Naples preserves its charm even if you're unlikely to see it covered in snow. We tell you about 10 places to visit and experiences to have in and around the city during the winter!
Naples is truly a versatile destination for Christmas traditions, mysteries and magic, relaxation, sea and museums. For our Top 10 Neapolitan must-see places, we've scoured Naples and the surrounding area to show you not only the most famous attractions but also the lesser-known and conventional ones to visit during the coldest season of the year. Do you know them all?
10. Christmas Markets in the city centre of Naples and the surroundings
During the Christmas holidays, all the central squares and streets of Naples are decorated with beautiful markets selling local handicrafts. Piazza Municipio, Piazza Bovio, Piazza Dante and Via Diaz are just some examples. Moreover, tourists can find a Father Christmas Village at the Mostra d'Oltremare, the large trade fair complex in Fuorigrotta. In addition to the markets, many workshops and activities for children are organised here. Talking about Fuorigrotta, the Edenlandia Amusement Park is worth visiting: markets, illuminations and unmissable events await you! Lastly, along with fun and cultural activities, the famous Pietrarsa Railway Museum hosts charming markets set up in the old wagons. Definitely, an alternative experience!
9. San Gregorio Armeno
Perhaps, San Gregorio Armeno is one of Italy's most famous winter and Christmas destinations. The so-called Via dei Presepi (Cribs Street) is located in the heart of Naples and preserves the city's most profound link with an ancient tradition. The little street century-old cribs' display in the antique shops has become a world-famous annual event. However, San Gregorio Armeno has also become known for a more recent and funny custom: along with the traditional characters of the Christmas crib, some shops carve the statuettes of the famous people who have been most talked about during the year. Who will be chosen this time? It's worth finding out!
8. The illuminations of Naples and the surroundings
The Christmas lights illuminate the streets of Naples and the most beautiful cities in its surroundings. From the large squares to the busiest roads, from the central station to the seafront and the beautiful Galleria Umberto I, every spot of Naples is adorned with evocative lights and colours plays. Moreover, visitors can behold the famous city's Christmas illuminations in nearby Salerno, representing unicorns and phoenixes in strong colour contrasts this year. Finally, on the way to the coast, it is worth stopping in the magical city of Sorrento, where the Christmas illuminations make the city even more beautiful.
7. Campi Flegrei
Campi Flegrei is an immense open-air archaeological and cultural heritage. Visitors can arrange endless tours. Cumae, Baia, Bacoli and Pozzuoli are just some of the Phlegraean sites that host unique naturalistic paradises. Rich in archaeological finds - many of which are still submerged or buried - this land unify history and myth, becoming mysterious and fascinating.
In winter, you will love the illuminations in Fusaro Park (Bacoli) and its evocative Casina Vanvitelliana, the 18th-century Bourbon Royal House commissioned by Ferdinand of Bourbon to the architect Carlo Vanvitelli. The park is home to superbly coloured installations. Still, the Casina is the actual park flagship. Situated on a small island and connected to Lake Fusaro by a pretty little bridge, it takes on amazing colours at sunset, making the atmosphere really impressive. The Christmas illuminations that adorn the structure in this period emphasise the beauty of the place, making the panorama almost dreamlike.
A stay near Campi Flegrei
To reach the astonishing Phlegraean area, we recommend staying at the Al Chiar di Luna Hotel. This fabulous structure located in Monte di Procida is perfect for enjoying an all-around Phlegraean experience. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, the hotel is ideal for weddings, events, and other ceremonies. If you are just visiting the magnificent Campi Flegrei, Al Chiar di Luna will welcome you to this magical land and pamper you with all the comforts you need. Last but not least, the cuisine: the hotel also has an in-house restaurant that will offer you local delicacies and traditional dishes without renouncing a pinch of creativity and a look towards the future of gastronomy. An Al Chiar di Luna experience will captivate all of your senses.
Al Chiar di Luna is also a perfect venue for your wedding in Bacoli, Pozzuoli, Monte di Procida.
6. An excursion to Procida
Why settle for the mainland? Naples also embraces a marvellous gulf with beautiful islands. Reaching nearby Procida is undoubtedly a good idea to get closer to the sea even in winter. Indeed, an uncrowded tour allows you to enjoy the island's beauty in a much more relaxed way. The pretty old town centre, the typical island lanes, the breathtaking views, the unspoilt nature and the picturesque houses' characteristic mix of colours: Procida captivates in any season.
5. The museums in Naples
Naples boasts a remarkable and prestigious museums catalogue, which includes the MANN, the Pignatelli Museum, the Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro, and many more. Among the vast choice, we recommend the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte. Founded as the hunting reserve of King Charles of Bourbon, the structure has been the royal residence of three dynasties. That's why it contains sumptuous rooms, numerous portraits of noble families and luxurious furnishings.
The Museum has three floors and houses artworks by the most significant international artists, such as Botticelli, Titian, Raphael, Warhol, Ribera, Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, Bellini, Michelangelo and many others: a true journey through the history of art from the 13th to the 20th century. Moreover, the precious structure is immersed in a marvellous wood that overlooks Naples and its Gulf. This uncontaminated green area extends over more than 130 hectares and is home to 400 plant species.
4. Walking along the seafront di Napoli
Naples' seafront always looks enchanting. With the view of Vesuvius towering over the city, having a walk lulled by the sound of the sea remains one of the visitors' favourite moments. On one side, you can see grand old buildings, outstanding hotels and several famous restaurants and pizzerias where you can sample the authentic taste of Neapolitan delicacies. On the other, an immense expanse of blue water makes you lose your gaze in the suggestive landscape of the entire gulf. It is also worth visiting the magnificent Castel dell'Ovo: the view is breathtaking. In short, the beauty of Naples' seafront knows no season.
3. Theatrical city tour of Naples
For a truly unique experience, we recommend the theatrical visits organised for various places around the city. Professional actors accompany tourists on their visits to the city's most important sites, such as the San Severo Chapel, Palazzo San Giacomo, the Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro and many others. They stage a theatrical performance that tells and brings to life the history of these structures through a unique experience.
2. An unconventional Naples
Naples is known to be authentic. However, the beautiful city also hides a dark side, made up of ancient cults that embrace magic, ancient legends and superstitions. Visitors can find several organised tours to discover occult Naples: an expert guide accompany you through numerous stops in the city's bowels and reveal ancient stories, some even terrifying. Are you ready to get goose-pimples?
1. Relax at the spa
For a getaway from the cold (actually, Naples boasts a mild winter), the city offers enchanting places where the warmth of the spas can welcome you. Relax at the Terme di Agnano and Stufe di Nerone spas, both in the Phlegraean area, or take a trip to Ischia. The green island is renowned for its numerous thermal facilities. All you have to do is let all your worries melt away in the thermal water's steam.