The historic center of Naples is the largest in Europe, extending over an area of 1700 hectares and encompassing 27 centuries of history. It contains the following neighborhoods : Advocate, Montecalvario, St. Joseph, Port, hanger, Market, Chiaia, San Fernando, Star, San Carlo Arena, San Lorenzo and Vicaria and the hills of Vomero and Posillipo. The city center counts numerous cafés, bars and shops. Hotels vary from really cheap hostels and motels to great value and luxury hotels with views of the bay. Plenty of hotels can be found in the Centro Storico, located within easy walking distance of many attractions.
The center of Naples is compact and easy to explore on foot. It’s full of grand palaces, impressive churches, monasteries, convents, castles and other historical buildings. Naples is well known for its historic castles, for its wealth of historical museums, and for its total of 448 historical churches.
In the center of Naples located in the castle square is the Nuovo Castle or also known as Maschio Angioino, one of the city’s foremost landmarks. In 1990, it became the seat of City Council. Another famous castle is Castel dell’Ovo or Egg Castle, which was built on the tiny islet of Megarides, where the original Cumaean colonists had founded the city. Sant’Elmo, which was completed in 1329, is the third castle of note in Naples.
One of the city’s main museums is The Naples National Archaeological Museum. It houses collections of artifacts of the Roman Empire, and many of the antiques unearthed at Pompeii and Herculaneum. Other main Museums of the city are the Museo di Capodimonte, Museum of Music History at the San Pietro a Maiella Conservatory, the Coral Jewellery Museum, and Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina (MADRE).
The main shopping area is based around the Piazza dei Martiri, along Via Chiaia, Via Roma and pedestrian-only Via Calabritto.
Main squares located in Naples City Centre, Italy
Piazza del Plebiscito — main city centre square of Naples Italy located in the renowned shopping area of Via Chiaia and surrounded by several hotels and cosy bed and breakfasts. The Piazza del Plebiscito square is bounded on the east by the Royal Palace and on the west by the church of San Francesco di Paola. Via Toledo, Palazzo Reale, Biblioteca Nazionale and the San Carlo Opera House are nearby.
Piazza Garibaldi — large city square in front of the central train station. Some cheaper low budget accommodations can be found close by.
Piazza Dante — large plaza in the center of the city, named after the poet Dante Alighieri. A 19th-century statue of the poet stands in the middle of the square.
Piazza Trieste e Trento — smaller square in Naples Old Town close to Piazza del Plebiscito. Legendary Caffe Gambrinus is located on the square.
Piazza Bellini — Lively and pleasant old town square surrounded by restaurants and terraces, close to the famous Music Conservatory of Naples San Pietro a Majella and a 5-minute walk from the Spaccanapoli shopping area. Set in a 16th-century building right on the square is Hotel Piazza Bellini.
Piazza Gesù Nuovo — square and church west of the historical city centre of Naples Italy. The square is dominated by The Church of Gesu Nuovo, The Church of Santa Chiara and The Spire of the Immaculate Virgin.
Piazza San Domenico Maggiore — square with an obelisk built by the monks of San Martino after the plague of 1656. Main buildings are the Palazzo Petrucci, and the church of San Domenico Maggiore.