The southern Italian city of Naples, dates to the 2nd millennium BC, and has centuries of volcanic drama, art and architecture all robustly perched on the Bay of Naples.
Naples can feel chaotic, tattered and neglected on first sight, but go beyond the ruggedness and a city of breath-taking frescoes, elegant sculptures and superb panoramas can be uncovered.
Naples' centro storico (historic centre) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its cache of archaeological treasures are among the most important globally. The city’s collection of palaces, castles and churches almost puts Rome to shame. The Duomo di San Gennaro cathedral is filled with sublime frescoes, while the lavish Royal Palace and Castel Nuovo ensure a spot for Italy's third largest city on any must-see list.
The bustling maze of shops, boutiques and open-air cafés are a constant distraction, and the local cuisine – derived from rich volcanic soils, an abundant sea, and years of cooking excellence – makes Naples one of the true Italian heavyweights.
The city is also the gateway to some of Italy's richest sightseeing treasures like Pompeii and Herculaneum, where the ancient Roman ruins stand preserved to this day courtesy of the ashes of nearby Mount Vesuvius, the still-active volcano.