Many of Naples' cultural riches are found on (and just off) the deep streets of the centro storico (historic centre), an area roughly bordered by Via Foria to the north, the port to the south, Piazza Garibaldi to the east and Via Toledo (which becomes Via Enrico Pessina) to the west. These include the Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo, Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara, Cappella Sansevero, Pio Monte della Misericordia, Duomo, and Museo Archeologico Nazionale. To the southwest, the area around Piazza Trieste e Trento harbours several big-hitters, namely the Palazzo Reale, Teatro San Carlo and Gallerie d'Italia – Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano. Hilltop Capodimonte is home to masterpiece Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte, while lofty Vomero claims the Certosa e Museo di San Martino, Castel Sant'Elmo and Museo Duca di Martina. South of Piazza Trieste e Trento, Santa Lucia claims the Castel dell'Ovo. Further west, Chiaia is home to elegant Villa Pignatelli.
All roads might lead to Rome, but three Neapolitan funiculars lead to Vomero, a hilltop neighbourhood where quasi-anarchy is replaced with mild-mannered professori, Liberty villas and the stunning Certosa e Museo di San Martino. Panoramic bay and city views, not to mention one of Naples' best-loved public parks, make this neighbourhood an easily accessible antidote to the city centre's full-throttle intensity.
Southeast of the centro storico lie the shabby, frenetic streets of the Mercato district, a fast and filthy mix of cheap hotels, Sri Lankan spice shops and rough-and-ready markets, including the lip-smacking Mercato di Porta Nolana.
Mergellina & Posillipo
Located at the western end of the pedestrianised Lungomare, Mergellina exudes an air of faded grandeur with its Liberty palazzi and slightly scruffy seafront. Kitsch marina chalets sell gelato to lovestruck teens, while, close by, hydrofoils head out to the islands.
Further west, on the headland dividing the Bay of Naples from the Bay of Pozzuoli, Posillipo is a blue-ribbon neighbourhood of sprawling villas, secret swimming coves and the sweeping views of Parco Virgiliano.