Walk the most authentic Christmas street.
The Old Town (Centro Storico) of Naples is in more than one way a place not to be missed: museums, churches, narrow streets that are inviting you to wander, countless variety of small restaurants, bars and cafés, one of the entrances to the underground Naples etc. The legendary San Gregorio Armeno there is a street full of handicraft, anything from lucky charms to lemon printed kitchen towels to tambourines. However, during the Christmas period there’s something else not to be missed – presepe. These little miniature reproductions that traditionally started from nativity scenes, are depicting nowadays very different scenes of local town or country life. It’s hard to pick something more authentic to bring with you from Naples. However, as with all the merchandise, be careful to select those made by real local masters.
Visit the snow-covered Mount Vesuvius.
Naples has been very often described as the city in the shadow of Vesuvius. And it’s certainly true that whenever you go, the silhouette of the majestic mountain is never far away from you. It’s controversial, as many powerful elements of nature – nurturing on its slopes some of the best grapes in the area, but also has brought in the past destruction to its surroundings. These days it remains one of the world’s most closely controlled volcanos with a rigorous scientific measurement system monitoring its volcanic activities. Mount Vesuvius is a lovely hiking destination throughout the year, but also during winter time when you can admire the rare sight of it being covered by snow. In the area of Mount Vesuvius you will also find lovely little vineyards for a well-deserved relax and tasting of local wines afterwards.
Head to Christmas market in Salerno.
Take your time to explore the surrounding areas of Naples also outside the hot summer season – on the mainland by train, by bus or by renting a car or shuttle, as you wish, or taking a boat over to some of the islands in the bay of Naples. Perhaps Amalfi coastal towns and the island of Capri are not that lively as in the middle of a beach season, but they certainly haven’t lost their charm. One of the destinations not to be missed is the nearby Amalfi coastal town of Salerno with its Christmas market that has been selected among Italy’s TOP5.
Have your coffee in style.
Neapolitan coffee is something at least as well known as the city’s famous pizza. The art of coffee making and serving is being practiced and cherished from every little coffee bar across the city to its most famous cafés. Gran Caffè Gambrinus in its baroque luxury is definitely a place worth going for a special treat. Situated conveniently between the Piazza del Plebiscito and the city’s prestigious shopping street, via Chiaia, it’s perfect for sitting down for an authentic cup of coffee and some traditional Neapolitan pastry before continuing to explore the city.
Enjoy the warm atmosphere of the Spanish Quarters.
The Spanish Quarters (Quartieri Spagnoli) has historically been one of the poorest neighborhoods of the city. And even if still today it remains much less glamorous compared, for instance, to Chiaia, Mergellina, Posillipo or Vomero areas, it has seen during the past years a stabilization and growth. A lot of community initiatives and the love of local people has made the neighborhood welcoming and at the same time remained it authentic. You can find there a variety of local simple trattorias, pizzerias, wine bars, bakeries and cafés to visit. Even without any special preference, you can just walk in to any of those for a lovely lunch or dinner in true authentic Italian style. The streetlights and lanterns are making the evenings magical throughout the year, but during the Christmas and New Year period it’s especially charming.
Discover the city like locals do and add different experiences to your travel programme.
When visiting Naples during winter time, don’t forget that its high temperatures of 8-15 °C can be deceitful. It’s a city open to the sea and it’s causing the air to be humid, especially when it’s raining. So you better have some warm clothes with you to explore the city comfortably.
Sometimes having the right people on the spot who suggest you before or during your travel the places not to be missed, help with local contacts and enrich your travel programme with some courses, tastings, events or packages from cookery to well-being and culture, is all you need in order to make your every day count to the max and having still plenty of liberty to do what you please and to wander on your own. Luminata team is happy to provide support on the spot in Naples and surrounding areas, from meet & greet with a quick intro of the city to organising various tours and events. Have a look at what we are offering and contact us. Let’s together make you feel welcome!
© Luminata 2021