I wanted to take a few moments to share 5 reasons as to why Naples needs to be numero uno on your Italian Bucket List:-
- Nowhere else in Italy will greet you with its arms open so wide. Naples is incredibly welcoming. People really do go out of their way to help you there. Despite being Italy’s third-largest city, it has not lost its sense of community. Far from it, in fact. And far from the somewhat clinical, museum-like experience you might get in the North.
- MOZZARELLA DI BUFALA – If you press down on a fresh mozzarella di bufala ball in Naples, the milk literally seeps out of it. Need I say more? Walk past the Caseificio in front of the Cumana in the Montesanto quarter at around 6pm and let the intense fragrance of smoked provola diffuse into your nostrils. Words can’t describe the divinity. And let’s be honest, when you think of mozzarella, you can’t help but think of pizza. You will struggle to eat anything that even remotely resembles the Italian flatbread once you’ve had it in the motherland. Definitely check out Sorbillo in the old town. For some out of this world seafood, hit Antica Capri. And for an outrageously cheap but scrumptious lunch, visit Enzo at Spiedo d’Oro on Via Pasquale Scura. Please say hello from me if you do go.
- The markets of Naples will be up there with some of the best you’ve visited in Europe. Check out the Pignasecca in Montesanto for an authentic, somewhat manic taste of the real Naples, and do pass by Pescheria Azzurra to see what a real fish market looks like! Head on over to San Gregorio Armeno at Christmas for some of the oldest and most beautiful nativity scenes you will ever have the fortune of seeing.
- Studied Italian at some point of your life? Visiting Naples will make you question your abilities! The Napoletano dialect is crazy, but also very comical. It’s worth popping into a bar just to hear the barmen insulting each other, accompanied by joking and laughter of course.
- If you’re not already convinced, let me leave you with the following: Pompei; Vesuvio; Sfogliatelle; Babà; sun; sea; tarantella music; the original Italian espresso; Palazzo Reale; Piazza del Plebiscito; gelato; churches (SO MANY CHURCHES); la moda; Vespas all around….
These words don’t do the city justice. Never in my life has a place remained so deep in my thoughts. It’s been six months since I left and I still think about it every day.
The train station may not be the most aesthetically pleasing architecture you have seen, but please, please avoid the footsteps of so many tourists who skip past this magical city, opting instead for the rather touristic Sorrento and Amalfi Coast.
Naples is not Italy. It isn’t even Europe. You have to live it to understand. What’s more, with a Margherita pizza at 3euro and a beer (granted I hunted a little for it) for as little as 98cents in Piazza Kestè, you really don’t have any choice!