Cure a doll
Specialized in restoring antique dolls and sacred statues, L’ Ospedale delle Bambole is where your childhood memories can be awakened. Whether you want to cure a doll or you just want to check the place out, book a visit at the hospital, where the restorations are conducted. Equipped with hospital beds and tools, it is the perfect place for children to become doctors themselves and have fun. Do not forget to visit the nearby shop and museum, filled with dolls, figurines and traditional toys.
Shop: Via San Biagio dei Librai 46, Naples, +39 348 47244
While good pizza is becoming easier and easier to find all over the world, Naples is still the birthplace, renowned for its distinctive style. Wherever you are in the city, you’re never far from an oven and the delicious aroma of freshly baked thin-crust pizza. Yet if you want the world’s best, according to many locals, then you’re in the right place. Spaccanapoli’s pizzerias will amaze you by their diversity and high quality. Always crowded by both locals and visitors, Gino Sorbillo is definitely one of the best choices, ready to satisfy your high expectations.
Gino Sorbillo: Via dei Tribunali 32, Naples, +39 081 446643
Visit a religious site
After lunch, when most places are closed, stop at Santa Chiara, the religious complex that includes a church, tombs, an expansive cloister, and an archaeological museum. Sit at the garden filled with Majolica-tiled pillars to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere or visit the museum to learn about one of the most important churches in Naples and take a look at some archaeological findings or the wonderful collection of baroque presepi.
Santa Chiara: Via Santa Chiara 49, Naples, +39 081 797 1224
Everyone knows Naples as a place of exceptional beauty, but few are aware of the city’s underground reality. Although the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore is worth visiting itself, nothing compares to the ruins beneath of the amazing underground remains of the Greco-Roman city of Neapolis. Descend the stairway, stop by the Macellum, and wander in a buried, ancient world.
San Lorenzo Maggiore: Via dei Tribunali 316, Naples, +39 081 290580
Feel the Christmas spirit
Sometimes called “Christmas Alley,” the narrow cobblestone alley of via San Gregorio Armeno is where Christmas lives year round. There, small workshops sell hand-crafted nativity scenes or presepi made from terracotta and wood, depicting not only biblical characters but also statues of famous Italian stars and politicians. Do not miss the chance to take a stroll through Naples’ winter wonderland, and if you want to live the true experience, visit it during September or October, just at the time when artisans are carving and painting their figures.
Take a sweet break
A trip to Naples is not just about pizza. For those with a sweet tooth, Neapolitan cuisine can offer the most excellent cakes and desserts. Famous for its pastries, Spaccanapoli is the place where you can taste a large variety of sweet delights. You will find them pretty much anywhere and they are all delicious. While you are walking in the district, stop by Scaturchio to get an amazing sfogliatella with some coffee, or if you prefer something more refreshing, check out Gay Odin for some unmissable chocolate ice cream.
Scaturchio: Piazza S. Domenico Maggiore 19, Naples, +39 081 551 7031
Gay Odin: Via Vetriera 12, Naples, +39 081 41 7843
Appreciate some art
One of Spaccanapoli’s numerous palaces with its own exciting history, Palazzo Venezia today serves as a cultural venue for art shows, exhibitions, lectures and musical productions, mostly dedicated on Neapolitan themes. Even if you are not an art lover, you will surely appreciate its beautifully maintained courtyard and the roof garden.
Palazzo Venezia: Via Benedetto Croce 19, Naples, +39 081 552 8739
Drink like a local
When you are walking through Spaccanapoli, you will come across a triangular square with a spire in the middle topped by a statue of Saint Dominic. This is Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, or the center of the universe for some locals. Usually busy after 11 p.m., it is a well-known meeting point for the youth. Go there to drink and chat with students or visit the nearby Piazzetta Nilo to enjoy a beer at one of its numerous, cozy pubs. You will be amazed by the bewitching street life and spontaneous conversations.
Buy a lemon product
To get some limoncello or other lemon products, all you have to do is visit Limonè. Not only will you be able to purchase some of their delicious creations after tasting the free samples, but you can also take a look at the process they use to make them. After all, who can resist to the scent of fresh lemons?
Limonè: Piazza San Gaetano, Naples, +39 081 299429
Discover the real Italy
There are indeed many reasons to visit Naples, and there is no place to describe the soul of the city better than Spaccanapoli. Where visitors coexist with Neapolitans and motorcycles, spend some time enjoying the graffiti on the walls, exploring the little side streets and alleys, and hearing people calling across the balconies to each other. Notice their gestures, the way they move their hands, hold their heads, and shrug their shoulders, and the essence of Naples will be revealed to you.