Napoli, the pearl and most important city of southern Italy, crossroad of cultures, world famous tourist destination, rich of history and art, home of some mainstays of Italian gastronomy, a great number of monuments, "the sea and the sun", and much more. There's good reasons its wide Historic Centre (with its typical narrow alleys) was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO; how can we summarize here all there is to see and enjoy? We can't, and won't try to, as it falls out of our scope, but this short introduction might give you some hints to do more research, should you decide to spend some time there before heading to Amalfi Coast. After all, you're most likely to at least pass it on your way here: whether you fly directly to its Capodichino airport, or come from north by car or train, Naples will be on your way before proceeding towards Salerno or Sorrento.
Naples is the regional capital of Campania, chief town of its former province, today called Metropolitan City, which comprises towns of the surrounding area, including those of the western side of Sorrento Peninsula. But the city itself is quite large on its own, with an almost 120 km² surface and close to 1 million inhabitants. It faces the Tyrrhenian Sea from the middle of the gulf of the same name, but it extends inland with its hills. Being a wide area with a lot to see, but including chaotic parts and very busy roads, we recommend not to improvise or walk around with no destination, and to plan an itinerary in advance or, even better, join group or private tours with local expert guides. Some companies offer bike tours within the city, which are a great way to visit many landmarks in a single day. But the list is huge, with plenty of museums, castles, churches, villas, parks, viewpoints, squares, fountains and monuments, you name it, and we won't even start listing them; you might need at least a week, or a trip of its own, not to feel you're just scratching the surface, and in one or few days you will have to choose carefully what to see, according to your preferences.
What's for sure, regardless of how long you can spend there, is that you can't skip tasting some local food; same here: there's too much to try in one or a few days but, luckily, most of the specialties from the city can be found within the whole region, including here in Amalfi Coast. We can obviously start with the wood-fired pizza (with the simple margherita and marinara being the most typical): we are quite proud of it, and it is not enough being in Italy to taste a great one; we say the closer you are to Naples, the better it tastes, and you won't find the same type in northern Italy as we make here in Campania. Same goes for the espresso (which is the standard type they make if you ask for a coffee, so be sure to specify if you just want a longer one "americano"), prepared in every home with the typical moka pot. Then we have the peppered mussels, caprese salad, "Luciana style" octopus, spaghetti with clams or with seafood, pasta and beans with mussels, paccheri pasta with Neapolitan meat sauce, and so on. For a quicker, but not less tasty, snack, Naples is also home of some mouthwatering street food, including "wallet", sliced or fried pizza, calzoni, octopus broth, the "cuoppo" with little fried fishes and several other fritters. Last, but not least, the typical desserts: aside from the many ones typical from the whole region, we can add the babà and the sfogliatella.
What else can we mention in the little space left? The Neapolitan dialect, with influences from Spanish, Arabic, English, ancient Greek and Latin? The laid back lifestyle and culture of hospitality of its inhabitants? The organized crime that, unfortunately, gives them all a bad fame (don't get discouraged by it as the more touristic sites are quite safe, just beware of pickpocketing in the central areas)? The famous SSC Napoli football team (the city stops to watch their matches, but mind the traffic when it plays at home)? The beloved patron Saint Januarius (Gennaro), celebrated on September 19th? The popular music, with some songs sung all around the world? The near Mount Vesuvius, always prominent in the landscape, and the beautiful islands Ischia, Procida, and Vivara, just off its coast? Regardless of some ups and downs, we can't ignore all that Naples has to offer, and you should take it into account while planning your trip, if you would like to include a visit to a big city of art before heading to the smaller tows on our coast.
If you plan to start and finish riding from Naples, you can likely find other companies renting bikes there and save on delivery costs. We can still offer delivery and/or pick up at a 50 € fee each way, but recommend choosing either Sorrento or Salerno to start/end your ride, to avoid very busy and unpleasant roads.
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