Naples Sights

Area Sights

Consider taking public transportation to the city center as the streets are narrow, traffic is heavy and parking is limited.

Archeological Museum: This museum is without a doubt one of the most important archeological museums in the world. It houses principally the Farnese collection, which Charles of Bourbon inherited from the Farnese family who ruled the Duchy of Parma. The collection includes bronze statues, mosaics, paintings, furnishings and other items uncovered from the excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Nearly every important movable item from those excavations can be found here. The museum also contains finds from other ancient sites in Campania and houses the Borgia Collection of Etruscan and Egyptian relics, as well as the Santangelo Collection of antique coins.

Aquarium: This is located in the Villa Comunale on the Naples seafront. It is the oldest aquarium in Europe and contains about 20 large tanks.

Capodimonte Museum: This was a hunting lodge for the Bourbon kings of Naples. It now houses the National Picture Gallery that includes many paintings by Titian, as well as several other collections. The grounds are extensive and contain many ancient, large trees.

San Martino National Museum: This museum, housed in a former Carthusian monastery, features terraced gardens that provide a spectacular view of the city. Additionally, the monastery’s church and cloiser feature impressive sculpture, paintings and inlaid marble decoration. The museum has a section of naval history, a section on the Kingdom of Naples and a collection of presepi (Nativity scenes).

Duke of Martina Museum: This museum is located in the park called Villa Floridiana. It contains valuable collections of European, Chinese and Japanese ceramics, as well as a collection of enamels and ivory.

Naval Museum: On display are models of the Italian navy’s ships and nautical instruments from the 1850s on.

Royal Palace: The magnificently decorated halls and rooms contain original Bourbon furniture, paintings, statues and porcelain. The palace also houses the National Library, which has several collections, including approximately 2,000 papyrus scrolls uncovered at Herculaneum.

Duomo: This is Naples’ cathedral and a fine example of Baroque art. There are many other churches in the Naples area to visit, easily found in any tourist guide about Naples.

Sansevero Chapel: This chapel contains masterpieces of 18th-century sculpture, including the Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino.

Lo Zoo di Napoli: This popular zoo is located on Viale Kennedy, near the Stadio San Paolo, where the Napoli Soccer Team plays home games.

Pozzuoli

Pozzuoli is a city adjacent to Naples and is where Carney Park is located.

Originally the Greek city of Dicaerchia and later the Roman city of Puteoli (where St. Paul stopped on his way to Rome – read about it in Acts 28:13-14), Pozzuoli still has ancient charm. More recently it has become famous as the hometown of actress Sophia Loren.

Pozzuoli has three major hubs: The porto (port), where ferries dock and the fanciest restaurants hug the water; Via Napoli (actually called Corso Umberto I or Lungomare Pertini) with its new boardwalk and dozens of sidewalk restaurants and bars; and finally the amphitheater area, which is home to Roman ruins and smaller pubs. The following are some of the main sights in Pozzuoli:

Tempio di Serapide: This is located near the waterfront. The grounds are closed, but the ruins can be easily viewed at any time. Because they found a statue here of the god Serapide (Serapis), early archeologists thought this was the Temple of Serapide. However, it was actually an elaborate Roman marketplace. Driving to the site is the easiest way to get there. Just take Via Domitiana to the central piazza, turn left and head down the hill to the ruins. Or take the Metropolitana to Pozzuoli station and walk. Across the street is the Pozzuoli fish market.

Anfiteatro Flavio: This is the third largest Roman amphitheater in Italy after the Colosseum in Rome and the arena in Capua, near Caserta. It was once a venue for gladiator fights. Today, many of the underground passages that were used to move fighters, beasts and scenery to the main arena remain. It is located on Via Domitiana and is open daily from 0900 to dusk. The Metropolitana is the most convenient method of getting there. Just stop at the Pozzuoli station and walk from there.

Vulcano Solfatara: These hot, sulfurous vents have been amazing people since ancient times; this was also the site where San Gennaro (Saint Januarius) was beheaded. Open from 0830 until one hour before dusk. Recently, the Solfatara caused a stir when a study proclaimed it a “natural Viagra!”

Rione Terra: This “land district” is the site of the original acropolis of the ancient Roman and Greek cities of Dicaerchia and Puteoli. Destroyed in the 1980s after a devastating earthquake, many of the ancient underground ruins and 17th- and 18th-century palaces above are now restored and available for tours. It’s almost an “underground Pompeii.” Open only on weekends from 0900-1800.

Aversa

Aversa is a town in the province of Caserta, less than 10 minutes away from the Support Site. It is an important rail junction, as well an area where the famous Asprino wine and mozzarella di bufala cheese are produced. It has many interesting monuments and churches, as well as numerous shops and restaurants. To reach Aversa from the Support Site, take bus T63R across from the main entrance of the base. The Information, Tours and Travel office sells bus tickets.

Pompeii and Herculaneum

These two cities, spelled “Pompeii” and “Ercolano” in Italian, were destroyed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. In both towns, you can visit the excavated remains. Entry fees are charged. To get there, drive or take the Circumvesuviana train. The USO and Information, Tours and Travel also offer tours.

 

Tours

Tours of local attractions are available through the Fleet and Family Support Center; Morale, Welfare and Recreation; Information, Tours and Travel; and the USO. These organizations run regular tours to many local areas, including Pozzuoli, Pompeii, Ercolano, Sorrento, Rome and many more. There are also commercial tour agencies that can make travel arrangements for you.

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