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What are the main monuments in Naples?

Little explored by tourists, the city of Naples holds unique and worth-visiting treasures. Find out here on our blog the monuments that you cannot fail to visit and put on your travel itinerary to Italy.

Source Pixabay

What are the main monuments in Naples?

Naples owes its origins to the mermaid Parthenope. No wonder that its character has an extravagance of the hybrid, such as good and evil, joy and sadness, beauty and deterioration. Contrasting souls that meet and live side by side, one notices as soon as it sets foot in this fascinating city. Then, views of a unique panorama, rules of life that are valid only here in Naples and nowhere else on Earth. There are so many things to get to know in this city, and it is not easy to choose what. Let’s get to our Post of the day: what are the main monuments in Naples? We selected 10 must-see places for you;) Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”

(Source: Imagens Brasil Sul)


Naples is a real open-air theater of life, free and accessible to everyone. In all cases, don’t just expect fun scenes and postcard backgrounds. Everything around moves, in a continuous vertex of colors, voices, smells, brightness and bumps, and despite that the soul of this city is old as well as its foundation. Superstitions and fantasies go hand in hand, as does the reality of an extraordinary and unique human nature. To discover the city you can simply take a walk, but if you don’t want to miss out on the best, you can start with these 10 unmissable tips about Naples. Find out here How to get to Naples from Rome?

We will now see the most beautiful monuments of this city, among the blinking eyes and pride of its inhabitants, because it is not only the Neapolitans who are proud of this city, but the whole of Italy and UNESCO, which inscribed the Historic Center of Naples on the list of Humanity Heritage. Also read: What can I do in Naples in one day?

1) What are the main monuments in Naples? SPACCANAPOLI NEIGHBORHOOD

We started the visit in the neighborhood of Spaccanapoli (which means Divide Naples), because it means prizing right away not only the historical monuments of the city, but also its most picturesque reality. Why Spaccanapoli? Spaccanapoli is the road that goes from the Quartieri Spagnoli (“Spanish Quarters”) to the Forcella neighborhood, cutting straight through the city of Naples. The name is understood going up in San Martino and watching from the top as this road cuts through the two hearts of that city. This artery has ancient origins; in fact, it is one of the 3 “decumani”, where the Romans, based on Greek constructions, organized the city. Also, read about The five best pizzerias in Naples!

The neighborhood is rich in monuments, but here there are not only old buildings, like churches; it also has the legendary and unmistakable smells of Neapolitan cuisine. Do not be surprised at all, during the course of Spaccanapoli we can find splendid families and families who live below, artists, artisans and street vendors who sell everything but the kitchen sink. There is no place in the city that can better tell you the soul of Naples, an essence that is revealed here without makeup. The Spaccanapoli district is not a postcard: it is Naples.

2) What are the main monuments in Naples? SANSEVERO CHAPEL

Our journey between the beauties of Naples goes towards Sansevero Chapel, and Cristo Velato (“Veiled Christ”), one of the most fascinating and mysterious works that can be seen in Naples. Many claim that the marble veil over the body of Christ is actually a veil made of fabric transformed into rock, thanks to a special liquid invented by the sinister Prince of San Severo, an illustrious alchemist. Many, instead, say all is result of the talent of Giuseppe Sanmartino, the sculptor who made Cristo Velato. In any case, Sansevero Chapel certainly deserves a visit, not only for Christ, but also for all the works present in this little gem hidden among the alleys of Naples.

3) What are the main monuments in Naples? PLEBISCITE SQUARE AND ROYAL PALACE

We continue the tour to arrive at a symbolic place of Naples, Plebiscite Square and Royal Palace. The Royal Palace is the best-known historical monument in the city, home to the most important sovereigns of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and then “Unità d’Italia”, the Neapolitan seat of the Savoys.

The Palace and the Square

The Palace dates back to 600 AD and is quite admired for its elaborate style of grand staircase, for the pomp of the apartments, in a style of the years 700 BC and for the royal chapel. Of remarkable dimensions, the majestic palace is opposite a monumental area of ​​Plebiscite Square, the large and scenic semi-elliptical portico (which is inspired by the portico of the St Peter’s basilica in Rome, and gives the square its characteristic aspect); it was requested by Gioacchino Murat in 1809, and is supported by 38 huge Doric columns.

Other important and imposing buildings like the Salerno Palace, the Basilica of St Francis and the City Hall Palace surround this place. This wonderful square represents the indisputable symbol of Naples that changes and renews itself. Thanks to so many buildings of great historical and artistic importance, it represents one of the mandatory goals of tourism, a wide-open space that also serves to host mass events and concerts. Today, Plebiscite Square is completely structured for pedestrians.

4) What are the main monuments in Naples? SAN CARLO THEATER

Moving around little by little, we arrive at another masterpiece, the San Carlo Theater. It is the oldest active opera theater in Europe, founded in 1737. One of the most spacious theaters in the Italian style of the peninsula. It can host more than two thousand spectators and a large audience, five rows of stages arranged in a horseshoe shape plus a large royal stage, a gallery and a scenic stage. For its size and structure, it was the model for the following theaters in Europe. Facing the homonymous street and, laterally, in Trieste e Trento Square, the San Carlo Theater, in line with the other great architectural works of the period, such as the great Royal Bourbon, has always represented the symbol of a Naples that marked its status as great European capital.

