Translated to “New City” from its Greek name, Naples is the third largest municipality in Italy. It has existed since the Bronze Age and is now known for its historic centre; the largest within Europe. Thanks to an agreeable climate and numerous historic sites, Naples is also quite a popular city to visit. This city was also a major cultural centre during both the Enlightenment and the Renaissance. This can be seen in its many examples of classical art and architecture.
The Best Times to Visit Naples
The main concerns within Naples are the tourists and what is locally referred to as the “rainy season”. Although temperatures are considered to be moderate throughout the year, summer can be extremely hot. Also, the early autumn and early spring are known for their copious amounts of rainfall (due to the unique geographic location of the city). Secondly, the height of the tourist season tends to fall between June and late August. Considering these two factors, many choose to travel here in the middle of the autumn or between late winter and the middle of spring. Prices likewise tend to be a bit lower during these times in terms of accommodation and the major attractions.
Things to do in Naples
One of the best ways to beat the heat as well as to avoid the throngs of tourists is to visit the large botanical garden located within Naples. It consists of 17 acres of groomed land that is perfect to enjoy a lazy afternoon or for a picnic. It is interesting to observe that botanists have provided no less than seven different ecosystems here. There are also over 1,000 different species of plants. From the exotic to those which grow in higher latitudes, there is certainly much to see when entering into the Naples Botanical Garden. A new visitor centre opened in the autumn of 2014. This offers information in regards to the plants within as well as a souvenir shop to pick up a special gift or two.
Another excellent excursion that is located just outside of the city is towering Mount Vesuvius. Although it was last active in 1944, this volcano is most famous for its massive eruption in 79 AD that buried the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. There are excursions that can take tourists close to the edge of the crater. While it is forbidden to approach too close, the ledges still provide some wonderful views of Naples and in the distance, one can even see the doomed town of Pompeii. Keep in mind that this journey is not for the faint of heart; Vesuvius is still considered to be the most active volcano in Europe.
Naples is known for its shopping districts. No trip would be complete without visiting such areas and picking up a few keepsakes. Some of the principal locations include Via Toledo, Via Chiaia and Via dei Mille. Here, you can find everything ranging from high-end jewellery and clothing to locally produced products. Numerous kiosks located in the open air will provide an excellent hands-on experience for the entire family.