Naples is blessed with magnificent collections of renaissance and baroque art work. At the Museum of Capodimonte, you’ll find paintings by Titian, Raphael, El Greco and more. At the Sansvero Chapel Museum, the highlights are the exquisite statuary such as the Veiled Christ, which is famous for the remarkably tissue-like quality of the carved marble.
Just outside Naples, but a world away in temperament, this island has sand and stone beaches formed from volcanic activity, traditional Mediterranean architecture, and an older, calmer pace of life. Procida, Ischia, and the islet of Vivara are known as the 'isole Flegree' a tranquil place of lemon trees, vineyards, secret gardens, enchanting coves, gracious inhabitants, and good food.
Terra Murata, a fortified village, is dominated by the castle built by the 16th century Aragonese. Clinging to the rock, it looms over Marina Corricella, a small fishing port of colorful houses, red, yellow, blue and pink, and terraced roofs.
Fishing, hiking, mountain biking, cycling, beach lounging, windsurfing, sailing, and scuba diving are a few local activities. There are also historical sites to check out and a local cinema. For apartments and casa rentals, see the website Mipana.
A collection of erotic, sexually explicit works of art taken from Pompeii, in separate galleries of the Naples National Archaeological Museum. A vivid representation of the difference between ancient Roman culture and that of most present-day societies, demonstrating how views on sex, and depictions of sexual acts have changed so much. Since 1819 when excavated, and deemed obscene, they were locked away and in 1849 the doorway to the room was bricked up. Opened, closed again, and then again, it was finally opened to the public only in the year 2000, in it's own exhibit room. See photos online of a few items from the collection.
Underneath Naples’ historic old town lies a network of tunnels and cavities first built in the 5th century BC to collect water for the residents above. This waterworks system remained in use up to the late 1800s, and is now an abandoned underground city. Over its lifetime, the underground has been the source of myths and rumors and legends and you can learn all about them on a guided tour through this fantastical wonderland.
Dominating the skyline from nearly everywhere in Naples is Mt Vesuvius, Europe’s only active volcano. Vesuvius achieved world-wide fame in 79 AD when a massive eruption buried the nearby Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum in ash and lava. The cities were only rediscovered by accident in the late 18th century and have been a major tourist attraction since. Regular bus and train services from Naples connect both sites, where you’ll find nearly perfectly preserved ancient cities and you can arrange guided tours.
Pompeii’s forum, stadium, and baths are the main attractions, but visiting the smaller private homes, businesses, and villas is how you’ll really get a sense of what life was like 2,000 years ago. The Pompeiani decorated their homes with beautiful frescoes and mosaics that showed off Roman sexually libertine mores of the day, preserving and protecting them during the more modest times that followed soon after, with succeeding emperors.
For more of an adventure, take a trip to Vesuvius itself. The area around it is a national park, and a small network of hiking paths that lead right to the 1,200-meter summit.
Back in the city at the National Archaeological Museum you can find more objects, sculptures, and wall paintings that have been removed from Pompeii and Herculaneum. The museum also houses the famous Farnese collection of Roman sculptures, including the famous sculptures from the Caracala Baths.