5) What are the main monuments in Naples? NAPLES CATHEDRAL

How to visit Naples without taking a look at the sites of the celebrated miracle of St Januarius? Along the Via Duomo of the 1800s, the façade of the Cathedral of Naples appears majestic, a place mainly intended for to the cult of St Januarius. For Neapolitans, the Duomo is, primarily, the place where the Chapel and the Treasure of St Januarius are located.

The Cathedral is dedicated to Madonna dell’Assunta, popularly titled to St Januarius. Carlo II d’Angiò built the Cathedral at the end of the 13th century in the Basilica di S. Restituta. Inside, the Latin cross and the three naves; in the nave on the right, there is the Chapel of St Januarius or Chapel of Treasure, where you get directly to the Museum of the Treasure, which, in addition to various precious objects, preserves the bust of the Saint and the two ampoules that contain his blood. According to popular custom, the good omen says that blood should be melted twice a year (May and September), a miracle expected by thousands of believers.

6) What are the main monuments in Naples? UNDERGROUND NAPLES AND THE BOURBON GALLERY

We continue our tour of the most beautiful monuments in the city visiting Underground Naples and the Bourbon Gallery. The city of Naples is a dense labyrinth of ravines, caves and tunnels that tell a story parallel to life on the surface of Naples. The underground city is served to Neapolitans in many ways, as a refuge during bombings, as a source of water, from the tip to the place where the criminals were hiding. In the last ten years, they are recovering the Underground Naples which can be visited from two main routes; Via Via dei Tribunali you can reach the classic route that crosses the Greek-Roman aqueduct, with anti-aircraft refuges, the War Museum, underground gardens and the Seismic Station “Arianna”.

Always excavated underground, but for different reasons, it is the Bourbon Gallery, required in 1853 by Ferdinando II di Borbone. The objective was the underground viaduct that joins the Royal Palace with Vittoria Square, to allow quick access to the Royal Palace by the troops and an escape route towards the sea for the Neapolitan sovereigns. The Gallery had the function of anti-aircraft refuge and judicial deposit; along the way, there are wells, cisterns, cavities, remains of everyday life during the war and huge fragments of statues and old vehicles from those years.

7) What are the main monuments in Naples? CASTLE OF THE EGG

Our tour continues following the waves of the sea, where the ancient islet of Megaride appears, the Castle of the Egg. A walk on the most fascinating seafront in Italy, which allows you to admire this beautiful castle. It was built in tuff and has characterized the Gulf since the 1st century BC. The name derives from an old legend that said that the poet Virgilio hid an egg in secret, in order to keep the fortification in balance. The climb towards the upper part of the castle presents very fascinating stretches, but the most beautiful point is certainly Terrazza dei Cannoni (Cannons Terrace), which is located at the highest part of the castle and where you can enjoy a wonderful view over the Gulf.

Surrounding the Castle of the Egg, there is a village with a characteristic structure and a spectacular atmosphere, the Borgo Marinari di Napoli, built to give a home to the anglers, and has transformed over the centuries, a place for cafes, restaurants and nautical circles. This microcosm is surprisingly beautiful, but be aware of the prices; only a coffee can be very expensive!

8) What are the main monuments in Naples? CAPODIMONTE PALACE AND NATIONAL GALLERY

The Capodimonte Palace is one of the biggest attractions in Naples and is located on the heights of the city. Today it is the National Museum of Capodimonte. It appears inside the large and homonymous forest of the Farnese family’s collection of properties, an important family of Italian patronage. It presents a remarkable collection that ranges from weapons to paintings, from drawings to decorations. Works by Neapolitan and internationally renowned artists such as Tiziano, Botticelli, Mantegna, Goya and Caravaggio are present. The king did not stop at the museum, but Capodimonte’s laboratories, artistic pottery workshops, were also created for his purposes.

The visit to the complex is concentrated in the royal apartments, in particular in the famous Gabinetto, with the porcelain walls, and the Capodimonte Art Gallery, among them the famous Farnese Gallery. The Napoletana Gallery includes, among others, works by Martini, Colantonio, Caravaggio, Ribeira and Giordano. At the exit, there is a splendid park with a magnificent belvedere in the city, called by the Neapolitans “la veduta di Napoli” (the view of Naples).

9) What are the main monuments in Naples? MASCHIO ANGIOINO

The building symbol of historic Naples is the Maschio Angioino (Castel Nuovo), which reveals its grandeur dominating the entire view of the bay. It started in 1282 and the architectural style counts over the period necessary for its completion, be it medieval or that of the Renaissance. The name by which it is best known, Maschio Angioino, derives from Angiò, Carlo I was the one who commissioned the construction. Now the Maschio Angioino is the seat of the Civic Museum and, especially in the summer, a place for shows and cultural events.

