The 75 best hotels, restaurants, shops, bars, clubs, cafes, tours, places, and things to do in Naples, Italy.
Romeo Hotel (www.romeohotel.it) • Mercato & The Port • €€€€
A modern design hotel. Its glass and steel exterior gives onto a sleek, contemporary interior with sharply styled rooms and sweeping bay views. The waterfront location is convenient for the ferry terminal, if not the most beautiful. 081 6041580
La Ciliegina Lifestyle Hotel (www.cilieginahotel.it) • Historic Center • €€€€
A classy boutique hotel. Its white, tiled rooms are cool and crisply designed and a sunny rooftop terrace promises memorable views. Well placed for the hydrofoil terminal. 081 19718800
Santa Chiara Boutique Hotel (http://santachiarahotel.com) • Historic Center • €€€€
A small boutique hotel offering stylish, spacious rooms and a great location in the midst of the action. Plenty of bars, restaurants and sights within easy walking distance. 081 5527077
Grand Hotel Vesuvio (www.vesuvio.it) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia • €€€€
A grand old five-star. Kings and Hollywood legends have stayed here, enjoying old-world luxury, elegant marble decor, and an enviable seafront location. 081 7640044
Hotel San Francesco al Monte (https://sanfrancescoalmonte.it) • Vomero • €€€€
A 16th-century convent doubling as a smart four-star hotel. The elegant guest rooms are housed in monks’ former cells and there are huge views over to Vesuvius. Particularly striking is the 7th-floor panoramic pool. Out of the center towards hilltop Vomero. 081 4239111
Eurostars Hotel Excelsior (www.eurostarshotels.it/eurostars-hotel-excelsior.html) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia • €€€€
Grand belle-époque style and five-star service on the seafront. This is one of Naples’ historic hotels, offering opulent decor and a prime location overlooking Castel dell’Ovo and the Borgo Marinaro. 081 7640111
Costantinopoli 104 (http://costantinopoli104.it) • Historic Center • €€€€
A stylish refuge in the heart of the historic center. Its housed in an elegant neoclassical villa with stained glass windows, cool, understated room and a palm-fringed swimming pool. 081 5571035
Grand Hotel Parkers (www.grandhotelparkers.it) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia • €€€€
Naples’ oldest hotel, in business since 1870. Marble and crystal abound and its formally attired rooms feature high ceilings and antique furniture. Its lofty position between Chiaia and Vomero commands great views. 081 7612474
Decumani Hotel de Charme (www.decumani.com) • Historic Center • €€€
A welcoming boutique hotel ensconced in an aristocratic palazzo. With its lavishly-decorated salon and modestly-furnished rooms, it makes an excellent base in the centro storico (historic center). 081 5518188
Hotel Palazzo Alabardieri (www.palazzoalabardieri.it) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia • €€€
An elegant four-star in the upscale Chiaia district. Chandeliers and marble set the tone for comfortable rooms and welcoming service. Well placed for shopping and bar-hopping. 081 415278.
Hotel Piazza Bellini (www.hotelpiazzabellini.com) • Historic Center • €€
A contemporary hideaway in a 16th-century palazzo. It offers tastefully minimalist rooms and an excellent location on a café-lined piazza. It’s within walking distance of many big sights. 081 451732
Micalò (http://www.micalo.it) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia • €€
A tranquil seafront bolthole. On the 2nd floor of an 18th-century palazzo near Villa Comunale park, it has soothing white rooms with hardwood floors and splashes of modern art. 081 761 7131
Orsini 46 (http://www.orsini46.it) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia • €
A lovely apartment B&B. It’s a modest affair but makes an excellent base with three homey rooms, helpful owners and a tranquil location near the seafront. Also great value for money. 081 7643790
Cappella Vecchia 11 (www.cappellavecchia11.it) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia • €
Excellent budget B&B with colourful rooms and a homey vibe. Its quiet, side street location is ideal for the bars and shops of the upmarket Chiaia district. 081 2405117
La Cantinella (www.lacantinella.it) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia
One of Naples’ historic restaurants. The look is casual tiki-bar but the food is high end, ranging from classic Neapolitan seafood staples to decadent meat dishes such as suckling pig with ginger-infused apple purée. 081 7648684
Taverna dell’Arte (www.tavernadellarte.it) • Historic Center
