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Holidays in Naples take you to the ancient capital of Campania, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. Naples’ historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, standing between the sweeping Bay of Naples and the looming volcano Mount Vesuvius.
For culture vultures, the city’s streets are packed with ornate buildings, piazzas and monuments from various periods in history, plus museums and art galleries that show off the best of Naples through the ages.
Naples is also renowned as a gastronomic destination, and not just because it was the birthplace of pizza. As you explore the lively streets, you’ll find some amazing little restaurants serving up fresh seafood, local pastries and a huge variety of fritti – lightly fried and battered snacks. Beyond the city, pretty islands like Ischia and Capri are just a short boat trip away, while Naples is also a great base for exploring the Neapolitan Riviera and the nearby Amalfi Coast.
Naples has a reputation for being a little chaotic, but the people are warm and effusive, and their unapologetic passion for life is what gives the city its authentic feel and unique buzz. As Naples doesn’t get the huge numbers of tourists that you’ll find in Rome, Florence or Venice, there are dozens of places where you can find peace and tranquillity. From the idyllic botanical gardens to the atmospheric splendour of the city’s 700 year old cathedral, spend your days soaking up the beautiful sights.
Whether you’re fascinated by the world-class National Archaeological Museum or the more contemporary art at Museo MADRE, Naples has a wealth of cultural delights to tickle every fancy. And afterwards you can roam the maze of streets and vibrant cafés of the historic city centre, or the fashionable waterfront district of Chiaia. Either way, you’re never far from a tasty snack and an exquisite Campanian wine
Naples offers a charming and stunning place to wander around, drink one of Italy's famous coffees and watch the world go by. The city is made up of lovely piazzas, cobblestone streets and historic alleyways, all rich in history. It is easy to immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere and lively Italian way of life.
Explore the tangle of stepped lanes in the centro storico, treat yourself to an evening at the famous San Carlo Opera House, and visit Italy's largest palazzo, situated just a short distance away in Caserta. Don't miss the National Archaeological Museum, home to one of the world's best collection of Greek and Roman artefacts, and the San Lorenzo Maggiore, one of Naples' most stunning medieval churches. A must is a day trip to the lovely islands of Capri or Ischia – regular boat and hydrofoil services leave the port of Naples daily.
Direct flights to Naples airport (NAP) are available from Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle and take approximately 2 hours 45 minutes.
Naples is a year-round destination. In summer the weather can get quite hot and many Italians head to the coast for their holidays. If you're interested in visiting Pompeii or Herculaneum it's best to go during spring and autumn when the weather is pleasant but not hot as there's no shelter from the sun on the archaeological sites. May can also be quite busy in Naples due to the 'Monuments of May' cultural festival that takes place every year. Christmas is a wonderful time to spend in Naples with traditional nativities displayed in the city. Due to its southern location, the weather stays relatively mild throughout the year.
Naples is the birthplace of pizza and this signature dish is taken very seriously by the locals. In fact, in 2004, the ministry for agriculture issued regulations outlining how a real Neapolitan pizza should be made, and the city originally conceived two classics now loved around the world – Margherita and Marinara Pizza. Naples, however, is more than just pizza. Thanks to its location on the Tyrrhenian Sea, you will see plenty of fresh fish on restaurant menus. Team your variety of pizza and fish dishes with some of the best wines in the area – Taurasi red wine and Fiano di Avellino white wine.
Naples was founded by the Ancient Greeks. Naples' early days are a little blurry, but it is believed that the city was established around 680 BC. The first settlement is said to be have been on the island of Megaris, where today the Castel dell'Ovo stands. Naples' historic centre landed itself on the UNESCO World Heritage site list in 1995. This ancient part of Naples is home to a wealth of monuments, such as the Church of Santa Chiara and the Castel Nuovo.