I’m not from Naples but came here for studying, feel in love with it and ended up knowing it like the palm of my hand. When my friends from abroad come visiting I always feel like I want to take them everywhere but this is not always possible. However, I have my favourite 5 top picks, 5 things everyone must do in Naples beside eating pizza. If you plan to stay in Naples just for a quick getaway and don’t have much time start taking notes!
Located at a 5-minute walk from Naples Central Station, Attanasio sells the best sfogliatella in town, at least in my opinion. Served still hot from the oven, Attanasio’s sfogliattella is a good way to start the day and your visit in Naples. There are two types of sfogliatella: riccia or frolla. The filling is the same (ricotta, almond paste and candied lemon), but the shape pastry is different. The riccia (curly) is crunchy and has many layers, while the frolla is simpler and soft. Whenever I go and eat Attanasio’s sfogiatella I tend to choose the frolla, but thery are both absolutely amazing!
It’s not an overstatement if I say that every time I enter this majestic church I discover something new. Its history is so rich, its decoration so beautiful that I cannot help but loving this place. St. Gennaro’s chapel is located here on the right aisle upon entering. What is interesting is that this particular chapel does not belong to the church but to the people of Naples! Faith in St. Gennaro is very strong and felt in Naples. Every year for "St. Gennaro’s miracle" the Duomo in invaded by hordes of devotees. If you want to know more about the miracle, I have briefly talked about it in this article where I picked 3 top street art and street food in Naples.
We are now in the historical centre of Naples, a place that I can call “home”. This is absolutely one of my favourite top picks because I love coffee and at Bar Nilo they make it excellently. The staff is also super friendly and welcoming but be careful! They serve coffee in the Neapolitan way, namely with the cup super hot from its previous washing. Besides the excellent coffee, I always take my friends here because this is the home of the "Sacred Hair of Diego Armando Maradona", the famous Argentine football player who played in Naples team during its golden period. The bar showcases a reliquary, let’s put it this way, where the piece of hair is enshrined. A cozy place to drink some good coffee and get ready for the next top pick!
I will say this until my very last breath: Naples’s National Archeological Museum is one of the best museums in the world. It hosts three main collections: Farnese, Pompeian and Egyptian. It is absolutely a must if you are not staying long enough to visit the archeological site of Pompeii. As a matter of fact, you’ll find the majority of decorative finds not in Pompeii but here at the National Museum. So, thinking about it, even if you do have time to go to Pompeii, you should not miss this visit! Remember not to miss rooms 62 and 65 also labeled “Gabinetto Segreto” (or secret office) where erotic-themed archaeological finds from Pompeii have been stored. Try not to giggle, if you can!
Located on a tiny island, “The Egg Castle” enjoys one of the most beautiful panoramic views of Naples. It’s like you’re admiring the city from the sea! The name of the castle derives from an old legend: in Neapolitan folk culture Virgil, one of the most important Latin authors, was a sorcerer. He hid somewhere in the castle an egg in order to keep the building intact. If the egg cracked, the entire castle would fall and many ill-fated events would befall upon the city of Naples. Esoteric legends apart, this place was constructed on the tuff rock (hence the color yellow) called Megaride where Parthenope, the ancient name of Naples, was founded in the eighth century BCE by the Greeks of Cuma. A good place to end our tour (for now), right? I hope you have enjoyed my 5 favourite top picks and stay tuned for more articles about Naples and its rich culture!