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Naples itinerary three nights

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Sep 4th, 2011, 11:42 AM
  #1
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Naples itinerary three nights

Greetings;
We will be in Naples for three nights , arriving late Friday afternoon, October 7. Our time is somewhat limited, but we have two full days; Saturday and Sunday to see as much as possible. Our B&B is in the historic center, Piazza Dante. There are several sights on our list below that we are considering, yet we are open to other options. Any suggestions and feedback would be helpful, like is the site worthwhile, when is a good time of the day to visit and how much time to allow.

National Archaeological Museum
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte
National Museum of San Martino

Santa Chiara, Cappella Sanservero
The Duomo
Pio Monte Della Misericordia

The Napoli Sotterranea tour
Catacombe di San Gennaro

Palazzo Reale
Lungomare and Castel Dell'Ovo
Posillipo and Vomero

Our focus is on Naples, not the Amalfi coast. Also, we plan to use public transportation. Thank you.
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Sep 4th, 2011, 02:37 PM
  #2
ira
 
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Hi Steve,

Good plan.

I highly recommend the Sansevero.

Enjoy your visit.

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Sep 4th, 2011, 05:55 PM
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An extraordinary church interior not far from where you are staying is Sant'Anna dei Lombardi, on the via Monteolivedo (about a 5 minute walk from piazza Dante).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sant'Anna_dei_Lombardi

San Martino is in Vomero, and you might enjoy going up in the afternoon so you can include the sunset views. The rich interior is a solid 90 minutes to tour (another hour is needed if all the museums are open and you want to see them). Afterward, it can be fun to join the youthful passeggiata around the piazza Vanivitelli. That's when Vomero comes to life, and I wouldn't bother going any earlier in the day. Sit down in one of the bars and have a drink. There are nice restaurants and pizzerie up there, close to the funiculare, if you want to stay for dinner. Search the Chowhound Italy board for recommendations.

Logistically, it might make sense to combine the archeology museum on the same day with the Capodimonte because there is a bus that runs between the two. But be aware that the Capodimonte is vast, and some people would have trouble combining two important museums in the same day. The Capodimonte is one of the most underrated sights in all of Italy, and certainly one of Europe's great museum, so give it your best energy. The Catacombs (which I've never seen) are close to the Capodimonte, so maybe you could see all three in one day -- but public transportation is good enough in Naples that if seeing the two museums on different days would be best for you, you should do that.

Again, logistically, I would be tempted to pair Santa Chiara with the Lungomare. Castel Nuovo (especially its doors) is actually more interesting than Castel Ovo. I didn't enter the Palazzo Reale because it didn't sound like it would interest me from reading guidebooks, but I am generally less interested in castles and palaces than I am in art.

The Naples Sottaterraneo is very close by the Cappella Sansevero, the Pio Monte Della Misericordia. I was surprised that the underground tour didn't interest me as much as I thought it would. I believe there are other underground accesses to Naples -- one near Santa Chiara (near the Caffee Gambrinus) and another near the Duomo.

It sounds like heresy, but I though the Duomo was the least interesting church I saw. If you decide to go in, the most artistically rewarding part is the "annex" (actually the original church) with its baptismal font, and there is also a fading Perugino in the church. Otherwise, the super-gaudy interior is definitely an "only in Napoli" showcase, but if you found yourself pressed for time and skipped it, you'd still leave Napoli with a very clear sense of Neopolitan overload.

I've not been to Posillipo.

As much as possible, try to determine in advance the opening and closing hours of every place you want to go. Ask your hotel for help, even phoning ahead. The hours listed on websites and in guidebooks are often spontaneously changed.

Have a great time in one of my favorite cities in Europe. For me, the pasta in Naples is even greater than the pizza, and the coffee is excellent too. Almond milk is another great local treat.
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Sep 5th, 2011, 06:27 AM
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Thank you zeppole.
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Sep 5th, 2011, 07:48 AM
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Hi there! Might I offer one or two suggestions?

This summer the Naples area tourism people restarted their wonderful 'Qui Napoli' magazine - which offers visitors a huge amount of useful information. In several years I've yet to see a paper copy, but the PDF version is here...
http://www.inaples.it/public/quinapoli/quinapoli.pdf

It's stuck on the July/August edition, so I'm not sure if there'll be more - but get the PDF while you can!

(The train and ferry details given in that will predate its mid-June publication, so I'd suggest ignoring those - however opening times etc should be more uptodate than any guidebook)

And something else that may be of interest, the Campania Artecard...
http://www.campaniaartecard.it/

Many versions, some of which have a pass for use on public transport included.

http://www.campaniaartecard.it/transport.cfm

Probably best to decide once you'd worked out just which of the many many places - both in and around the city - you'd like to see...

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/tele

Otherwise, there's an item on the ordinary tickets and travel passes - on page 86 of the QuiNapoli magazine!

For some very good maps of the public transport system (sometimes available as hard copies from the Infopoints) you can, unsurprisingly, start from the "Maps" section here:
http://www.unicocampania.it/index.php?lang=en

After several years, we made a return visit to Posillipo recently - not on foot this time, but instead we rode one of the CitySightseeing buses. The pictures are amongst those of Naples here...

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/nap_ho_ho

That would be handy if you wanted to visit the Grotta di Seiano...

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/flegreiother

.. or - but you can't do everything!

