Naples boasts some of the world’s finest museums, and the city’s palazzo (and courtyards and gardens) are well-kept secrets. The historic center of Naples is the Centro Storico and one of the busiest parts of town. The Duomo houses the Museo del Tesoro, which features an impressive array of paintings, frescoes, and gilding. Some 35 meters below street level here are Napoli Sotteranea, a network of tunnels, aqueducts, and chambers dating back to the 4th century BC. Visitors may tour approximately 1 kilometer of the tunnels, which takes about 90 minutes. The San Lorenzo Maggiore is a 13th century church with an underground treasure: the streets of Naples as they were 2,000 years ago, complete with a butcher’s shop, baker, and arcade.
The Royal Naples district was the center of royal power for over 1,000 years, and today features one of the most beautiful piazzas in Europe. Visitors can explore the Palazzo Royal, or Royal Palace, which was home to the Bourbon monarchs in the 18th century and the seat of French rule in the 19th century. The palace has 30 separate apartments and houses a collection of paintings from the 17th to 19th centuries. The Museo Archeologico Nazionale has one of the world’s biggest collections of archeological artifacts.
In contrast to the designer mecca of Milan, Naples is famous for its home-grown designers who sell everything from clothes, shoes, and homeware that you would not find anywhere else in Italy. The city is also known for enjoying its food, and is renowned for its fish and seafood. It also credits itself as the birthplace of pizza, and you can find pizza of all kinds here, from the simple to the gourmet.