Hidden within this compelling historical city is a wealth of ancient architecture, genuine Neapolitan pizzas and mysterious underground caves.
Naples was first founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC, long before the Romans arrived. Today, it is home to lavish palaces, churches gilded in exquisite religious art and an assortment of Art Nouveau architecture. For a taste of modern Italy, wend your way around the cobbled streets, avoiding scooters and pedestrians, before popping into one of the intimate pizzerias and cafés in the city that invented pizza.
The bustling Centro Storico, the city's historic old town, is a great place to start discovering Naples. Here you can find beautiful churches and entire streets dedicated to selling specific items, such as musical instruments and antique books.
Get to know a different side of Naples through its labyrinth of Greek- and Roman-era caves that lie almost 30 metres below the city before venturing back up to see the nearby Capella Sansevero. This tiny chapel built in 1600 houses many unusual pieces of Italian religious art, while the unique Gesu Nuovo Church is known for its collection of reliefs and frescoes.
One of Naples' most beautiful buildings is the opulent Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) where you can see well-preserved royal furnishings and the National Library. Climb the towers of the 15th century Castel dell’Ovo, on the island of Megaride just off Naples for panoramic views.
Mount Vesuvius looms over the horizon in Naples. This 1200-metre tall volcano is considered one of Europe's most active and devastated the local area when it erupted in 79 AD, burying the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Hike up to the summit of this sleeping volcano for arresting views over the bay of Naples before delving into the excavated ruins of Pompeii beneath.
There's plenty to do in this busy, beautiful Italian coastal city. Summer is a popular time to visit, although it does get quite hot, so bring plenty of water and appropriate clothing. Pay attention to your personal belongings as pickpockets thrive in this city, as in any tourist destination.