In Naples for one day? We have selected 5 attractions you can't miss. Discover them with us.
It is difficult to decide what to see in Naples in just one day, being many the beauties the Neapolitan capital has to offer and really never enough the time to fully appreciate it. That’s even because each individual neighborhood is almost constituting a city in itself, due to the enormous variety of styles, architectures and natural beauties present. However, if you only have one day at your disposal, it is a good idea to choose the best itinerary to follow, so that you will still find yourself experiencing an unforgettable, albeit short, trip!
In this article you will find some ideas on how approaching the wonderful Naples. A visit concentrated in the heart of the city, the lively and colorful historic center, among monuments and culture, for a total immersion in the true Neapolitan way of life.
How to get to the historic center of Naples
Once you have arrived at Naples Central Station, several options open up for you to reach the historic center: use the Line 1 subway service leaving right from the station in Piazza Garibaldi, or travel by cab. If, on the other hand, you prefer to opt for a long walk, the historic center can also be easily reached on foot.
In truth, moving around on foot is perhaps the best choice in Naples, to save yourself from traffic and stress, and fully enjoy all the beauty you may encounter along the way.
Below you will find 5 not-to-be-missed stops for a truly perfect day trip, one that will make you want to return to the city as soon as possible, to discover all the places you missed due to limited time.
5. Naples Cathedral
The Naples Cathedral, or the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, is one of the very authentic symbols of the city, preserving, like many churches in the historic center, traces of many architectural styles that have followed one another over the centuries. In fact, the cathedral has undergone several restorations and this has allowed a peculiar characteristic to be created, namely the coexistence of different artistic currents within the same building. The cathedral is also home to the chapel of San Gennaro, a very important place of worship for believers: indeed, it is here that the famous ceremony of "melting of the blood" of the saint himself is repeated every year.
4. San Severo Chapel Museum
Second stop on our day-long tour is the San Severo Chapel Museum. Anyone passing through Naples has surely heard about it. The museum is tiny and there is always quite a line to wait in, but it is really worth a visit because of the special magical aura of this place, combined with the beauty of the statues inside.
For starters, there is the very famous Veiled Christ, whose peculiarity is the marble veil covering him, which seems to have almost the consistency of real cloth. Then there is the incredible work called Disenchantment, and the peculiar creations known as Anatomical Machines.
3. Underground Naples
Time really flies when you find yourself surrounded by so much beauty, and here we are in the blink of an eye at the third stop on this tour we called “what to see in Naples in one day”. Third stop but certainly not in importance: underground Naples (“Napoli sotterranea”) is a secret treasure chest of wonders, a real experience to discover the secret heart of Partenope. Underground Naples is a true city within a city: beneath the streets of the "world above" there are more ancient and remote ones, which were the foundations of the modern city.
To get the most out of this very special adventure, the only possible choice is to plan the visit by making arrangements with the official Cultural Association, which is called, precisely, Napoli Sotterranea. The tour lasts about 1 hour and 30 minutes, and starts from Piazza San Gaetano. Accompanied by experienced and capable guides, you will be introduced to the secrets of the city, immersing yourself in places imbued with timeless charm. From the Greek-Roman aqueduct to the air-raid shelters that were used during World War II, real History will be before your eyes on this truly memorable excursion.
2. Santa Chiara Complex
After the magnificent excursion with the Napoli Sotterranea association, there is still time for a couple more stops on this long day packed with interesting stops. The fourth item on this tour with suggestions on what to see in Naples in a day is the Complesso di Santa Chiara, famous for its fantastic monumental cloisters, particularly the majolica or Clarisse cloister, dated 1739.
This Baroque testament, created by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro, remained almost intact even after the aerial bombing in 1943 during World War II.
The church of Santa Chiara then, is much loved by Neapolitans, who often choose it as a location to celebrate weddings.
1. San Domenico Square and Church
Piazza San Domenico with the same named Basilica is one of the areas where the vitality of Naples is clearly felt: tourists, office workers, students, all mingle in a crossroads of thoughts and colors. There are those walking in a hurry, with a glance at the clock; those who want to take a regenerating break, in one of the beautiful bars overlooking the square; those who still get lost in the thousands of craft stores full of unique products from around the world, and among the thousands of culinary delights the historic center has to offer.
The Basilica of San Domenico Maggiore originated from a 14th-century base but, with the subsequent changes it underwent, now also retains an important Baroque imprint. Inside the church are frescoes and canvases by many important names in art history, from Francesco Solimena to Luca Giordano, via Spagnoletto and Belisario Corenzio. A real gem of the Basilica are the Arche, that is, the Tombs of the Aragonese kings preserved in the Sacristy.
Done with this immersion among the beauties of Naples, all that remains is to enjoy a nice pizza made to perfection in one of the tasty places of the center. The time really flew by, didn't it? All that remains is to return to Naples as soon as possible!