Excellent local food in a cosy, intimate atmosphere. The seafood and pasta dishes are particularly good, made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. 081 5527558
Mimì alla Ferrovia (www.mimiallaferrovia.it) • Historic Center
A historic restaurant in the dingy area near the train station. Much frequented by locals, it’s good for seafood and traditional local fare. Expect gruff service. 081 5538525
La Stanza del Gusto (www.lastanzadelgusto.com) • Historic Center
Eclectic cuisine goes hand in hand with a casual shabby-chic vibe at this cool eatery. You can’t go wrong with the wonderful cheese and charcuterie platters. Near Piazza Bellini. 081 401578
Eccellenze Campane (www.eccellenzecampane.it) • Mercato & The Port
A modern food hall showcasing produce from the surrounding Campania region. You can shop or eat in, feasting on everything from pizza and pastries to craft beer and seasonal seafood. 081 203657
Palazzo Petrucci (www.palazzopetrucciristorante.it) • Mergellina & Posillipo
Refined fine dining restaurant serving Michelin-starred food and dreamy sea views. Locally sourced ingredients are worked into masterful dishes such as blue lobster with aubergine, provola cheese and basil. It’s in upscale Posillipo west of the center. 081 5757538
Antica Osteria Da Tonino • Santa Lucia & Chiaia
As authentic as it gets. For a taste of genuine Neapolitan cooking, this casual old-school trattoria offers a traditional menu of city staples such as salsiccia e friarielli (sausage with peppery greens). It gets very busy. 081 421533
Salumeria (www.salumeriaupnea.it/) • Historic Center
A modern eatery, all exposed stone, industrial flues and contemporary bistro fare. Top quality local produce features in dishes ranging from cheese and cured meat platters to burgers and creative panini. Also daily specials and regional craft beers. 081 19364649
Scaturchio • Historic Center
Naples is famous for its pastries and this old-school pasticceria (pastry shop) is a top place to dig in. Choose between a sfogliatella (a flaky pastry shell stuffed with ricotta and candied fruit), pastiera (a traditional ricotta cake) or babà (sponge cake soaked in rum and sugar). 081 5517031
Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo (www.sorbillo.it) • Historic Center
Iconic pizzeria in the heart of the historic center. Always packed, it’s the real deal with its magnificent wood-fired pizzas and boisterous pack-em in vibe. No reservations. 081 446643
L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele (www.damichele.net) • Historic Center
For a full on Neapolitan pizza experience. That means queues, brisk service, marble-topped tables and just two types of pizza: margherita or marinara (with tomato, garlic, oregano, and olive oil). To drink: beer or wine. No reservations. 081 5539204
La Figlia del Presidente (www.figliadelpresidente.com) • Historic Center
Another excellent pizzeria in the historic center. The huge fried pizzas are fabulous as are the wood-fired pizzas topped by buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes grown on the slopes of Vesuvius. 081286738
Di Matteo (www.pizzeriadimatteo.com) • Historic Center
Divine fried snacks and fabulous wood-fired pizzas. This hugely popular pizzeria-friggatoria (fried food shop) is no-frills to the core with its spartan decor, plastic cups and fast, indifferent service. 081 455262
Pizzeria Starita (www.pizzeriestarita.it) • Historic Center
One of Naples’ oldest pizzerias, still drawing the crowds and winning plaudits. Its signature pizza is montanara, a fried base topped by mozzarella and a sauce made from locally grown San Marzano tomatoes. No reservations.
50 Kalò (www.50kalò.it) • Mergellina & Posillipo
Renowned for its pizzas topped with southern Italian specialities such as mozzarella di bufala (buffalo mozzarella), Amalfi Coast anchovies, and capers from the Aeolian Islands. It’s some way west of the centre in Mergellina. No reservations. 081 19204667
Pizzeria Brandi (www.brandi.it) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia
Historic pizzeria that claims to have invented the margherita. The classic combo of tomato, mozzarella and tomato was created in honour of Italy’s then queen with its three toppings designed to reflect the colours of the national flag. Very touristy. 081 416928
Via Gregorio Armeno • Historic Center
Naples is famous for its presepi (Christmas nativity scenes) and this is the place to buy them. A small street in the historic center, it’s lined with artisanal shops selling cribs and figurines ranging from Mary and Josephs to Hollywood stars and Italian politicians.
