RWH product manager David Kay was bowled over by the vibrant, extravagant and gloriously dilapidated city that is Naples when he landed the task of surveying our new Naples and Capri holiday.
Naples is a great place! I had the good fortune to go out in February and survey our new Naples & Capri holiday to acquaint myself with everything the area has to offer. We stay at the Hotel San
Francesco al Monte on the side of a hill above the city. The view from the roof garden is stunning as you look across the city to the huge brooding silhouette of Vesuvius behind and Capri out in the bay. This must be one of the best views from any hotel in the RWH brochure. There’s even a pool and bar on the roof garden so you can prolong the pleasure.
Fortunately, there’s a funicular railway close by the hotel that takes us right into the heart of the city from where everything is easily accessible on foot. We eat some nights in the hotel, but as a real treat we can get down to the city to sample pizza in the home of pizza. Walking through the door of a Naples pizzeria, I was assailed by the aroma of pizza cooked in an open wood oven, one of the best smells ever.
It’s a lovely city to walk around, full of life and energy. The highlight for me was the Cappella Sansevero – the sculptures inside are the most amazing art I have seen. I took the ferry out to glamorous Capri, which is possibly the most beautiful island in the Med. But the highlight for me was the visit to Campi Flegrei, the fabled classical Phlegraean Fields, entrance to the underworld in Roman mythology. Walking to the site, the smell of sulphur is detectable from some way off, but little prepares you for the surreal lunar landscape of the fields themselves.
It is amazing to me that there is so much to be seen and enjoyed in and around the city. Naples is a stone’s throw away from Pompeii, the most famous classical site, but with so much to see and do in and around Naples itself, there’s little time to get out and see them.*
* Note: For those who particularly want to explore Pompeii and Herculaneum, please see our ever-popular holiday, Exploring the Sorrento Peninsula, which combines the Sorrento Peninsula and the Lattari Mountains with visits to Pompeii, Herculaneum and other places of interest such as Amalfi and Ravello.