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Campania is one of the most interesting regions in Italy when it comes to art and culture. For a long time it has belonged to the Kingdom of Naples and for that reason it has developed its own autonomous traditions, habits, dialect and cuisine. That is why Naples, Sorrento and the surroundings are very different from other places in Italy such as Venice, Rome, Florence, etc.

Naples is the capital of the Campania region and it is situated at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. It is an absolutely fantastic city where You can find a lot of monuments and museums: “The Archeological Museum”, which holds the treasures from the nearby Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum; “The Dome”, where the earthly remains and the blood of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples are kept. The other churches of Naples are very important too. Noteworthy is the “Capodimonte Museum” that is one of the most important collections of paintings in the world and the “New Castle”, located next to the Municipio Square, with its early Renaissance triumphal arch overlooking the Ferry port. From Naples ferry port visitors can catch hydrofoils and auto ferries to the Islands of Capri, Ischia, Sicily and Sardinia.

Naples is the third-largest city in Italy with a population of 800,000 inhabitants. During his visit, Goethe wrote that: “a man, who has seen Naples, can never be sad”. It is shaped in the form of semicircle, between the volcanic amphitheaters of the Flegrean fields and Vesuvius. The life and vitality of Neapolitan people give Naples the feel of a “real city” – Italy’s version of New York. Naples has a little bit of everything: the old centre, once the heart of the Neapolis of Antiquity and now jammed with ancient churches, a medieval university and countless restaurants and cafés, pulsates to the life of noisy street markets and their clientele, swarms of people darting about on mopeds, and the general chaos of a city at work.

Naples streches along the waterfront and is divided into quartieri (quarters) – most street signs bear the name of the quarter as well. The main train station , Stazione Centrale, and bus station are off Piazza Garibaldi, just east of Spaccanapoli, the old city. A wide shopping street, Corso Umberto I, skirts the southern edge of Spaccanapoli, the ancient heart of Naples, on its way south-west from Piazza Garibaldi to Piazza Bovio and on the huge Piazza Municipio, which is dominated by the Castel Nuovo. From the waterfront directly behind the castle you can find boats to the bay islands, Palermo and other long-distance destinations.
The Royal Palace, the former royal palace, is next to the castle. From the palace, head north for Naples’ main street, Via Toledo, wich becomes Via Roma for a short stretch after it crosses Piazza Carità, and you will reach Piazza Dante, on the western boundary of Spaccanapoli. The road continues as Via Santa Teresa degli Scalzi and then Parco di Capodimonte north of the centre.
The extensions of two of Naples’ more original streets, via Benedetto Croce (which becomes Via San Biagio dei Librai) and Via dei Tribunali, eventually meet Via Roma. Most street life and many of the city’s artisans can be found in this area. Via San Biagio dei Librai is part of an almost straight run from near the Stazione Centrale through Spaccanapoli to the foot of the hilltop Vomero district. On the bay to the south-west are the more fashionable area of Santa Lucia and Mergellina, with its semi-grand waterfront boulevard, Via Caracciolo (from where more boats head for the islands). Rising up from Mergellina is the up-market Vomero district, dominated by the Castel Sant’Elmo and the Certosa of San Martino, a Cartusian monastery which can be seen from all over the city.




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