Italy’s third-largest city is one of its oldest, most artistic and most delicious. Naples’ centro storico (historic centre) is a Unesco World Heritage Site, its archaeological treasures are among the world’s most impressive, and its swag of vainglorious palaces, castles and churches make Rome look positively provincial.
Then there’s the food. Blessed with rich volcanic soils, a bountiful sea, and centuries of culinary know-how, the Naples region is one of Italy’s epicurean heavyweights, serving up the country’s best pizza, pasta and coffee, and many of its most celebrated seafood dishes, street snacks and sweet treats.
Certainly, Naples’ urban sprawl can feel anarchic, tattered and unloved. But look beyond the grime and graffiti and you’ll uncover a city of breathtaking frescoes, sculptures and panoramas, of unexpected elegance, of spontaneous conversations and profound humanity. Napoli is Italy’s most unlikely masterpiece.