Stately buildings and cafés, museums and pizza, art and baba: an out-of-the-box two-day Naples itinerary. Check out our tips!
Culture and cuisine go hand in hand: here’s a thought experiment – let’s try to imagine a two-day tour of Naples in which we will guide you through the streets of the historic center, declared a World Heritage Site in ’95, chasing captivating scents and visiting monuments rich in history.
Perhaps nowhere else has the same intertwining of history and art on the one hand, and aromas, tastes and flavors on the other. An itinerary in Naples for lovers of food and art: do you like the idea? Is your mouth watering already? Then let’s go!
Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano and the Museum Galleries
This historic aristocratic palazzo, an expression of Neapolitan Baroque, houses the Museum Galleries, a collection of paintings, drawings, and statues in six rooms from the 17th to the 19th century in Naples. Among these stands out “The Martyrdom of St. Ursula”, the last painting by Caravaggio before his death. Palazzo Zevallos, then, is a work of art in its own right.
It is located in Via Toledo, behind the Spanish Quarters. You can reach it by taking the Metro line 1 and getting off at the Toledo stop. This station is decorated with mosaics by the artist William Kentridge, a stunning sight. It is open every day except Mondays, from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm, and until 8.00 pm on weekends.
Time for coffee?
When you’ve absorbed all these wonders – it’s time for a coffee break. Sure, coffee in Naples is sacred, and it’s impossible to list an ultimate ranking, but here’s a tip anyway – a veritable espresso institution.
Continue 300 meters from where we last left you, and you will reach the Caffè del Professore in Piazza Trieste e Trento, a stone’s throw from Piazza del Plebiscito. Be wary of imitations!
The Maschio Angioino
The Castel Nuovo is one of the most popular symbols of Naples. Majestic and imposing, it is also known as the Maschio Angioino from the Florentine term “mastio,” which denotes the strongest of the fortified towers. The castle is open to visitors every day from 8.30 am to 7.00 pm.
One of the rooms to visit inside the castle is the Hall of the Barons, with its spectacular vault designed by Majorcan architect Guillermo Sagrera. And what about the Palatine Chapel? The only vestige of the origan medieval Castle structure, it houses the frescoes of the cycle of Giotto‘s Stories of the Old and New Testament.
For the more curious and daring, in the dungeons near the Prisons is the Crocodile Pit, where legend has it that a hungry and inhumanly sized reptile roamed. Speaking of unusual dark places, if that’s what thrills you, don’t miss Naples Underground!
Pizza in Naples
The day has already passed, and your appetite is clamoring for dinner! Yes – we’re in Naples and you want to treat yourself to pizza, the authentic one. Here you are: from Castel Nuovo, head to Pignasecca, where one of the city’s most famous local markets is located.
Continue for about a kilometer along Via Incoronata and Via Roberto Bracco, right up to Via Pignasecca. At number 17, you will find Da Attilio, the pizzeria run by the Bachetti family that’s been in business since the 1930s.
You can try the more traditional Neapolitan pizza, but also more experimental versions, such as the Carnival pizza or the “Sun on the plate”, which are star-shaped with a ricotta filling in each of the eight tips.
Breakfast with art and babà
For a great start to your second day in Naples, and in keeping with the spirit of the itinerary, treat yourself to a local pastry specialty: babà.
In Naples, trays of these perfectly duplicated pastries are prepared every day – impregnated with water, sugar, rum and baked, they express a craft that goes back centuries. Try Pasticceria Tizzano on Corso Meridionale, which since 1960 has been a stronghold of the baba pastry in its most traditional version.
Ancient skills or contemporary art?
Refreshed in body and spirit by baba goodness, you can visit a collection of ancient art, such as that of the Capodimonte National Museum, or a contemporary exhibition at the MADRE (Donnaregina Museum of Contemporary Art).
The Capodimonte is located in Via Miano and is open every day (except Wednesdays) from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm. Its Farnese Collection awaits you with masterpieces by Titian, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli and Carracci.
The MADRE, on the other hand, showcases the works of illustrious artists such as Luciano Fabro, Francesco Clemente and Rebecca Horn. The Palazzo Donnaregina in Via Luigi Settembrini was founded as an exhibition center just over ten years ago and has since hosted the collections of many famous contemporary artists. It’s open every day (except Tuesdays) from 10.00 am to 7.30 pm (until 8.00 pm on Sundays).
To Naples by train
What do you think of this two-day itinerary of Naples? Are you more fascinated by art or enticed by the delicacies of the city? Don’t answer right now, you can fulfill both wishes by reaching Naples by train (if you feel like staying a little longer, you might even consider stopping in Ischia for a few days of wellness and relaxation)
With Italo, you have more than 30 daily connections from all over Italy. Enjoy this journey of art and good taste!