written byFoodTripGo

Naples: City of Pizza, Coffee, Baba, Vesuvius and much, much more!

Jan 12, 2024 | Italy

The itinerary in the Partenopean City, including traditional culinary delicacies and artistic wonders

Naples has given rise to unique architectural, pictorial, artistic and culinary movements. Pizza Napoletana and the art of its pizza makers have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its historic center has also become so, as evidence of the passage of Mediterranean cultures, and Vesuvius is also a world nature reserve. Naples offers a combination of culinary, historical, artistic and natural uniqueness that is well worth discovering.

Naples and the Dishes of Culinary Tradition

A peculiar culinary tradition known throughout the World was born in Naples. The Neapolitan pizza is an absolute icon and symbol of Italian-ness. It may be because of the secrets kept by the Neapolitans, it may be because of the ingredients, it may be because of the climate, it may be because of the method of leavening the dough, but Pizza in Naples is something else entirely!

But the Neapolitan culinary tradition goes far beyond pizza. A seaside city always offers dishes with fish, and Naples has its Cuoppo di mare, or cone with fried fish, convenient to eat while walking through the city’s alleys. In addition to this, impepata di cozze and polpo alla Luciana, cooked with tomatoes, capers and olives, are also typical fish dishes.

Neapolitan cuisine is also rich in pasta, prepared in every imaginable way. Macaroni frittata is a great classic, as is pasta with Neapolitan ragu, prepared with beef, pork, cacio cheese, parsley, garlic, and raisins.

The real delicacies are the Neapolitan sweets, such as Babà, Sfogliatella, and Pastiera. Legend has it that the Pastiera was given by the people of Naples to the mermaid Partenope to thank her for her singing.

The Legend

Naples is also often called the Parthenopean City. This name comes from the Siren Parthenope, who, according to legend, fell in love with Ulysses and, distraught at not being able to make him yield to her flattery, committed suicide. The waves of the sea carried the body of the Siren Parthenope into the gulf of rare beauty, where Naples was founded in her honor.

Strolling in the Napoletanity

Here is what to see in an itinerary in downtown Naples

Castel dell’Ovo

We begin our itinerary from where, according to the legend of Partenope, Naples began. Right here the mermaid’s body arrived dragged by the waves. The name Castel dell’Ovo comes from another legend that says that the poet Virgil enclosed an egg in a cage hanging from the ceiling of the dungeon, which had the power to hold the castle up and protect the entire city.

The Bourbon Gallery and Underground Naples

Continuing from the sea toward the center, one encounters the Galleria Borbonica, an archaeological museum and one of the entrances to the underground part of Naples. Underground Naples tells the story of the City from underground. Over time it has changed function: from collecting water for the City’s sustenance, to protecting the population during the bombings of World War II.

Plebiscite Square, the Pontifical Royal Basilica of St. Francis and the Royal Palace

Not far away is the famous Piazza del Plebiscito. At either end are the Papal Royal Basilica of St. Francis on one side and the Royal Palace on the other. Cultural events are often held here, thanks to the large spaces of the square.

San Carlo Theater, Umberto I Gallery and the Maschio Angioino

Just around the corner is Teatro San Carlo, the city’s opera house, dating back to the 1700s and known throughout the World. Just across the street is the Galleria built in honor of Umberto I. Not far away is one of the symbols of the City of Naples: Castel Nuovo, known as the Maschio Angioino.

The monumental complexes and places of worship in Naples

Naples is a very large City, so the long walk may tire you out. An alternative may be the bicycle, which allows you to move around the alleys well, or the subway. The Toledo station, not far from the Maschio Angioino, is very colorful.
We continue our itinerary with a series of monumental complexes, churches and chapels with unique architectural and artistic beauties. Among these, worth visiting are Sant’Anna dei Lombardi, the monumental complexes of Santa Maria La Nova and Santa Chiara with its cloister, the Church of the Gesù Nuovo, the Sansevero Chapel Museum and the Chapel of Monte di Pietà.

Via San Gregorio Armeno

San Gregorio Armeno is the most typical and distinctive street in Naples. On either side are the stores of artisans who create the famous nativity figurines by hand. New ones are created every year, remaining related to current events. The true creativity and passion of the Neapolitans can be found here. It is an area made even more lively by street-side ringers.

Naples Cathedral and the Church of San Giovanni a Carbonara

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, known as the Cathedral of Naples, is Gothic in style and houses the oldest baptistery in the West and the relics of San Gennaro, the City’s patron saint. Here three times a year the rite of the melting of the Saint’s blood takes place. Not far away is the Renaissance-style Church of San Giovanni a Carbonara.

The Catacombs of San Gennaro, the Fontanelle Cemetery and Castel Sant’Elmo

Another part of the picturesque underground Naples is the Catacombs of San Gennaro, dating back to the second century. Also nearby is the Fontanelle Cemetery, which houses the remains of people who were victims of the great plague of the 1600s and the cholera of the 1800s.

Our itinerary ends with the highest point in the City of Naples, Castel Sant’Elmo. From here there is a splendid view of the historic center.

Naples and its infinite cultures

Naples is a city where many cultures have succeeded one another, each leaving their mark. Here legend combines with Neapolitan veracity. Architectural, artistic and musical art is linked to culinary art. And all this makes Naples a perfect city for a gastronomic tour that combines the passion for good food of the Italian tradition with the culture of a people, which always passes also through the table.

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