At a two-hour distance from Rome, on the northern edge of the Bay of Naples, sits the third largest city and the soul of Italy — Naples. Naples is everything about vibrancy, historical richness, artistic treasure, amazing food and authentic Italian vibes. Here are five hidden gems that you must explore when you’re in Naples, Italy. By Kumar Shree
1. Gabinetto Segreto – Naples Archeological Museum
The Gabinetto Segreto in Naples stands as a testimony to its connection with the Greeks and Romans, and as a collection of its history under one roof. Romans and in particular the citizens of Pompeii and Herculaneum had some serious fascination with erotic art and this place is living proof of that. Filled with erotic mosaics, stone penises, phallic wind chimes and the centre of attraction — ‘The Goat’, this place is a must-visit when you are in Naples.
2. Fontanelle Cemetery Caves
While the idea of visiting a grave might sound spooky at first, Fontanelle Cemetery Caves is anything but spooky. It’s a place born out of a cult dedicated to caring for the ancient dead. It houses a collection of skulls from the 1656 plague, and of those who lost their lives in the bombings of WWII. There were taboos associated with this place until WWII, but then it served as a shelter from bombing!
3. Naples Underground
For those who love to explore, you must check out the Naples Underground. It is a city beneath the city that gives you an entirely different perspective of Naples. You will witness an elaborate network of rainwater cisterns, aqueducts, caverns, catacombs, sewer tunnels 40 m below the surface. It is a different world altogether.
4. Bourbon Tunnel
This one again is an underground attraction of Naples. The tunnel, which was at first left incomplete was identified as one of the key spots for Naples during WWII. As Naples was one of the most widely-hit bombing destinations in Italy, the tunnel facilitated as an air-raid shelter for thousands. You can see artefacts like kids’ toys and gas-masks and other wartime debris like fascist statues and vehicles used during the war. The tunnel, however, underwent a restoration in the 2000s and transformed into a hidden gem.
5. Toledo Art Station
Toledo Art Station is an underground station and is lauded as the most beautiful one in the whole of Europe. The station has been created to bring art to people’s everyday lives. As different levels of the station hold a different colour scheme and depict different themes related to the city, it is definitely one of the hidden gems of Naples that you must check out.
Apart from these hidden gems, there are an array of reasons why you must visit Naples, and the most outstanding of them is the food. It is Naples that introduced the Eggplant Parmesan and Pizza. Pizza, in particular, is taken very seriously in Naples.
The Naples airport Aeroporto Capodichino has frequent flights to other parts of Italy and Europe. The train and bus network are also great ways of getting to and around Naples.
Moving Around Naples
Naples has a hectic traffic network and a crowded public transportation system. Despite that, it is best suggested to stick to public transport as driving in Naples as a tourist is not one of the best ideas.
Best Time To Visit Naples
Naples’ summer is quite demanding, so spring and fall are the best times to visit.