As they say, see Naples and die
If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the city of Naples in the Campania region of southwestern Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its Historic Center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While Naples is not undiscovered it is less tourist infested than many other Italian cites. Read our other articles on western and eastern Campania.
Greek colonists founded Neopolis between the Seventh and Sixth Centuries B. C. Over the centuries this city was dominated by nearly a dozen nationalities. Naples was once the third largest city in Europe and a major cultural center. Unlike northern Italy cities Naples has few immigrants. Unemployment remains high. The Sicilian-based Mafia is not very present, but the local Camorra is. Watch yourself and your belongings in this fascinating city.
Naples is home to many miles of subterranean Greco-Roman reservoirs and tunnels, some of which are available for visiting. Much of Naples is constructed from stone removed during tunnel excavation. During World War II underground Naples served as air raid shelters whose walls display legible graffiti more than sixty years later.
The Castel Nuovo (New Castle) was first built by the Angevins in the Thirteenth Century. It includes numerous frescoes from the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries. The moat surrounding the castle once contained a crocodile that devoured prisoners. The crocodile was killed and stuffed, and hung above a castle doorway where it remained until the mid-19th Century.
The Seventeenth Century Royal Palace was home to Napoleon’s youngest sister and her husband, the King of Naples. See the royal apartments to get a look at real luxury. Next door to the palace is Naples’s largest square, the Plebiscite Plaza whose highlight is the San Francesco di Paola, which resembles the Pantheon in Rome.
Make sure to visit Naples’s excellent museums. The National Archaeological Museum has a great collection of Greek and Roman antiquities. The Museo di Capodimonte includes an extensive collection of paintings by Italian and other European masters. The Palace of Neapolitan Art and Donna Regina Art Museum are devoted to contemporary art.
Naples is the home of pizza including Pizza alla Napoletana, Pizza Margherita, and Pizza Marinara. I love them all. See our companion article I Love Touring Italy – Naples for a sample menu and more information on Campania wines plus an in-depth examination of Naples’s tourist attractions. The Fiano di Avellino is said to be one fine white wine. I tasted this wine and was quite pleased.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.Click to access the original, longer article on this Italian tourist location.
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