the deceased. Religious sects in the area disapprove of this practice, but for you as a tourist it will be an experience to remember. Visit one of the many cemeteries in the city and you will know exactly what has been found.
7. Enter a church
It might be a good idea to do it after stopping by some skulls and bones to visit a church for a cleanse. You will see and hear the atmospheric differences between the interior of the churches and the hustle and bustle just outside the church doors. Religion is a big part of Neapolitan culture, and there is much more than street shrines and nativity scenes for sale. There is architecture, history, politics and literature in each of the churches that you can visit.
8. Immerse yourself in ancient archeology
Visiting the Museo Archeologico Nazionale is a nice break from being outdoors. There is also a lot to learn here if you are willing to do so. Otherwise, you can simply marvel at all the ancient curiosities left from Pompeii and other ancient cities.
9. Would you like some soccer?
Neapolitans love their soccer, and when you go to town, make sure you catch some of that spirit. You will find sanctuaries all over Naples that pay tribute to the best soccer player who has ever lived according to the Neapolitans: Diego Armando Maradona. You could visit the shrines or really get into the action by going to a game.
10. Spend some time by the sea
The Lungomare is the best place to do this. The 3 km seafront promenade has some of the best views in the city. You can walk or sit on one of the rocks to sunbathe. Either way, you could easily make this an all-day affair if you wanted to. Time passes easily on the boardwalk.