Even if you have visited Italy before, nothing can quite prepare you for the colorful and occasionally chaotic city of Naples. Street life is vibrant, the colors are bright, and the aroma of pizza– real pizza, invented in Naples– are everywhere. Visiting nearby Pompeii should be on everyone’s list, along with the National Archeological Museum and the Catacombs of San Gennaro.
There are churches and chapels galore, a Cathedral, the district of Santa Lucia (you’ve heard the song, now see the place that inspired it!) And, if you have the inclination and time in the evening to take in a real Italian opera, you’ll be able to do it at the Real Teatro di San Carlo– completed in 1737, the oldest continuously active opera house in all of Europe. Remember that August 15th is a holiday in Italy-Ferragosto– for the Catholic feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Expect most businesses to be closed that day, and possibly longer: the entire month is a key vacation time for Italians who may weekend away (Ponte di Ferragosto) or take extensive time away from work.
Don’t forget that Campania is also home to the famed Amalfi coast, and not only will it be cooler along the coast, but you’ll get to see the famed towns of Positano, Ravello, Sorrento and Amalfi– all less than 50 miles from Naples. Make sure to enjoy a Limoncello at least once on your trip– many restaurants make their own and serve it with their compliments after a meal.