Naples, a city where history meets vibrancy.  It offers a treasure trove of experiences, from uncovering the secrets of ancient Pompeii to indulging in the world-famous flavors of authentic Neapolitan pizza.  My guide will highlight the essential Naples things to do Italy, helping you discover both its iconic sights and hidden gems.  Ready to explore the rich cultural tapestry and lively streets of Naples? Let’s dive into the heart of this captivating Italian city.  There are many hotels in Naples to choose from, for every budget.

Sansevero Chapel and the Veiled Christ

Sansevero Chapel, veiled Christ, Naples

The Veiled Christ is an impactful marble sculpture by Giuseppe Sanmartino,.  It captures a profound moment of Christ shrouded in death.  In addition, it features the crown of thorns as well as shackles at his feet.  Known for its eerily lifelike appearance, this masterpiece offers a unique challenge for photo editors, demanding a distinct approach unlike any other subject.  Housed in the Sansevero Chapel, not only does the sculpture draw admiration, but the chapel’s ceiling also captivates visitors.  Adorned with Francesco Maria Russo’s ‘The Glory of Paradise,’ the ceiling itself is a celebrated work of art, enhancing the solemn beauty of the chapel.

Where is the real shroud of Christ?  The real shroud which covered Christ is in nearby Turin.

Naples Cathedral (Duomo) and the Blood of San Gennaro

Naples Cathedral (Duomo) and the blood of San Gennaro, Naples

Naples Cathedral offers a distinct experience compared to the grand cathedrals of Milan and Florence.  Not only is it a serene place with free entry, but it also houses a unique relic: the blood of Saint Januarius.  This dried blood is ceremoniously displayed twice a year, in May and September.  It is said to miraculously liquefy.  According to local legend, if the blood fails to liquefy, disaster will befall Naples.  Notably, during Pope Francis’s visit in March 2015, the blood liquefied, a phenomenon many hope to witness.  Sadly, since the relic isn’t on permanent display, I missed seeing it firsthand during my visit!

Castel Sant’Elmo (and View of the City)

Castel Sant'Elmo, Naples

Castel Sant’Elmo stands as a medieval fortress perched above Naples.  As a result, it offers visitors a choice between a brisk 20-minute climb up steps or a quick funicular ride to reach its gates.  Entry to the castle grounds is free, and from its vantage point, you are treated to breathtaking panoramas of the city.  Additionally, view the Bay of Naples as well as Mount Vesuvius.  For a truly unforgettable experience, I recommend watching the sunset over Naples from the castle’s lofty heights.  In fact, it’s a view that captures the city’s beauty in a spectacular light.  Consequently, a top Naples things to do Italy landmark.

Castel Nuovo

Castel Nuovo, Naples

On the edge of the historic city is the Medieval Castel Nuovo.  It was built in the 13th century for the royal family of the Kingdom of Naples.  As a matter of fact, this royal family needed a castle by the sea.  Moreover, during the 15th century a white triumphal arch was added to the castle.  This is situated between the 2 western towers.  Lastly, it’s possible to visit the castle and it also houses an armory as well as artwork.

Spaccanapoli Naples Things to do Italy

Spaccanapoli, Naples

Spaccanapoli is Italian for ‘Naples splitter’.  It’s the main street that runs through the historic center.  Spaccanapoli is best viewed from Castel Sant’Elmo.  Why? because you can clearly see it splitting the city from this panoramic viewpoint.  Finally, navigating this narrow street you’ll find kiosks selling local food in addition to the cafes and souvenir stores.  Not to mention the famous Neapolitan pizza.

Royal Palace of Naples and Piazza del Plebiscito

Royal Palace of Naples and Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples

The Royal Palace of Naples, situated on Piazza del Plebiscito.  What’s more, it’s steeped in the rich history of when Naples was the capital of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.  This kingdom encompassed the southern region of what is now modern Italy.  During this era, the palace served as the residence of the Bourbon Kings.  Directly across from the palace stands the San Francesco di Paola Church, adding to the historical and architectural grandeur of the area.

