Tourist Attractions in Naples

Naples can look back on centuries of human occupation, dating back to at least the 2nd millennium BC. Richer in cultural treasures than most, Naples stands in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, the infamous volcano that destroyed the ancient Roman city of Pompeii.

Naples International Airport is only a 20 minute drive away, making Naples very accessible to travelers. There is something for everyone to love, from the magnificent art collection to the Duomo di San Gennero, the patron saint of Naples' cathedral, from the imposing 13th century Castel Nuovo to the small aquarium of the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn inVilla Comunale at the seafront, a delightful and educational place to take kids. If you enjoy an occasional shiver going down your spine, the Catacombs of Naples are another great place to visit.

Sansevero Chapel

Cappella Sansevero was built in the 16th century, but remodeled in the 18th to reflect Baroque tastes during the patronship of Raimondo di Sangro, then Prince of Sansevero. The chapel houses some of Italy's finest sculptures, including the "Veiled Christ" by Giuseppe Sanmartino (1753) and "Disinganno (Despair)" by Francesco Queirolo of Genoa (1753-1754), a sculpture that serves as a monument to Prince Raimondo's father Antonio, the Duke of Torremaggiore.

Sansevero Chapel and Museum are located in Via Francesco Sanctis (tel +39 081 551 8470)

Palazzo e Galleria Nazionale

Naples' National Gallery is housed in the Capodimonte Palace, which was built by Charles III in 1738 to house the Farnese collection. House and garden are well worth a visit alone, but it's the gallery's stunning masterpieces in the Farnese Gallery that draw art lovers from all over the world to the Palazzo. The Palace also houses the Farnese and Bourbons Armoury, the Royal Apartment and the Gallery of Porcelain, the latter because the Palazzo is built on the site of a former porcelain factory.

The National Gallery is easy to get to from the city center, as bus lines 168 and 178, C63 and R4 go there, and Line 1 of the Metro and Line 2 also stop near by.

Palazzo Capodimonte is at Via Miano 2 (tel +39 081 749 9111)

Aquarium Dohrn, Stazione Zoologica

Housed in Villa Comunale, this research facility also contains a small aquarium which houses the marine life found in the Bay of Naples. Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn represents one of the oldest research facilities and aquariums of its kind in the world. It was begun by German naturalist Anton Dohrn and is the only 19th century aquarium still in operation today. It opened in 1874 and is now at home along Naples' seafront promenade (tel +39 081 5833111). Metro Line 2 from Central Train Station goes to the Piazza Amedeo Metro stop. It's about a 10-minute walk from the Metro station to the aquarium.

National Museum of Naples

Piazza Museo Nazionale is home to one of Italy's greatest collections of treasures from Antiquity. The National Museum displays finds from excavations at Herculanum, nearby Pompeii and Stabies. There are also exhibits from the famous Farnese collection, including mosaics and sculptures, (tel+39 081 442 2149)

Castle Sant'Elmo

The castle was first mentioned in 1275, but by 1329 it had already been remodeled greatly by the Sienese sculptor and architect Tino di Camaino under the orders of Robert of Anjou, King of Naples. It has been watching over Naples ever since, sitting high above the city at number 22, Via Tito.

Catacombs of San Gennaro

Carved directly into volcanic tuff stone, the 3,000 or more underground tombs of the Catacombs are one of Naples' most amazing tourist attractions. Built on two levels, these tombs chart the human history of more than 1,000 years. On the lower level is a large basilica with three aisles, built between the 4th and 6th century. The Basilica of Sant'Agrippino once housed the remains of St Januarius (San Gennaro), the patron saint of Naples. The catacombs stretch for at least one mile below Via Capodimonte.

They are open to the public from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm daily and guided tours are held throughout the day (tel +39 081 744 3714).

The Naples Pass

With a Naples Pass it is possible to get up to 50% discount on entrance fees to museums, galleries and other tourist attractions, in some cases passholders even enjoy free admission. At participating outlets and restaurants passholders can also get up to 40% discounts. The Naples Card allows passholders to travel on public transport provided by UNICOMPANIA within central Naples, such as the urban buses in the city center, some Metro lines, urban train services, the tram and even the funicular.

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