Welcome to Naples, the city of a thousand colors where genius, madness, creativity and freedom find their dimension is a continuous contrast of centuries of history, culture and art where, paradoxically, everything begins and ends, where the sacred and the profane blend in a unique way.
Naples represents the oldest capital of the West where they spoke Greek while all the others spoke Latin, which gave Italy a literary musical and theatrical tradition. According to the legend, the city was born from the body of a mermaid who died of sorrow for not succeeding in seducing Ulysses; here lived the writer Andersen, author of a thousand fables, who said, going away from Naples: “when I die I will return here to do the ghost, because here the night is unspeakably beautiful”.
Naples is a city characterized by a warm hospitality, typical of the South, that shows through the naturalness of good manners and kindness of mind all the true spirit of this land, because in Naples every guest is sacred, here the “suspended” was invented “(The coffee paid to the stranger you will never know, because nobody feels so poor that you can not afford at least one coffee), where you can eat real pizza or the famous fried pizza in one of the many pizzerias known in the world, or taste the Babà and the Neapolitan sfogliatella in narrow and populated steets where you can feel the smells and tastes of Naples not the one you heard about but the one you have the opportunity to live in and love.
Naples is a city where the problems are overcome with humor and intelligence, with the art of getting by mixed with that of inventing: there are a lot of examples in history where this people were able to free themselves from the invaders, as in case of the Four Days, in which the city liberated itself before the arrival of the Allies.
During your visit of the city you can’t miss the Rione Sanità, Land of Saints, priests and actors, which stands out for the great humanity of its community, which has always welcomed the remains of the deceased of different social strata. In addition to the catacombs, here is the famous Fontanelle Cemetery, built inside a gigantic tuff quarry. The cemetery represents, together with the cult of the Souls, the relationship that the Neapolitan people have with the afterlife.
From here you get to the historic center, where you will cross twenty centuries of history along the heart of the ancient center and the historical-artistic evolution of the city, from its first settlement of the Greek period to the baroque city. Along the way you will meet the Church of Gesù Nuovo, the Monastic Complex of Santa Chiara, the famous Cappella Sansevero, where the Veiled Christ is kept, San Gregorio Armeno (the road that connects two ancient decumani of Naples perpendicularly, or via dei Tribunali -Decumano Maggiore – and via San Biagio dei Librai – Decumano Inferiore or Spaccanapoli-) in which, in the different shops that follow each other without stopping, it is possible to buy the Neapolitan artisan nativity scenes (presepe) or to stock up on the statues of the nativity scene. This is only a part of the historic center of Naples, which is not far from the Duomo, where the Treasure and the ampoule with the blood of Saint Gennaro are kept.
To better comprehend the spirit of Naples at its best, you should not miss a visit to Piazza del Plebiscito, which is one of the symbols of the city of Naples; It is a place that tells the story of a kingdom and a capital, where there is Palazzo Reale, one of the most important places in the history of this city, where you can live the events of the first and illuminated Bourbon sovereigns that made Naples the true metropolis of ‘700. The court theater, the apartments of Carlo and Maria Amalia, the palatine chapel with the great Neapolitan crib, and the imposing staircase are worth visiting. Together with the whole square, they are the true living room of Naples.
You can not miss the visit to the San Carlo theater and the Umberto I gallery, true glimpses of history, then get to via Toledo, an important street in Naples that runs along the famous Spanish quarters, where a guided tour will reveal the city through the facts told by the local inhabitants , discovering the double soul of the Neapolitans divided between the sacred and the profane; you will also visit the famous Via Lungo Gelso, the street of prostitution, where you will explore the hidden art and the votive altars. Looking at the places with the eyes of the local inhabitants, you will discover hidden corners of rare beauty. We will move between saints and madonnas, between popular beliefs and places of worship.
Visit the buried Naples (the archaeological area, where the ruins of the ancient Forum of Neapolis are visible); it is the most important archaeological site in the historic center of Naples, both for its monumental and topographical value, and for its inclusion within the Angevin complex of San Lorenzo Maggiore.
A real archaeological area extends today to about 10 meters deep, under the church of San Lorenzo Maggiore. Inside the eighteenth-century cloister you can see part of the macellum, the Roman market, datable to the second half of the first century AD) and the Bourbon Naples (February 19, 1853 Ferdinand II of Bourbon signed a decree with which he ordered to design a viaduct underground, passing under Monte Echia, joining the Royal Palace with Piazza Vittoria, next to the sea and the barracks during the war period, between 1939 and 1945, the Gallery and some former cisterns were used as a shelter for the citizens; they found refuge between 5,000 and 10,000 Neapolitans, many of whom lost their homes during the numerous bombings suffered by the city both by the allies, first, and later by the Germans). Napoli, as you can read, is more than you think!