Peter
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Sep 5th, 2011, 08:13 AM
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Hi Peter,

Thank you for the tips and sharing the pictures. I will get a Campania Artecard.

Steve
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Sep 5th, 2011, 08:49 AM
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Thank you bardo1.
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Sep 5th, 2011, 09:13 AM
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You've gotten excellent advice above.

We spent a week in Naples last winter and loved it.

I agree about the Duomo, I was underwhelmed.

Definitely visit Capodimonte. We saw it after the catacombs (took the bus) and had the place almost to ourselves. Nice little cafe there, too.

Don't miss a fab pizza place on the way back down the hill, Starita: http://www.pizzeriastarita.it/

Don't be afraid to explore the back streets/side streets, too.
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Sep 5th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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Thank you nanBug, i will explore the back streets. Is there a section where crafts are sold by artist who set up portable tables, ect?
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Sep 5th, 2011, 09:23 AM
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Take a trip to Piazza Garibaldi and get on a bus that takes you to Via Petrarc, (it's the only way I know how to get there). When you get to Via Petrarc, you'll know when you get there by the bus climbing a hill and going around a curve and opening a great panorama. Stay on the bus for a few stops, and then get off. There are benches along Via Petrarc. Sit down and view the most amazing panorama on earth. The bay of Naples, with Vesuvio as a background, offers such a view that it cannot be duplicated anywhere on this planet. I've been there very many times, and each time I go, it's like the first time. It literally brings tears to my eyes because of its enormity. You probably have seen photos of this view, but seeing it in person is unbelievable. Also, (this is an oddball), go to the Mc Donalds in Piazza Dante, order something, and go upstairs to the second floor. One complete wall here is a large window. Seat yourself at this window, and stay for a time. You will have a great view of the coming and goings of hectic and interesting Naples as seen from Piazza Dante. The exitement and electricity of the great city is really a sight not to be forgotten. Also, try to get into San Carlo for a self guided tour. It's a great place to see how the upper crust used to live in Napoli years ago. I have so many memories and stories on Naples that I could write an essay. Every year when I go there, I find something new.
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Sep 5th, 2011, 09:30 AM
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Thank you Waldo.
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Sep 5th, 2011, 10:53 AM
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Steve31,

Practically on top of the entrance to the Sottoterraneo, you will find via San Gregorio Armeno, which is the street where artisans make the figures for Nativity Scenes, which is a legendary craft in Napoli.

http://www.portanapoli.com/Eng/naple...io-armeno.html

There may be other areas in Napoli where artists set up easels and paint, but I don't know them.

I have no problem with the above advice to take a seat on the upper floor of MacDonald's to enjoy the view, but you'd be nuts to drink coffee there with a Caffe Mexico steps away. Caffe Mexico is some of the best coffee in Italy, so get an order of fries or better yet, a bottle of water, at MacDonald's, not coffee. For an order of fries, try one of Napoli's popular fry shops:

http://www.foodmaven.com/guide/one-d...of-naples.html
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Sep 5th, 2011, 11:19 AM
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The McDonald's at Piazza Dante was closed and boarded up last January, FYI. Don't know if they plan to reopen or not, but it sure didn't look like it.

Cafe Mexico is excellent. Don't forget to pay first, they'll give you a little receipt which you then present to the bar man. There are also other good, local coffee bars further north on the via Enrico Pessina as you walk toward the archaeology museum. A bit cheaper, too.

The Nativity carving shops are definitely interesting, shop around first though, there are so many of them.

There are also a couple of tiny leather shops on the stretch of via San Sebastiano, which runs behind Piazza Dante. I bought several items from a place called Sculptura (I believe, don't have the info here right now). All made in Naples, the shopkeeper and his father have been making leather goods for ages. Lovely, relatively inexpensive items -- all hand made.

You'll have a fabulous time. I hope you're venturing further afield to the incredible archaeological sites nearby. We loved our trips to Paestum and Oplontis.
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Sep 5th, 2011, 11:44 AM
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Wow! thank you for all the great advice. It seems a bit overwhelming with so much to do and see.
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Sep 5th, 2011, 12:09 PM
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Caffe Mexico and many other coffee bars in Napoli will automatically put sugar in your coffee. If you don't want it, then make sure, after you pay the cashier and take your receipt to bar to get your coffee. that the barista hears you say "no zucchero". (No ZOOK-ay-roh.) Per favore.
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Sep 5th, 2011, 12:11 PM
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Oh -- and Napoli is overwhelming. There is no un-overwhelming experience of it to be had.
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Sep 5th, 2011, 12:27 PM
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Thank you for cafe tip Zeppole.
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Sep 5th, 2011, 12:44 PM
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Yeah, Zeppole's right about it being overwhelming. I found it to be very exhilarating and alive, but never realized how over-the-top things were till we arrived at Termini Station in Rome and things suddenly felt very calm. Imagine? Our 10 days in Rome felt like a week in the countryside in comparison to Naples. I can't wait to go back, though, I just loved the buzz.
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Sep 6th, 2011, 08:31 AM
  #20
 
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"Logistically, it might make sense to combine the archeology museum on the same day with the Capodimonte because there is a bus that runs between the two."

Sorry to poach this thread but would it be nuts to visit the Capodimente and then walk down to the archaeology museum? (maybe hit Starita on the way?) We have 3/4 of a Saturday in Naples before an early AM departure the next day.
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