Advice on Naples from the locals
We speak to Brenda Lettison, writer from Travel Antics, about her experiences in Italy's Southern city, Naples.
Naples, even the name conjures an array of magnificent images, from the exquisite pizzas that exude a mouth-watering collection of fresh ingredients and unforgettable tastes, to the looming presence of the active volcano, Mount Vesuvius. But, I have a more personal connection to Italy’s third-largest city, half of my family currently live there and you can trace generations to one small part of the city. However, it was only in the summer of 2016 that I met them for the first time, and they showed me a side of a city that can only be viewed through the eyes of a local. They gave me some tips and advice to make your stay unforgettable and I am now passing this knowledge onto you.
Fresh fish from Port Naples
You may have heard of Naples’ world famous pizza, but all the food in Naples is mouth-wateringly delicious, especially their seafood. This is because they use the freshest ingredients possible and there’s only one place to find them, along the port of Naples, where fisherman pedal their waers, fresh from the sea.
The city centre by night
One of the most memorable evenings of my family reunion was the tour of the city, by night. I was bundled into a car by an Aunty and Uncle who wanted to show off their marvellous city with the added mystery of moonlight. Since the increase of tourism to the city, some restaurants and bars are open 24 hours. So, the lively, Neapolitan spirit can be seen at any time of the day.
If you’ve ever had the luxury to wander around the streets of Naples, particularly the Port and city centre, you’ve probably seen a strange man wandering around wearing baggy, white clothes and a black mask with a crooked nose. Well, this kooky character is a symbol of the Neapolitan people and he was originally created to be ‘the voice of the people.’ His name is Pulcinella.
Tutti I santi
All Saints Day is an annual celebration in Italy, which observes the glory and honour of all the saints. If you’re lucky enough to be around Naples during the 1st of November then head to the Old Town, where you’ll find so many colourful and talented street performers. Although, be careful many Italians spend their day off here, which means it’s very crowded and Naples is notorious for pickpockets.
Try Herculaneum instead
One of the most prominent sights in Pompeii is the looming presence of Mount Vesuvius, an active volcano standing next to Naples and reminding everyone of the fateful day when the dark clouds descended and the volcano erupted. Pompeii is only an hour away from Naples. It was one of the cities devastated by the tragedy and it still stands today as a living reminder of what happened. But, this city is often very busy and if you’re not a fan of walking long distances, along an awkward and uncomfortable road then this may not be for you. However, there’s a smaller city, Herculaneum, it's been frozen in time after the devastation of Mount Vesuvius and most don’t know it exists. Perfect for a slice of history, without the crowds.