Head to the Italian city of Naples for delicious pizza, candlelit adventures and trips to Mount Vesuvius

NAPLES is the birthplace of pizza – and there are tasty flights there this autumn from as little as £27.30.

There are also fabulous city sights to enjoy, as well as the warm southern Italian climate. And you are a 50-minute ferry ride from the billionaires’ playground that is the island of Capri. Great for a day trip.

There is so much to see and experience in this great Italian city
Getty – Contributor

Naples gives you a real taste of Italy. Here is our guide to getting a slice of the action . . .

Eat the world’s best pizza

The city does not hold its world-famous title lightly. Its pizzerias are in hot competition to be known as the best and they don’t mess about.

Experience the best pizza in the world with simple and fresh ingredients
Corbis

A Neapolitan chef dreamt up the simple Margherita centuries ago and the traditional recipe has lasted.  Pizza ingredients — flour, tomatoes, basil — must be sourced from the Naples area, where the farmlands have benefited from layers of the nutrient-rich Mount Vesuvius lava.

Ballsy Neapolitan farmers live at the foothills of this active volcano which is probably due an eruption any day now. These hard-won ingredients give the Neapolitan pizza its unrivalled flavour.

The city’s better-known pizzerias have a constant crowd of hungry customers waiting in line to cram inside. Despite the basic dining experience, it is well worth the wait once you have tasted a mind- blowing Margherita, usually costing £4 (€4.50) for the whole pizza.

If the only reason you choose to go to Naples is to taste the real thing, then you are in for a treat.

How Neapolitans brought authentic taste to UK

ITALIAN chefs brought the authentic taste of Italian pizza to UK restaurants by importing the volcanically enriched Neapolitan ingredients to Britain.

Franco Manca, which opened in Brixton ten years ago, was one of the first to do this. The pizzeria’s ingredients have come from Vesuvio families who have farmed the same way for hundreds of years.

The small chain has since brought Naples pizza to cities across the UK – but the only Franco Manca restaurant in Italy is on the remote island of Salina.

Exploring the city

I stayed in the 4H Grand Hotel Vesuvio. It overlooks the Mediterranean, the Castel dell’Ovo and Naples’ main high street, teeming with restaurants and bars, that runs along the sea shore in the fashionable Chiaia district.

The whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage site
Alamy

A nearby cable car can transport you to higher Naples to get a glimpse of the romantic view over the port.

The city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  There are three huge castles, a royal palace and plenty of quaint shops and market stalls selling all things Italian.

Wherever you wander, there are town squares, cafes and outdoor seating where you can enjoy local southern pastries, and sip €1 espresso or Aperol Spritz.

A candlelit adventure in ancient tunnels

In the middle of the city centre, you will find an entrance to the underground tunnels of Napoli Sotterranea. Here you can go down 136 steps, 40 metres below ground to a fascinating world of Greek and Roman tunnels.

Going down the underground tunnels of Napoli Sotterranea is an experience you won’t forget
Getty – Contributor

Some of the passageways are a claustrophobic one metre wide and seven feet high.  You might have to walk sideways to fit through.

To make this narrow portion of the maze even more scary, there are no lights. Visitors are given candles to illuminate the single-file quest into the underbelly of Naples. And the reward? An impressive working aqueduct and a wishing well filled with golden pennies.

It is an experience you will not forget, providing you don’t bottle it when you see how tiny some of the tunnels get.

Ferry trip to Capri

Pretty and glamorous Capri is easily reached on regular ferries from Naples.

Take a day trip to Capri if you want to take in some extra sights
Rex Features

It is an easy day trip from Naples so you can enjoy all that the island has to offer then get a late boat back, avoiding paying the premium rates to stay at Capri hotels.

There are plenty of day-tripper deals that include all the major must-sees, such as the Blue Grotto, Villa San Michele and Capri’s highest point, Monte Solaro.

The price is around £100 which matches the cost of one night’s hotel stay here.

The town of Capri is small enough that you can see most of the sights in a day.

GO: NAPLES

GETTING THERE: Flights to Naples from Bristol, Liverpool, Stansted and Gatwick are from £27.20pp one-way. See easyjet.com.
STAYING THERE: One night room-only at the GrJET.COMand Hotel Vesuvio is from £73.50pp based on two sharing. See vesuviosorrento.com.

***

Note from WSOE.Org : This content has been auto-generated from a syndicated feed.