Weekend Breaks to Naples
Planning a short break to Naples? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Naples. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Naples. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.
Top 10 Things in Naples on a Short Break
located at Via Caracciolo 1, inside Villa Comunale. The German Naturalist Anton Dohrn started work on a zoological park in 1872 and the style of the building was inspired by Florentine Renaissance architecture. The park is an important research centre for marine plant and animal life and also has an impressive technical library and research lab.
The aquarium is the oldest in Europe and displays over 200 species of marine creatures that inhabit the Bay of Naples.
Take bus R3 to get to the aquarium which is open Tuesday to Saturday 9am to 6pm, Sunday 9am to 7:30pm.
located in the centre of Naples, this is the most important piazza in the city. Untill 1588 the piazza was called Largo de Mecatell and hosted a daily market. After the unification of Italy the piazza was named after Dante Alighieri, the poet, and his statue was erected in the centre of the piazza in 1872.
The groundfloor of the piazza opens onto the street and contains restaurants and shops as well as Doric Roman columns and Pilasters. The facades of the other floors are decorated with elegant cornices, windows and balconies. The statue of Dante had to be moved due to the building of a new metro line and now stands to the side of the piazza surrouded by a colourful flower bed.
located at Largo San Martino 5 in the Vomero District and can be reached using the Funicular Centrale rom Via Toledo or Montesanta. The museum was founded in the 14th century as a Carthusian Monastery but was reconstructed in the 17th century after falling into disrepair and the architecture today is in a Neapolitan baroque style. The grounds surrounding the museum are magnificent and inside the ceiling has the Ascension by Lan Franco painted in the Nave as well as Giuseppe Riberas 12 Prophets. On the left wall of the choir, Riberas' Institution of the Eucharist is painted as well as his masterful, Descent from the Cross, painted in the church treasury.
The church now acts as a museum displaying historic document, china, silver, two statley carriages, 18th and 19th century Campagna paintings, porcelain and ships replicas. The balcony of the church has balustradus that have strange skull sculptures and the views of Naples and the Bay are panoramic.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 6:30pm.
located at Piazza del Plebiscitol in the heart of the city. The palace was designed in the 17th century by Domenico Fontana and stands on one of Naples' architecturaly interesting squares. The square has a long colonnade and San Francesco di Paolo, a church which style reminds you of the Pathenon in Rome.
The palace has eight statues of Neapolitan Kings on the facade and the royal apartments inside that are decorated in a baroque style with frescoes, paintings, tapestries, antiques, coloured marble floors and porcelain can be visited by the public.The palace also contains a magnificent library housing over 1 250 000 books. Open Tuesday to saturday 9am to 7pm, the palace can be reached by bus 106 or 150.
located at Viale Kennedy, the theme park can be reached by car or by taking bus C2; C3 or 152 which stop outside the park or by rail, take the Cumana Railway and get of at Edenlandia. This 50 000 meter square theme park is a fantastic place for young and old to get away from the historical sights and have some fun.
The park has 25 rides, a rollercoaster, virtual relity, 13 games where you can win prizes, a theatre and mini fountains. Facilities in the park include a Bureau de Change, toilet facilities and telephones as well as good restaurants and snack bars. Edenlandia is open Monday to Friday 5pm to midnight and Saturdays and Sudays 10am to midnight.
located at Piazza Museo Nazionale 18 to 19 and can be reached using the metro. The building that houses the museum dates from the 16th century but was only converted into a museum in the 18th century.
The museum contain one of Europes most valuable archaological collections. Some of the most notable statues in the museum include the exquisite Venus (Aphrodite), The Farnese Hercules Statue discovered in Rome's baths of Caracalla and is a copy of Lysippus' origional, the nude statues of Aristogitone and Armodio, a copy of the spear bearing nude Doryphorus excavated at Pompeii and the famous basrelief depicting Orpheus and Eurydice with Mercury.
The mezzanine galleries of the museum contain mosaics excavated from Herculaneum and Pompeii and the top floor is dedicated to the wonderful bronze excavated out of the Pompeii volcanic mud and the Herculaneum lava. Open Monday and Wednesday to Sunday 9am to 7pm and closed on Tuesday.
located at Via Chiaia 1 near the Galleria Umberto. Dating from 1860, this is Naples' oldest cafe and has become something of a institution in the city. The beautiful interior of the café has a vaulted ceiling along which empire style Caryatids spread thier Togas in high reliefs above frescoes of lovely mythological creatures.
When visiting the cafe, be sure to try one of their famous espressos or cappuccinos accompanied by one of their mouthwatering cakes or pastries. You can also have a light lunch, the fried pizzas and potato and rice croquettes are particularly good. Open daily 8am to midnight.
located on the seafront where Via Partenope and Via Nazario Sauro meet. The fountain was origionaly located in Largo di Palazzo, later it was moved beside the Stazione Marittima from which it took its name and later in 1906 it was moved to its present location.
The fountain was constructed by Michelangelo Naccherina and Pietro Bernini in 1601 and is made from white and grey marble with a basin with a curvilinear rim decorated with eagles as well as friezes and coats of arms on the outside. The fountain itself is in the form of a chalice held by sea creatures and is located in the centre of three arches supported by columns. The water in the fountain flows throw two newts on the side arches. The three barrel vaults have cornices decorated by coats of arms and are supported by two lovely angels.From the area around the fountain you will also get enchanting views of the gulf of Naples.
located at Via di Capodi Monte 13. Dating from the second century and featuring many interesting mosaics and frescoes, a guide will show you through this two story underground cemetery. The catacombs have wide tunnels lined with burial niches of early christians but were actualy started around the tomp of an important pagan family.
The tunnels became a pilgrimage site during the 5th century when San Gennaro's bones were transfered here. There is a depiction of san Gennaro with a halo supporting a cross, an alpha and an omega which is a symbol usualy reserved for christ. The walls have many well preserved 6th century frescoes and the upper level tunnels have several small early basilicas carved from tufa rock. Most of the bones have been blessed and moved to lower levels which are closed to the public. Open for tours daily at 9:30am, 10:15am, 11am and 11:45am. Take bus M4 to get to the catacombs.
located at Via del Duomo 147 and can be reached using the metro. The cathedral of Napleswas built in 1315 in a gothic style but has been reconstructed many times throughout the centuries so that it now has an interesting mix of styles such as the facade which is from the 1800's. Unique to Il Duomo is that it has access to the earliest christian basilica built in Naples, the basilica of St Restituta, constructed in the 4th century.
The most important feature of the cathedral is the Chapel of San Gennaro which is entered from the south aisle. The altar reportedly contains the blood of the patron saint of Naples, St Gennaro. The two viles of the saints blood apparently liquify and boil three times every year.
If you want to see for yourself, visit the cathedral on the first Sunday in May, September 19 and December 16.
Open daily 8am to 12:30pm and 4:30pm to 7pm. Admission to the cathedral is free.
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