E. Marinella (www.marinellanapoli.it) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia
For beautiful handstitched silk ties. This tiny old-fashioned boutique, in business since 1914, has supplied ties to princes and presidents. It also has a range of luxury accessories for men and women. 081 7643265
Bottega 21 (www.bottegaventuno.it) • Historic Center
From handbags to backpacks, belts, purses and wallets. All in leather and all handcrafted into stylish modern designs. 081 0335542
Eddy Monetti (http://eddymonetti.com) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia
A homegrown fashion label, Eddy Monetti is renowned for its elegant clothes, both ready-to-wear and made-to-measure. Menswear is at Via dei Mille 45; womens at Piazzetta S. Caterina 7.
Salumeria Martinelli • Mergellina & Posillipo
One of Naples’ best delis. In the upscale Posillipo neighbourhood, the family-run outfit stocks all sorts of hams, cheeses, conserves, pastas, olive oils and wines, many by top regional producers. 081 575 4702
Limoné (http://www.limoncellodinapoli.it/) • Historic Center
An artisanal shop-laboratory famous for its limoncello. The ultra-sweet lemon liqueur is homemade with hand-peeled lemons from the nearby Campi Flegrei. You can also stock up on grappas, chocs, cookies, even lemon pasta. 081 299429
La Scarabattola (www.lascarabattola.it) • Historic Center
The handmade nativity scenes and figurines from this workshop make for good souvenirs. Choose from biblical figures or traditional characters from Neapolitan folklore. Past clients have included the Spanish royal family. 081 291735
Mercato di Porta Nolana • Mercato & The Port
As much for the atmosphere as the shopping. The raucous street market sprawls around Porta Nolana, its stalls selling everything from fresh fish and seasonal fruit to bootleg DVDs, cheap bags and all manner of plastic tat.
Gay-Odin (www.gay-odin.it) • Historic Center
From gelato to choc-encrusted coffee beans, this magical shop is all about the unalloyed pleasure of high-end chocolate. 081 5510794
Bars, Cafes & Clubs
Ba-bar (www.ba-bar.it) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia
A hip bistro-bar near the Santa Lucia seafront. The vintage-chic look makes for a casual vibe, although things hot up in the evening aperitif hour. Also does food. 081 7643525
Donna Romita (www.donnaromita.it) • Historic Center
A wine bar-restaurant good for cocktails and organic wine. With its pared back grey decor and atmospheric backstreet location, it draws a dressy, fashionable crowd. Also serves contemporary regional-inspired food. 081 18515074
Barril (http://www.barril.it) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia
Fabulous cocktails and a trendy vibe at this cosy Chiaia bar. Its rustic woody look sits well with locals who come for well-mixed margheritas and mojitos, garnished with fresh fruit.
Lanificio 25 (www.lanificio25.it) • Historic Center
Cool venue for gigs, DJ sets, dance performances and exhibitions in a converted 15th-century cloister. 081 6582915
Enoteca Belledonne (www.enotecabelledonne.it) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia
A snug wine bar in the smart Chiaia district. Expect exposed brick walls, plain wooden tables, Italian wines and platters of regional cheeses and cured meats. 081 403162
Intra Moena (www.intramoenia.it/caffe-letterario) • Historic Center
A literary cafe on a lively central piazza. It’s particularly inviting in warm weather when you can sit outside amid the artfully-arranged foliage. Serves a full food menu as well as coffees, wines, beers. 081 451652
Caffe Gambrinus • Santa Lucia & Chiaia
Naples oldest and most illustrious cafe. Inside, it’s all chandeliers and belle époque elegance; outside, tourists sun themselves on a terrace overlooking Palazzo Reale. 081 417582
Caffè Mexico • Historic Center
For superb coffee without the frills. With its standing-room interior and vintage coffee machine, it’s renowned for its smooth, velvety espresso, served already sweetened. On Piazza Dante. 081 5499330
Palazzo Venezia • Historic Center
A secluded cafe in a centuries-old palazzo now serving as a cultural center. Check out the romantic garden on the 1st floor. 081 5528739
Looking for Lila (www.lookingforlila.com)
British writer Sophie Seymour leads guided walks through the historic center. She also runs tours of foodie hotspots and locations from Elena Ferrante’s bestselling novels. 389 8463510 (mobile)
Napoli Sotteraneo (www.napolisotterranea.org)
Tours take you 40m underground into the network of ancient aqueducts and passageways beneath the historic center. 081 296944
See Naples from the back of a Vespa scooter. Tours (you ride pillion with your tour guide/driver) cover the city’s main attractions as well as places further afield: Vesuvius, Sorrento and Pompeii. 328 4134719 (mobile)
Walks of Italy (www.walksofitaly.com)
US outfit offering three-hour walking tours of Pompeii. Visits take in the site’s main structures as well as the famous plaster casts of people killed during Vesuvius’ eruption.
