Rome, the Eternal City, will always be at the top of most tourists’ list of places to visit in Italy, closely followed by the magnificent city of Florence and the wonders of Venice, but the south western region of Campania probably has the most to offer visitors – and in a relatively small area.
Just a two-hour drive south of Rome is Naples, the capital of the Campania region and third largest city in Italy. A vast and cosmopolitan metropolis, it is crammed full of a rich history and vibrant culture. The old centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, awarded such title because it is one of the largest and best preserved ancient city centre sites in the world; and because of its 448 historical churches. The city boasts an enormous number of palaces, castles, museums and art galleries, the best of which is the Muzeo Nazionale di Capodimonte, which houses works by some of Italy’s grand masters such as Titian, Caravaggio and Bellini. The Museo Acheologico Nazionale is the world’s largest display of ancient Roman architecture, while the Piazza del Gesù and the Piazza San Domenico Maggiore is where one finds some of the best examples of stunning Baroque church architecture. No cultural stroll around Naples would be complete without a visit to the city’s famed opera house, the Teatro San Carlo, the Palazzo Reale or the Duomo. Naples is not all history and culture, as there are also modern shopping areas such as the stunning Galleria Umberto as well as many interesting markets, great restaurants and natural beauty to enjoy – especially along the Bay of Naples with Mount Vesuvius in the background.