Naples in detail

Itineraries

Day One

  • Centro Storico

Start with a burst of baroque in the Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo, then clear your mind in the majolica-tiled cloister of the Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara. Continue east along Spaccanapoli, stopping at Palazzo Venezia for coffee or tea in a secret garden, then snoop around St Thomas Aquinas' cell at the Chiesa di San Domenico Maggiore. Alternatively, eye up a Renaissance masterpiece inside the Chiesa di Sant'Angelo a Nilo.

After lunch, head to the Cappella Sansevero to drop your jaw over Giuseppe Sanmartino's Cristo velato (Veiled Christ) sculpture. If you're in a retail frame of mind, nearby Vico San Domenico Maggiore and Via Nilo are peppered with locally made leather goods, ceramics and more. If not, check out where the ancients shopped beneath the Gothic Complesso Monumentale di San Lorenzo Maggiore.

On-trend Chiaia is the city's bar-hopping epicentre, so style up and join local night owls who spill out of its plethora of kicking venues, among them perennial favourites Ba-Bar, Cantine Sociali and sneaky Barril.

Day Two

  • Toledo & Quartieri Spagnoli

Start with firebrand espresso at belle-époque Caffè Gambrinus, then take a few hours to explore the gilded, art-crammed halls of the Palazzo Reale. Alternatively, take a guided tour of the opulent Teatro San Carlo or catch a funicular up to Vomero to snoop around monastery-turned-art repository Certosa e Museo di San Martino, which also offers spectacular panoramic views.

Fed, head underground to take in Toledo metro station, the most spectacular of Naples' art-themed stations. Catch a Piscinola-bound train two stops to Museo station and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring priceless antiquities at the blockbuster Museo Archeologico Nazionale. Pooped, kick back with pre-dinner drinks on buzzing Piazza Bellini.

If the night is still young, dive into the centro storico's lively, boho-spirited bar scene. If it's open and your feet are itching, end up at edgy bar-club Spazio Intolab, hidden in a 15th-century cloister.

Day Three

  • La Sanità & Capodimonte

Spend the morning at the Museo di Capodimonte, home to Caravaggio's powerful Flagellation, one of countless masterpieces by some of Europe's greatest artists. The palace sits inside the lush Real Bosco di Capodimonte, the perfect antidote to museum fatigue.

  • Lunch At Da Luisa.
  • La Sanità & Capodimonte

After lunch, take a guided tour of the Catacombe di San Gennaro to get up close and personal to subterranean frescoes and burial chambers dating back to antiquity. The area is also home to the macabre Cimitero delle Fontanelle, where locals once flocked to practice cultish rituals. Back in the land of the living, swoon over the operatic staircases at Palazzo Sanfelice and Palazzo dello Spagnuolo and, if there's time, drop into legendary glove-making workshop Omega. Done, swill a well-earned vino at Antica Cantina Sepe.

Head to the nearby centro storico for late-night drinks at piazza-side bar-cum-gallery Spazio Nea, bookish Libreria Berisio, or raffish, cosmopolitan bar-lounge Shanti Art Musik Bar.

Day Four

  • Centro Storico

Wake up fully with the rough-and-tumble energy of the Mercato di Porta Nolana, eyeing up the day's catch and the well-honed skills of market shoppers. Spot Ferdinand I of Aragon on the market's namesake city gate, then applaud Caravaggio's knockout The Seven Acts of Mercy at the Pio Monte della Misericordia. Around the corner is the spectacular Duomo, home to top-tier baroque interiors and Western Europe's oldest baptistry.

It's an easy post-prandial stroll to aristocratic Villa Pignatelli, a Pompeiian-style mansion with lavish period interiors, rotating exhibitions of mostly photographic art, and a curious collection of historic carriages. From here, head east along the Lungomare to the Castel dell'Ovo, famed for its cinematic views of Naples, its bay and slumbering volcano. If you're feeling parched, refresh by bobbing boats at nearby Al Barcadero.

Wrap up the evening with flawless libations at L'Antiquario, the city's most competent cocktail den.