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Historical center of Naples. Best museums monuments World Heritage

Historical center of Naples

“Considering the site is of exceptional value. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe, whose contemporary urban fabric preserves the elements of its long and eventful history. Its position on the Bay of Naples gives the site an unparalleled universal value, which has exerted a profound influence on much of Europe and beyond its borders ” [UNESCO]

The UNESCO motivation for which the historic center of Naples was included in the World Heritage Site gives a good idea of the beauty of the place.
It contains over 3 millennia of history, in over 17 square km. An extension that makes it, in fact, the largest in Italy, and among the largest in all of Europe!
Museums. Squares. Streets. Churches.
Naples is a real open-air museum, with many jewels to admire. Some of them are even hidden under the surface of the earth.

Here are some of the places we loved most in the historic center of Naples and that would be worth visiting.



It is a historic city street that runs in a straight line, cutting the city in two.
Try to admire it from the top of San Martino and you will understand the reason for its name

Spaccanapoli is the emblem, and the essence of “Neapolitanism”, of its thousand colors, scents, smells …
The millenary history of the city is contained in this street.


Piazza del Gesu and Santa Chiara in Naples

Photo ©, Vitold Muratov

Piazza del Gesù can be considered, with good reason, the starting point for a visit to the historic center of Naples.
The square, beautiful and wide, is dominated in the center by the Spire of the Immaculate Conception, an obelisk with Baroque decorations, 34 meters high.
Overlooking the square, the 15th century Church of Gesù Nuovo, with its particular and atypical stone facade. The sumptuous interiors preserve many works of art.
Open Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 12:30 and from 17:00 to 19:15. Sunday, from 08:30 to 12:30 and 16: 30-19: 00.

Via Benedetto Croce, continuation of the square, is a succession of palaces, historic buildings, pastry shops, bars, restaurants and… pizzerias.
A short walk leads to Piazza San Domenico Maggiore.
The Obelisk of San Domenico, erected in the 1600s as thanks for the end of the plague, dominates the square, the crossroads of the historic center.
San Domenico is particularly busy with young people, given its proximity to the most important Neapolitan university faculties.
Two beautiful buildings represent the highlight of your visit, before the wonderful Chapel of San Severo, a few steps from here.

Frescoes, sacred relics and royal tombs of the Habsburgs characterize the Gothic Basilica of San Domenico, built in the 1300s.
On the opposite side, in Piazzetta Nilo, stands the monumental Church of Sant’Angelo a Nilo, from the fourteenth century. It houses the sepulcher of Cardinal Brancaccio.
Not always open!


Santa Chiara Cloister Historical center of Naples

I am deeply attached, for personal reasons, to this place. There is no doubt that this is another wonderful jewel in the historic center of Naples, not far from the Veiled Christ.
The complex is located at the beginning of Via Benedetto Croce, just beyond Piazza del Gesù.
The church is beautiful but, above all, the majolica Cloister is spectacular,
The colors of the tiles on the octagonal pillars and benches are one with the blue of the sky and the green of the plants. Scenes from everyday life and biblical scenes are also admired. Each corner offers a wonderful glimpse. Not to be missed on holiday in Naples.

Open Monday to Saturday from 09:30 to 17:30 and Sunday from 10:00 to 14:30.
The Basilica is open every day from 08:00 to 12:45 and from 16:30 to 20:00. Sunday opens at 09:00.
Tickets cost €6.00 at standard rate, €4.50 for over 65s and €3.50 for children aged 6 to 17.


From Santa Chiara, a long climb leads to Piazza Bellini and Via Costantinopoli, until you reach the Archaeological Museum. We talk about the latter in the section of the Museums of Naples, from this link.
Piazza Bellini is one of the meeting places of the Neapolitan nightlife. Here, in the open air, the remains of the Greek walls are visible (unfortunately at the mercy of the usual idiots who deface its beauty with bottles, cigarette butts and waste).
The Neapolitan cultural soul is well represented by the presence of the Complex Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella. Great artists were trained here and important concerts are still held today. Declared a Royal Conservatory in 1807, it houses a church and an interesting museum with precious musical instruments, including the Stradivari bow.


After passing the historic Porta Capuana, along Via dei Tribunali, you can browse some places not to be missed when visiting the historic center of Naples. The area is also known as the Major Decumanus.
Among the various things to do, be sure to eat pizza from Sorbillo, an institution in these parts!


The Pio Monte della Misericordia is a monumental building which houses an octagonal chapel with important works of art. The works of Luca Giordano and artists of the Neapolitan school stand out and, above all, the “Seven works of Mercy”, a masterpiece by Caravaggio.
Open Monday to Saturday: 10.00 – 18.00. Sunday 9.00 – 14.30
The full ticket costs € 8. Reduced for children under 25, €6. With ArteCard the ticket costs €4.00.



Cathedral of Napoli

Photo ©, Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

In via Duomo 147 you can admire the splendid Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, or the Cathedral of Naples.
Built in the distant 13th century, it has a beautiful neo-Gothic facade and includes chapels with works of art inside: the Basilica of Santa Restituta, the Baptistery of San Giovanni in Fonte, the Chapel and the Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro.
The city is deeply devoted to the saint: every year, on the first Sunday of May, September 19 and December 16, thousands of faithful gather to witness the miracle of the liquefaction of the blood of San Gennaro.
Do not miss the annexed Chapel and Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro, with priceless objects and valuables (even higher than those of the English Crown !!!).

The cathedral is open and can be visited for free, every day from 09:30 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 19:30.
Chapel and Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro are open every day, from 09:30 to 18. Tickets cost €10 per adult. Free for children up to 12 years.

In piazza Sisto Riario Sforza, a few steps from the cathedral and in the heart of the historic center of Naples, stands the beautiful Obelisk of San Gennaro, one of the oldest in the city.


At Piazza San Gaetano 68, a fascinating millennial journey awaits you at a depth of 40 meters, in the bowels of Naples.
An evocative path through underground alleys, ancient cisterns, a War Museum and the Arianna seismic station. The nearby Roman Theater of Nero can even be accessed from a private house, through a trap door under a bed: things that can only happen in Naples!
It is accessed in groups at set times, from 10:00 to 18:00. The ticket costs € 10 per person.

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