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NAPLES – AN ANCIENT ‘NEW CITY’

You think you know what pizza tastes like?
You don’t.
Not unless you’ve tried one in Naples.
And if you have tried one in Naples then what are you doing reading this? You’ll already be Naples now, and be as in love with the city as nearly everyone else who has ever been there.

I say ‘nearly everyone’.

Naples is chaotic. It’s a mess. You’ll wince when you see three teenagers whizz past you on a Vespa without helmets. Then you’ll wince when you see them cross six lanes of traffic in a two lane road.

But what tends to happen is that the vibrancy and life gets under your skin. The contradictions on every street corner keep you searching for more. Naples will pick you and shake you about. You feel yourself getting addicted to the buzz and you can’t quite put your finger on it.

Perhaps it’s because Naples loves to party.

As well as huge pizza festivals, jazz festivals, and film festivals, you will find the wonderful Maggio dei Monumenti (the May of Monuments), which is a month-long festival to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Naples. Throughout the month many of the city’s artefacts and monuments, usually closed to the public, are displayed. It is a special time during which the secrets of Naples are revealed to the world.

Perhaps it’s because you can’t get enough of the cuisine.

Where was I? Ah, yes, the perfect pizza.

The world famous Margherita pizza, representing the Italian flag using the colours of basil, tomato, and mozzarella, is named after Queen Margherita Teresa Giovanni who visited the city in 1889. In Naples, the ‘Margherita’ is packed full of intense flavour, with tomatoes often picked from the slopes of Vesuvius, and is frequently one of only two varieties on offer at some of the city’s oldest and most exclusive restaurants.

There’s no getting away from it. This city is crammed full of pizzerias which themselves are crammed full of locals and tourists tearing slices of piping hot pizza off the plate and eating them with their hands. Don’t let this fool you into thinking they don’t respect it. This nation’s unsurpassed dish is, in fact, so respected that the Ministry for Agriculture has regulations that determine how an authentic Neapolitan pizza should be made.

Naples instils a passion for food in its inhabitants. As one of Naples’ most famous exports, Sophia Loren, once said: ‘everything you see I owe to spaghetti’.

Perhaps it’s because Naples is so ancient.

Unlike Naples, not every city can claim to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It was founded by the Ancient Greeks over 2800 years ago, and the historic centre is the largest in Europe, protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. This centre boasts a vast number of impressive monuments, and the atmosphere which comes from such a mix of architecture and sea has attracted poets and writers and artists for over 28 centuries.

With a population of 960,000, triple that of Florence, you shouldn’t come here unless you want life. And lots of it. Southern Italy’s largest city is like a ‘four seasons’ pizza: Baroque, medieval, and modern architecture sit side by side. It is everything you could want from Italy, all served in one dish.

In other Italian cities a great deal of the attraction lies behind the walls, in galleries and cathedrals. In Naples, you can experience the majority of the beauty by watching, eating on the streets, and listening.

Quite simply, just immerse yourself. Walk, talk, eat, listen –the chances are you will be hooked.

That’s not to say that Naples doesn’t have its fair share of beauty behind closed doors. The city’s 448 historic churches make it is one of the most Catholic places in the World, down to the sheer number of places to worship.

As for art, Caravaggio fled Rome to live in Naples, and left a lasting legacy here. Pio Monte della Misericordia holds one of his most well-known paintings. Other works hang in the Capodimonte Museum.

For a break from the buzz, head out on one of the frequent ferries to some tranquillity nearby at Sorrento, Amalfi, Capri, or Ischia, to name but a few idyllic islands and towns. Just don’t miss the chance to see a snapshot in time by stopping off at Pompei on the way down the coast.

Two other places to unwind and enjoy the views that Naples has to offer are Via Caracciolo and Lungomare di Napoli. From these spots you can people watch, and take in the incredible pastel coloured homes, all precariously balanced on top of each other in the folds of the cliffs.

Alternatively, there is a silent and ancient lost world underground. 40 metres below the city you will find extensive caves. The rock was originally excavated by the Greeks in 470 BC to build Neapolis (New City), which became ‘Naples’. Every period of history has left its marks on the walls here, from early Christians using it to bury their dead, to those in World War II needing an air raid shelter.

The transport links in Naples help people navigate their way around the thirty different zones, each with its own style. Did you know that the funicular in Naples one of the longest in the world, carrying 28,000 passengers daily? It is also easy to travel to the nearby Pompei and Vesuvius, a trip not to be missed.

It’s a not all about the past, though. Over the past decade or so, Naples has been greatly regenerated. Modern Art in the subways, Arts festivals, and the pedestrianisation of Piazza del Plebiscito. It’s a place which continually earns its name of ‘new city’.

In Naples you will find one of Italy’s finest opera houses, San Carlo, which is also the oldest in Europe. If you don’t have the time or inclination for a show, it is worth a visit for the grand design and decoration alone. At night you can enjoy a sunset over the Bay of Naples with countless others who never tire of this romantic view, sitting spellbound, staring at Vesuvius, and contemplating the fragility of life.

With most other places you can find somewhere else to liken it to. Not with Naples.
In Naples, the pizzas are thinner, the history is older, and the sounds are louder.

In Naples, you feel more alive than in any other city in Italy.