San Francesco di Paola Church

San Francesco di Paola Church, Naples

San Francesco di Paola Church is a defining landmark of Naples.  In fact, it’s frequently in tourism brochures and other promotional materials as a Naples things to do Italy feature.  Furthermore, its majestic central dome draws architectural comparisons to the Pantheon in Rome.  Initially conceived by Napoleon’s brother-in-law as a tribute to the emperor, the project’s purpose shifted when Napoleon was ousted from Italy.  Despite this, the then-reigning king chose to complete the structure.  Consequently, dedicating it to Saint Francis of Paola rather than as a monument to Napoleon.  Thus, what began as a tribute transformed into a revered church, cementing its place in the heart of Neapolitan culture.

Galleria Umberto I

Galleria Umberto I, shopping gallery, Naples, Italy

Galleria Umberto I is just as beautiful as the more famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.  In my opinion, it’s preferable to Milan because there aren’t thousands of tourists taking selfies inside.  Interestingly, it was built about 10 years after the shopping gallery in Milan.  Lastly, its designer, Emanuele Rocco was heavily influenced by the design of the Milanese version.

Day trip to Mount Vesuvius

Day trip to Mount Vesuvius, Naples

No trip to Naples is complete without a visit to Mount Vesuvius.  As a matter of fact, this is the famous volcano that destroyed ancient Pompeii and Herculaneum.  Moreover, it’s a decade volcano making it one of the deadliest on earth.  The reason it is so dangerous is because it’s so close to Naples and an eruption could be devastating.  Consequently, the Naples things to do Italy would be no more.  Lastly, read about my day trip to Mount Vesuvius using public transport.

Day Trip to Ancient Pompeii

Day trip to Ancient Pompeii from Naples

Ancient Pompeii is famous worldwide as the town Mount Vesuvius destroyed.  For this reason, so many movies have been made about this destination.  Today Ancient Pompeii is the best preserved Roman city in the world.  As a matter of fact, because Vesuvius covered it in lava, it was preserved.  Today you can walk the streets of Pompeii, visit the amphitheater and forum.  Additionally you can visit houses and see preserved frescoes and garden features.  Read about my visit to Pompeii.

Watch Napoli play a football match at Stadio San Paolo

Napoli match day experience - Stadio Sao Paolo - Naples - location

In my opinion, no visit to Naples is complete with a visit to Stadio San Paolo.  This is the home of top Italian football team, Napoli.  For this reason, it’s very likely there will be a football superstar playing.  Additionally, for those who want a more historic experience, there’s a well preserved Flavian Amphitheater nearby.  Located in Pozzuoli is the third largest amphitheater in Italy.  Read about my Napoli match day experience here.

Interested in Italian football stadiums?  Visit Juventus stadium or the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

The Shrine to Maradona at Bar Nilo

The Shrine to Maradona on Spaccanapoli, Cafe Nilo, Naples

On the subject of football and Napoli, let’s visit a former local of Diego Maradona.  For many years, Diego Maradona played for Napoli football club.  Consequently, you’ll see his name and merchandise for sale as you walk around the city.  Visit Bar Nilo on Spaccanapoli for a quick espresso.  In this cafe you can see a shrine to Diego Maradona.  Whether you’re a fan or not, it’s worth a look.

Toledo New Art Metro Station

Toledo new art metro station, Naples

While exploring Naples, make your way down into the Metro, Toledo station in particular.  It is described as a new art metro station.  In fact, I’d describe it as one of the most photogenic metro stations in the world!  If you need an excuse to visit you could get on the metro at Toledo before changing at Museo on your way to Pozzuoli to see the Flavian Amphitheater.

How to Travel from Naples to Pompei by Train

The easiest way to get to Pompei from Naples is by the Circumvesuviana train.  You take the train in the direction of Sorrento from Porto Nolana station in Naples.  It takes around 30 minutes to reach Pompei.  The station you get off at is Pompei Scavi.

Pompei to San Marino

What to see in Naples including the UNESCO historic center of Naples, Sansevero Chapel and the Veiled Christ, Naples Cathedral (Duomo) and the blood of San Gennaro, Castel Sant'Elmo (and view of the city), Castel Nuovo, Spaccanapoli, Royal Palace of Naples and Piazza del Plebiscito, San Francesco di Paola Church, Galleria Umberto I, Day trip to Mount Vesuvius, Day trip to Ancient Pompeii, Watch Napoli play a football match at Stadio San Paolo, and the Maradona Shrine, before taking the train to Pompei