On visiting this expansive place, your senses are on heightened alert as an unimaginable deluge of information, sights, people, incidents and traffic are strewn before you.
As I’m not a city fancier, I’m more likely to head for the hills or Sorrento, perhaps Capri. However, for all its faults, Napoli has a loyal following and many have it as their favourite city ever – generally Neapolitans…
So, if you have a leaning towards roller coaster rides, bungee jumping and so forth, plus a liking for scores and scores of people, try this place.
You have to admire good old Naples, which has suffered cataclysmic earthquakes and all manner of social problems, yet keeps on whirring and buzzing, seemingly never running out of steam.
Besides it has some fascinating places to visit, such as the catacombs of San Gennaro (Naples’ patron saint) where the locals follow the ritual of ‘adopting a skull’, lavishing it with gifts in the hope of inspiring good fortune.
The Capella di San Gennaro contains phials of San Gennaro’s blood, which miraculously liquefy three times a year.
In Teatro San Carlo you can watch the opera in exquisite style.
Alternatively, you could visit the Palazzo Reale and float up the white marble staircase to some impressive art. Also, there’s Museo Archeologico Nazionale, which contains Greco-Roman artefacts, including some from Pompeii.
For a bit of peace and quiet, in an otherwise crazy city, try the Orto Botanico gardens, which are chock full of beautiful plants and flowers.
In short, as Naples’ historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can expect to see some impressive archaeology and art, while dodging the traffic and hustlers, confidently, one hopes.
But, la piece de la resistance, is the food. Here you can expect to eat the most delicious meals in the world and the city is famous for its pizzas and seafood dishes.
And, don’t forget a visit to Naples should include trips to Pompeii and Vesuvius, which are fascinating.
Crazy, but worth it. That’s Napoli.