The bustling city of Naples Italy, or Napoli to the Italians, is the epicenter of the southern region of Campania and is also the seat of the region's capital. Naples is the largest city in Southern Italy and a popular destination spot for sightseers due to its proximity to fascinating destinations such as Pompeii and the scintillating beaches along the suns-wept Bay of Naples. Naples is located about two hours south of Rome and sits on the northern coast of the bay which boasts the most important port in all of Southern Italy as well as some of the most beautiful seascapes in the region.
Originally a Greek settlement, Naples was founded in 8th century BC making it one of the oldest cities in the world. The colony was first called Parthenope and later, in the 9th century it was renamed Neapolis which means 'New City.' Because the location was both hospitable and inviting, Naples soon sat amongst the foremost prominent Greek colonies and as such, played an important role in the melding of Greek culture into ancient Roman society. The famed Latin poet Virgil once studied in Naples and, having favored it, he later returned for an extended stay. The architecture which dapples the historic tapestry of Naples ranges from Roman, to Medieval, on through the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Naples has borne witness to the rise and fall of many a prominent civilization and one need only glace around to experience the timeless grandeur of this southern Italian metropolis.
While many cities in Italy claim to have the best pizza in the country, few can claim to have invented the wheel. Pizza, one of the most famous Italian dishes in the world was created in Naples. Eggplant Parmesan also originated here and even spaghetti was made popular in this area though in Naples they prefer it with fresh mussels or clams. Now, while the locals are always friendly and high-spirited, it can be said that they take their specialties very seriously. Find one of the many ambiance-rich nooks with a wood burning oven and a private herb garden and you are in for one surefire Italian treat! Of course, one can imagine how fresh the seafood is in a city so close to the bay but there is no need to imagine it here. For a taste of some of the finest frutti di mare dip into one of Naples' market fresh restaurants for world-class cuisine and you will not be disappointed.
The best way to discover the hidden treasures of Napoli is often on foot. The ancient road called Spacca Napoli literally splits the city in two and gives way to innumerable labyrinths of charming alleys breathing life into the old heart of the Greco-Roman city as you wind past historical churches, squares and old craftsman's shoppes. Opposite SpaccaNapolie is Vomero, known for its cropping of museums, monuments, and shops. Naples is full to the brim with food, art, festivities and secrets. For a subterranean trip 5000 years back in time, follow a guide down into 'underground Napoli' - the ancient Grecian city beneath a city or venture through the hills to the vineyards for the most authentic Italian wines to be found.
Wherever the day may take you, Naples, Italy is vibrant and lively city, full of fascinating historical and artistic sights and narrow, winding alleys that warrant a truly wonderful visit.
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