Text: Lucy Williams

TRAVEL IDEAS - DISCOVER NAPLES AND ITS SURROUNDINGS

Seaside
Seaside
The Sorrento peninsula
The Sorrento peninsula
A strip of land that juts out towards Capri and the Mediterranean Sea, south of the Gulf of Naples. A succession of cliffs overlooking the sea and creeks. "This is the Sorrento coast. A rugged coast o…
Distance: 19 KM
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Seaside
Seaside
Discover the Amalfi coast
Discover the Amalfi coast
Overlooking the Mar Tirreno (Tyrrhenian Sea), the Amalfi Coast is one of the 49 Italian sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Amalfi coast looks like a balcony suspended between the co…
Distance: 37 KM
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Seaside
Seaside
Cilento, the land of sweet hills facing the Tyrrhenian Sea
Cilento, the land of sweet hills facing the Tyrrhenian Sea
Cilento, the land of sweet hills covered by olive trees reflected in the blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea, has always been a crossroads of people and traditions. Crossed by bright streams, rich of  chestnut…
Distance: 99 KM
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Seaside
Seaside
Ponza – Italy’s island of secrets
Ponza – Italy’s island of secrets
Ponza is the largest of all the Pontine Islands archipelago of Italy, situated about 21 kilometers south of Cape Circeo, which is located on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Ponza, among other things, is famous…
Distance: 109 KM
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Seaside
Seaside
Maratea - the pearl of the Tyrrhenian sea
Maratea - the pearl of the Tyrrhenian sea
Maratea is a picturesque hill village that is located high above the sea on the southern Tyrrhenian coast of Italy, in the Basilicata region. The city and its surroundings are an astounding destinatio…
Distance: 155 KM
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Countryside
Countryside
Chieti – the city that carries the legacy of Achilles
Chieti – the city that carries the legacy of Achilles
Chieti is a city as well as commune located in the Southern part of Italy, 200 kilometers east by northeast of Capital Rome. The city is the capital of Chieti province, which is also called the Teatin…
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Seaside
Seaside
Gargano peninsula – the buttress of Italy
Gargano peninsula – the buttress of Italy
Located in the province of Foggia in Apulia in the southeastern fringes of Italy, Gargano is a sub region of immense historical as well as geographical importance, and mainly consists of a wide and is…
Distance: 174 KM
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Seaside
Seaside
Tremiti islands – the tiny heaven on glittering dark blue sea
Tremiti islands – the tiny heaven on glittering dark blue sea
Situated on the Adriatic Sea on the north of Gargano Peninsula, the Isole Tremiti (Tremiti islands) is an archipelago, which constitutes a commune of the Province of Foggia, forming a portion of the f…
Distance: 177 KM
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Seaside
Seaside
Pescara – the picturesque marina on the Adriatic sea
Pescara – the picturesque marina on the Adriatic sea
Situated on the Adriatic Coast, right at the point where the Aterno-Pescara River meets the Adriatic Sea, Pescara is the capital of Pescara Province of the Abruzzo region in Italy. In fact, it is cons…
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Large cities
Large cities
Rome, the city that thrills and seduces you
Rome, the city that thrills and seduces you
Rome, the capital of Italy, is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its historic center, along with extraterritorial properties of the Vatican within the city and the Basilica of …
Distance: 188 KM
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PROPERTIES FOR SALE IN NAPLES

LAST PROPERTIES FOR SALE IN NAPLES AND SURROUNDINGS

COUNTRY HOUSE
NEW CONSTRUCTION
1 bedrooms | 1 baths | 40m2
Ravello | Campania region
Distance: 37km
TOWNHOUSE
RESTORED
2 bedrooms | 3 baths | 161m2
Vietri sul Mare | Campania region
Distance: 44km
COUNTRY HOUSE
NEEDS RESTORATION
1 bedrooms | 1 baths
Agropoli | Campania region
Distance: 83km
COUNTRY HOUSE
HABITABLE
2 bedrooms | 1 baths | 130m2
Busso | Molise region
Distance: 84km
COUNTRY HOUSE
RESTORED
1 bedrooms | 1 baths | 228m2
Castellabate | Campania region
Distance: 86km
VILLA
RESTORED
3 bedrooms | 2 baths | 200m2
San Marco di Castellabate | Campania region
Distance: 86km
COUNTRY HOUSE
NEEDS COSMETIC WORK
2 bedrooms | 1 baths | 132m2
Bagnoli del Trigno | Molise region
Distance: 97km
COUNTRY HOUSE
HABITABLE
3 bedrooms | 2 baths | 100m2
Bagnoli del Trigno | Molise region
Distance: 97km
COUNTRY HOUSE
HABITABLE
2 bedrooms | 3 baths | 140m2
Bagnoli del Trigno | Molise region
Distance: 97km
VILLA
RESTORED
8 bedrooms | 2 baths | 200m2
Casalvieri | Lazio region
Distance: 99km
COUNTRY HOUSE
NEEDS RESTORATION
1 bedrooms | 1 baths | 190m2
Salcito | Molise region
Distance: 103km
COUNTRY HOUSE
HABITABLE
3 bedrooms | 1 baths | 90m2
Guardialfiera | Molise region
Distance: 117km

PROPERTIES FOR SALE IN CAMPANIA

FEATURED PROPERTIES FOR SALE IN NAPLES

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Seafront stone house for sale in Punta Licosa, near Castellabate

Cilento National Park in the town of Castellabate charming and unique setting of Punta Licosa, marine protected area. We offer…

COUNTRY HOUSE | RESTORED
1 bedrooms | 1 baths | 228m2
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Sea view Villa for sale 2km from the beach in Castellabate, heart of Cilento National Park

VILLA ISABELLA - only 2k from the sea. In the heart of the National Park of Cilento (Campania region), Castellabate…

VILLA | RESTORED
3 bedrooms | 2 baths | 200m2
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