The museum route crosses between the Armenia Hall, the Palatine Chapel or Chapel of St Barbara. The first and second plan of the southern curtain together with Hall of Carlo V and Loggia Room that host artistic events and activities. You cannot miss the Palatine Chapel, from the year 300 A.D., which was frescoed by Giotto and his students with the stories of the Old and New Testament. At the entrance to the Maschio Angioino, you cannot forget to look up to admire the triumphal arch, requested by Alfonso d’Aragona to celebrate his conquest of the Kingdom of Naples in 1443. In the stands of the Castle and its terraces, you can enjoy a charming view of the gulf, which offers visitors a unique panorama of the city where our view will look from right to left, from Capri to Capo Posillipo.

10) What are the main monuments in Naples? SAN GREGORIO ARMENO

In the end, we arrive at one of the most characteristic streets, the famous road of nativity scenes and Neapolitan artisans. Its celebrity crosses the urban and Italian borders, reaching the whole world. We want to specify that San Gregorio Armeno is not a road that exists only in the month of December and that the rest of the year disappears almost magically.

San Gregorio Armeno, with its shepherds, its passionate artisans and its ancient atmosphere, is always there, to tell how much this street unites the most true traditions of this city: those of the Neapolitan nativity scenes, art and crafts that are passed down from generation to generation for centuries. The beauty and fascination of the art of the Neapolitan nativity scene lies in the simple fact that the nativity finds its setting in the city of Naples. The Church of St Gregory of Armenia is located on that street, to visit the elaborate Baroque interior.

Map 01 – Monuments in Naples

What are the main monuments in Naples?

Map 02 – Monuments in Naples

What are the main monuments in Naples?
Source Google Maps

How to get to Naples?

Naples is a city well connected to the rest of Italy and is easily reached by plane, car or train.

1) How to get to Naples? BY AIRPLANE

Naples Capodichino International Airport is one of the most important in Italy. In Naples, planes depart and arrive from all Italian, European and international destinations. All airlines and low cost companies stopover in Naples. But if you are arriving from other airports.

Also read our posts about Airports in Italy:

From Naples airport towards the city center with the bus

There are two main lines that lead to the city center; the 3S line that connects to Piazza Garibaldi (Central Station), from where it is very easy to take all the buses or subways that drive towards the different parts of the city. The 3S line leaves approximately every 30 minutes from the arrival fronts, from 5:20 am to 11:20 pm. The (single) ticket costs € 1.10 per passenger.

2) How to get to Naples? BY TRAIN

Naples has three main stations, from where trains from other Italian cities and from abroad arrive and depart:

  • Central Station (Piazza Garibaldi) is the most important, twenty-two binaries where trains from all Italian destinations arrive. Central Naples is advisable to anyone who must reach the city center or the Molo Beverello to embark for the islands.
  • Naples Mergellina is the intermediate station, close to the Molo di Mergellina, from where the airboats depart for the Gulf islands.
  • Naples Campi Flegrei is the stop outside the city center and closest to the stadium. It is ideal for those staying in hotels in Fuorigrotta, Bagnoli, Pozzuoli and Campi Flegrei. All three stations are integrated with the metro lines and are the departure and arrival points for city buses.

Also find out “What is the difference between trains in Italy?”. Would you like to save? So buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?“.

3) How to get to Naples? BY CAR

For those arriving from the north, the main road leading to Naples PE is the Autostrada del Sole Milano-Napoli. Passing the castle of South Caserta, there is a junction of approximately 8 km, which leads to the various exits towards the city.

For those who must reach the center, it is advisable to follow the directions for Naples Center – Port – Maritime Station – Central Station. A few kilometers later, you will find a fork in the road where you should take the direction to the port, which passes through Via Marina or the direction Central Station, which always leads to the center, but passes through the congested Corso Umberto. If you need to get to areas that are far from the center (Fuorigrotta, Bagnoli), take the tangential exit.

Anyone arriving from the south via Salerno – Reggio Calabria arrives at the same intersection, and must follow the signs Naples Center – Port – Maritime Station – Central or Tangential Station. Bari-Napoli also arrives at the junction where there will then be departures for Tangencial or Naples Center. Read here some Examples of car-trip Itinerary in Italy.

Traveling by car in Italy

How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.

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4) How to get to Naples? BY SHIP

Naples has one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean. Cruise ships from all over the world arrive here every week, but mainly connections on ships from all over southern Italy. TTTLines boats connect Naples with Catania with regular trips. Tirrenia connects Naples with Palermo (Sicily) and Cagliari (Sardinia) with regular trips.

Watch this video and learn: What is the average cost of a day in Italy?

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What are the main monuments in Naples? Naples is a city that has made contradictions and contrasts its strength and originality, creating exciting atmospheres that are hard to forget. These are just some of the countless beauties that we can admire in Naples, a non-binding but certainly fascinating itinerary, just as the whole Parthenopean city is.

And if you feel insecure, have no time, and need help to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how we make your life and your trip much easier.

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