The city of the Italian composer, writer and actor, Totò, smells like delicious pizza napoletana and equally delicious spaghetti Neapolitan. It lies at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, attracting tourists with Miracle of St. Januarius, dozens of museums and galleries, and numerous sacred monuments.
Naples is the cultural and economic center of southern Italy. Crowds of tourists besiege it practically all year round, more or less intensively (depending on the season), but the streets are never empty. The city is not only an important seaport of the country, but also one of the main destinations of pilgrimages. Believers come here in months, during which unusual events take place, impossible to be explained by science. In May, September and December, the most important relic of the city, which is the blood of St. Januarius, changes its color and physical state. Patron of Naples was executed in 305 AD, and during the execution of one of the pious women gathered his blood in an ampoule.
For centuries, the relic was carefully preserved, and now is kept in the chapel built as an expression of gratitude for saving the town from the plague in the sixteenth century. The Church has never officially responded to the question of treating the liquefaction of the blood as a miracle, which doesn’t change the fact that each year crowds of pilgrims visit the city only to see it. No change in the fluid is treated as a bad omen - the relic hasn’t changed its form in 1944, when the volcano erupted.
Neapolis – A New City
Naples from the very beginning was an important point on the map of Europe. Already at the time when it was established as the Greek colony named Neapolis (New City), which took place around 600 BC. Over the centuries, it was the favorite residence of the rulers, including Nero, Charles I of Anjou, later Habsburgs, Bourbons and Napoleon Bonaparte. It was the capital of kingdoms, principalities, and even one of the empires. Today, the historic center of Naples is inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, because of its size (the largest in Europe) as well as beauty.
In the city, every visitor will find something delightful. People, who prefer to contemplate the atmosphere of the monuments of the Italian resort in quiet, will spend more time in the district of Vomero. It's a very nice place with historic cafés, museums and monuments. In turn, Spaccanapoli, is an extremely busy place, full of narrow streets, winding stairs and houses, squeezed one to another. It’s a place, where purebred Neapolitans live.
Monuments covered with dust
Naples is known for its wealth of historical monuments. Those, who have an ambitious plan to see all of them, need to plan a longer stay in the city. It’s difficult to name the most important, because they all do a great impression. You should definitely visit the Royal Palace and Castel Nuovo, an ancient Angevin royal court. Equally notable are: Cathedral of the Saint Januarius, Sant’Elmo castle built on the plan of a six-pointed star and abbey of Certosa di San Martino, which is a stunning example of the Neapolitan Baroque. The last two attractions can be reached by cable car Montesanto Funicular.
While in Naples, you cannot miss the National Archaeological Museum, which contains priceless finds from the two cities buried under the volcanic ash: Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Overnight at the foot of Mount Vesuvius
Naples surroundings are very attractive to tourists, so the number of accommodation places offered there shouldn’t be surprising. Caravanning enthusiasts will also find a perfect place to stay. For example, about 20 km southeast of the city, in the immediate vicinity of the noble Vesuvius, is located Camping Spartacus. An adult will pay 4.5-7 euros per night, while for a place for motorhome - 12 euros. Access to electricity costs 3 euros. The whole campsite has a wireless Internet.
The access is very easy, you just have to follow the A3 route or use the Napoli Express. It’s worth stopping at this campsite just mainly for one reason – it’s located next to Pompei.
The city will engrave in memory of anyone, who will visit it. Not without a reason Goethe once uttered the memorable words: "See Naples and die."