Where to stay in Napoli: best regions to enjoy the city
Napoli is the third largest Italian city but it certainly is not on the most visited by tourists list, at least not when compared with the preferred favorite ones, such as Roma, Florence, Venice or Milan. The city where pizza as we know it was invented has a bad reputation, due to its problems with the mafia, criminality and trash.
However, honestly, after spending three days there, I really wanted to return to Napoli and properly explore the city and its surroundings. The surroundings are just amazing! First of all, there is Vesuvius, which is always emphasized, no matter the point of view. Furthermore, Napoli is close to Pompei, Herculano and other Roman ruins that were completely destroyed by the volcano. There is also Sorrento, the Island of Capri, Salerno, Amalfi… I mean… There are many beautiful places.
Napoli is a good city to function as the headquarters for those who want to explore the south of Italy, without mentioning its own beauties, such as its restaurants (which are cheap!), cool hotels, many stores, and, of course, most importantly: the amazing touristic attractions, which require at least two days to be visited.
Regarding criminality, except for the area around the train station, the Piazza Garibaldi (which you must avoid during the night), I didn’t feel insecure at all. I believe it is necessary to be as cautious as you would be in Brazil, which means that you should not go to unknown places and should not show off valuable items or money. The trash problem was solved, at least apparently. I think that the city is dirtier than the usual in Europe but it was not that dirtier. Having said that, let’s check the things that really matter.
Where to stay in Napoli
Chiaia and Santa Lucia
That was my choice when I was trying to choose where to stay in Napoli. I stayed in an apartment called Albachiara (the name of the owner, who was quite kind), which is rated as 9,5 (exceptional).
Chiaia is close to the Piazza del Plebiscito, the most important one in the whole city, and it only ends in the sea. There you will be close to the historical area and to the public transport, while still avoiding the busy life of the center. It is a good area to walk around during the night, with beautiful blocks that are full of life and that have many restaurants – including the pizzeria that claims to have invented the Margherita – as well as several stores.
Santa Lucia is the neighboring area, and it includes the lungomore area or, in other words, the shore. The sights there are amazing. The area also has the Castel dell’Ovo, a medieval castell that was built on an island.
Plebiscito is a region between Chiaia and the Historical Center, which has many streets that are a part of the center. Thus, it is quite close to the shore but it also haves many old buildings and narrow streets that are typical in Napoli. There you will find the Piazza del Pilebiscito, the Castel Nuovo, the Palazzo Reale, the Chiesa di San Francesco di Paolo, the Galeria Umberto…
Well, it shows how important the area is. Some of the buildings might appear to be decaying from the outside but they are quite comfortable inside. It is also on this are that you will find one of the most famous streets of the city, with its many fancy stores, the Via Toledo.
Napoli Historical Center
Napoli Historical Center is considered as World Heritage by UNESCO. There, the streets are narrow and offer many interesting things, including squares, small squares, art pieces and churches. It is also the area where you will find the Archeological Museum of Napoli. The place is Italian as it gets, there is no other way to explain it. Don’t expect it to be as organized as Chiaia or as quiet as Vomero. This area represents Napoli in all its lovely chaos.
Vomero is on the top of a hill. To get there, you can get on the funicular that departures from Plebiscito. That was what I did. When I arrived, I was surprised to see a totally different Napoli.
It is a residential area, with more recent buildings, some of them are quite beautiful, that were built in the beginning of the 20th century and could as well be in Paris. In the top of the hill, there is the Castel Sant’Elmo, a big garden and two smaller museums. The place offers amazing sights over Napoli and the Tyrrhenian sea.
Where to stay in Napoli: other options
Like I said in the beginning of this text, Napoli is a huge city and each corner has a different character. Thus, besides the suggestions I shared above, you can wander around the city searching for something that you enjoy even more. You just need to click on the link below.