Naples: A Hidden Italian Gem

For my latest vacation, I wanted to choose a city in my favorite country Italy. I have already visited all of the famous ones like Rome, Venice, Florence, and I have passed by Naples in bus on my way to Capri. So I thought to myself: Why not Naples? I mean we have all grown up eating the Neapolitan Pizza, it's only fair we visit its homeland.

So Naples it was! I booked my tickets right away and without hesitation, since I was familiar with Italy and didn't need to launch an A-to-Z kind of research. But hours after I received the plane confirmation I started regretting my decision.

Why? Well, as many of you, I go through a dozen of travel forums, guides and websites. I like to mix it up, so I include luxury and backpacking kind of vacation references. And the moment I started googling local activities in Naples, all I would see were comments describing Naples as dirty, scary, chaotic and unsafe. I have to admit that I was completely terrified, and didn't know how I could manage to stay there the least amount of time possible, out of fear of being robbed by the "mafia."

So summer approached, I eventually planned some visits and escapades to neighboring areas. Fast forward to the day of travel, from the very moment I landed in Naples, I was amazed by a vibrant and lively city. Another face of Naples that was way different from what I have read.

Just walking through its picturesque narrow streets, with laundry hanging out from one building to another, will make you feel like you are on a Hollywood movie set. There is so much to do and places to visit in and around the city. Yes it could be crowded and a little disorganized, but it's an adventure by itself, especially to those who like to experience new things.

At the end of the day, each person's travel experience depends on his/her preferences. Before deciding on a destination, you have to remember that you will pass a couple of days and not move there permanently. So that's why I believe that if you are a lover of the real Italian way of life, then you will definitely enjoy Naples. Naples has Italian vibes all over!

To-visit-list in Naples:
  • Historical center (Duomo di Napoli and the surrounding area)
  • Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace)
  • Piazza del Plebiscito (City Center)
  • Chiaia Seasfront (The Italian version of Cannes' La Croisette)
Day trips outside of Naples:
  • Pompeii Ruins
  • Island of Capri
  • Island of Ischia

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