Things to Do
Walk the Streets • Historic Center
Take to the teeming lanes of the historic center to experience Naples’ legendary streetlife. Spaccanapoli, a long strip of several streets strung together, traverses the area leading to majestic baroque churches, ornate piazzas and heaving street markets.
Museo Archeologico Nazionale (www.museoarcheologiconapoli.it/en/) • Historic Center
One of Italy’s great museums. Its world-class collection of Greek and Roman treasures includes mosaics from Pompeii and an outstanding sculpture known as the Toro Farnese (Farnese Bull). 081 4422328
Duomo • Historic Center
Check out the flamboyant baroque decor of Naples’ imposing cathedral. The Duomo is the setting for the city’s major religious festivity, the Festa di San Gennaro, when thousands gather to witness the miraculous liquefaction of St Januarius’ desiccated blood. 081 449097
Cappella Sansevero (www.museosansevero.it/en/) • Historic Center
Home to one of Naples’ most spectacular masterpieces. Giuseppe Sanmartino’s Cristo velato (The Veiled Christ) is an incredible life-size depiction of Jesus lying under a transparent shroud. Altogether stranger are the chapel’s Anatomical Machines – two human skeletons displayed with perfectly preserved arterial systems. 081 5518470
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte (www.museocapodimonte.beniculturali.it) • Capodimonte
Naples’ premier art museum. Housed in a colossal royal palace, it displays works by the likes of Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio, even Andy Warhol. To get there, take the Shuttle Capodimonte from Piazza Trieste e Trento or city bus Nos 168, 178, C63, or R4. 081 7499111
Certosa San Martino (www.polomusealecampania.beniculturali.it/index.php/certosa-e-museo) • Vomero
A landmark monastery complex famous for its opulent baroque decor and beautiful panoramic cloisters. It’s up in the hilltop Vomero district, accessible by funicular from Montesanto station. 081 2294502
Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara (www.monasterodisantachiara.it) • Historic Center
A serene monastery complex. Its centrepiece is the Basilica di Santa Chiara, which was rebuilt in its original Gothic style after it was damaged by bombs in WWII. Also impressive are its cloisters, decorated with frescoes and majolica tiles.
Pompeii & Herculaneum (www.pompeiisites.org) • Bay of Naples
Pompeii is a must, and can easily be covered on a day trip from Naples. It is vast, though, so be prepared for a workout as you explore its preserved houses, baths, temples, and amphitheater. Nearer to Naples, you can also visit the smaller site of Herculaneum, a second victim of Vesuvius’ AD 79 eruption. Both sites are simple to get to from Naples: from underneath Stazione Centrale, take the Circumvesuviana train to Ercolano Scavi for Herculaneum (about 20 minutes) and Pompei Scavi for Pompeii (35 minutes).
Palazzo Reale (http://www.polomusealecampania.beniculturali.it/index.php/il-palazzo) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia
Naples’ 16th-century royal palace. Overlooking Piazza del Plebiscito, its lavishly furnished rooms harbor a rich collection of paintings, sculptures, tapestries and fine porcelain pieces. 081 5808255
Seafront • Santa Lucia & Chiaia
Stretch your legs on Naples’ lungomare (seafront). With Vesuvius looming on the horizon and the island of Capri shimmering in the blue haze, the promenade between Castel dell’Ovo and Mergellina is a glorious spot for a stroll.
Teatro San Carlo (www.teatrosancarlo.it) • Santa Lucia & Chiaia
Take in a performance at one of Italy’s top opera houses. Its classic gilded interior sets a memorable stage for world-class opera, ballet and classical music. 081 7972331
Capri • Bay of Naples
A stunning sea cave, ethereal blue waters, whitewashed villages and classic Mediterranean seascapes. Capri makes for a memorable day trip from Naples. Frequent hydrofoils serve the island from Molo Beverello, taking about 50 minutes to make the crossing (€20 one-way).
