”You see Naples,” said the German poet Wolfgang Goethe, “then you die.” But this isn’t supposed to sound ominous. Goethe was paraphrasing a local saying that suggests you can learn everything you need to live well by visiting this most Italian of cities, with its proud traditions, delicious food and seaside beauty under the timeless watch of Mount Vesuvius.
And what about history? There’s been a lot of it here, from Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and Byzantium to Goths, Saracen Pirates, Angevines, Aragonese, Bourbons and Napoleonic generals. I’ve spent time studying these episodes for my podcast, A History of Italy, and I’ll guide you through them today, while we walk.
The tour starts in one of Italy's largest squares near the impressive Castel Nuovo. From there, we’ll make our way through the theatre district and the main shopping street where you can taste some Neapolitan delicacies. That’ll take us to the grand Piazza del Plebiscito where you’ll find the imposing Royal Palace of Naples and Naples Cathedral. We’ll end the tour with a stroll along the seaside, where there are views of the city stretching out towards Vesuvius. The tour ends at the ancient and oddly named “egg castle”, Castel dell'Ovo.
Join me on this walk to some of the most important historical landmarks of old Naples. Along the way, you’ll discover why “That's Amore” as you fall in love with the city like so many others have before you.