Capital of Campania, Naples is like an amalgamation of various Italian cities – it has the attitude of Milan, the sights of Rome, the passion of Venice and the culinary delights of Florence. It is noisy, polluted, overcrowded, and slightly intimidating, but it is equally intriguing and engaging, and boasts one of the spectacular settings in Italy, overlooking the Bay of Naples.
To many the city is a gateway to other destinations south of the city, namely Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, but those travelling to Naples, or Napoli as the Neapolitans call it, should take a day or two to explore it before rushing off to destinations further south.
It may not have the bustling squares of Florence, the imposing monuments of Rome or the flowing canals of Venice, but Naples is where you will see true Italian life it its purist form. This is to many the ‘heart of Italy’.
One that is certain is that Naples can be regarded sometimes as a dangerous city, notorious for petty crime and home to the Mafia. Yes, there are places where you will need to have your wits about you, but isn’t this the case with almost every city in the world? If you are arriving in Naples for some reason or another, spend a day or two here before shooting off. You won’t regret it.