Catacomba di San Gennaro (www.catacombedinapoli.it) • Rione Sanità
Naples’ oldest and most famous catacombs. Traces of mosaics and early Christian frescoes can be seen on the walls of the underground tunnel complex where the city’s patron saint was buried in the 5th century. 081 7443714
Cimitero delle Fontanelle (www.cimiterofontanelle.com) • Rione Sanità
A historic cemetery filled with skulls and human bones. In the 19th century it was the center of a cult known as the anime pezzentelle in which Neapolitans would adopt a skull and pray for the soul of its owner in return for protection. 081 19256964
MADRE (www.madrenapoli.it) • Historic Center
Naples’ top modern art museum. It has a fine permanent collection with works by important international and Italian artists and regularly hosts temporary exhibitions. 081 19737254
Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano (www.gallerieditalia.com/it/napoli/) • Historic Center
A 17th-century baroque palace with opulent decor and a fascinating collection of Neapolitan and Italian art. The headline act is Caravaggio’s last painting, The Martyrdom of St Ursula. 800 454229
The teeming, chaotic heart of the city. Its claustrophobic alleyways are lined with grimy palazzi, ornate churches, baroque piazzas, artisans’ workshops and boisterous pizzerias.
Best stuff: La Ciliegina Lifestyle Hotel; Santa Chiara Boutique Hotel; Costantinopoli 104; Decumani Hotel de Charme; Hotel Piazza Bellini; Taverna dell’Arte; Mimì alla Ferrovia; La Stanza del Gusto; Salumeria; Scaturchio; Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo; L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele; La Figlia del Presidente; Di Matteo; Pizzeria Starita; Via Gregorio Armeno; Bottega 21; Limoné; La Scarabattola; Gay-Odin; Donna Romita; Lanificio 25; Intra Moena; Caffè Mexico; Palazzo Venezia; Museo Archeologico Nazionale; Duomo; Cappella Sansevero; Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara; MADRE; Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano.
This rough and ready quarter sprawls north of the historic center. There’s no great reason to dally but beneath its hectic streets are two fascinating sights: the Catacomba di San Gennaro and the Cimitero delle Fontanelle.
Best stuff: Catacomba di San Gennaro; Cimitero delle Fontanelle.
Mercato & The Port
Squeezed between the historic center and the port, the run-down Mercato area has few must-see sights but there’s street drama at the Mercato di Porta Nolana and gourmet treats await at Eccellenze Campane.
Best stuff: Romeo Hotel; Eccellenze Campane; Mercato di Porta Nolana.
Santa Lucia & Chiaia
Southwest of the historic center, Santa Lucia extends from Piazza del Plebiscito down to the seafront where you’ll find several historic hotels. To the west, upscale Chiaia is a fashionable area full of designer boutiques and fashionable bars.
Best stuff: Grand Hotel Vesuvio; Eurostars Hotel Excelsior; Grand Hotel Parkers; Hotel Palazzo Alabardieri; Micalò; Orsini 46; Cappella Vecchia 11; La Cantinella; Antica Osteria Da Tonino; Pizzeria Brandi; E. Marinella; Eddy Monetti; Ba-bar; Barril; Enoteca Belledonne; Caffe Gambrinus; Palazzo Reale; Seafront; Teatro San Carlo.
Hilltop Vomero offers a tranquil antidote to the relentless chaos of the historic center. It’s an elegant quarter of Art Deco villas and grandstand views, and while it’s some way from the action it’s accessible by funicular from stations on Piazza Montesanto and Piazzetta Augusteo.
Best stuff: Hotel San Francesco al Monte; Certosa San Martino.
North of the center, Capodimonte is home to a huge park, once a royal hunting reserve, and the city’s top art museum. Accessible by bus Nos 168, 178, C63 and R4.
Best stuff: Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte.
Mergellina & Posillipo
Marking the western end of the seafront, Mergellina is a workaday area full of popular gelaterias, seafood restaurants and pizzerias. Rising further west, Posillipo is one of Naples’ smartest neighborhoods with its grand villas and high-end restaurants.
Best Stuff: Palazzo Petrucci; 50 Kalò; Salumeria Martinelli.
Bay of Naples
Southeast of the city, Mt Vesuvius looms over the Bay of Naples. The heavily built-up area, served by the Circumvesuviana train, is home to the ancient sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Off shore, Capri is one of several bay islands and a favourite day trip destination.
Best stuff: Pompeii & Herculaneum; Capri.