Traveller Review Award 2020

It is with great pleasure that we want to celebrate the Booking Traveller Review Award!
Congratulations to us!

The Booking.com Traveller Review Awards is an annual appreciation programme that recognises partners for their exceptional hospitality, as evidenced in the review scores left by travellers after their stay or experience. The 2020 edition review score is based on the average score of all guest reviews published on the Booking.com website and app between 30 October 2017 and 30 October 2019. 

New Year’s in Naples: what to do and where to go to toast the new year

Celebrate the new year and start off on the right foot: here are some original ideas to toast the new year in the Neapolitan city.

New Year’s Eve in Naples: a whole party

In Naples, the New Year is a big outdoor party. On the streets of the center, in Piazza del Plebiscito, where the concert is held and at midnight on the 31st street towards Castel dell’Ovo to greet the new year with a incredible fireworks.

The party continues, until dawn the following day, on the Naples seafront, from Mergellina to Borgo Marinari where five stages will be set up between via Caracciolo and via Partenope which will host artists, bands and discos in the open.

At the Rotonda Diaz instead there will be the traditional appointment with the daredevils who will dive into the waters of the Gulf to greet the new year.

A must for those who want to spend it in a club on the 31st is Arenile di Bagnoli: here every year the Neapolitan New Year is celebrated with an unforgettable party.

For a dinner party, the board is the Posillipo Theater which organizes a dinner and disco after midnight.

The alternative to dinners and parties is the San Carlo Theater with the wonderful performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.

Paul McCartney’s Freshen Up Tour Heads to Napoli!

THE ‘FRESHEN UP’ TOUR 2020
Paul announces live shows for 2020 as his highly acclaimed and unmissable Freshen Up tour prepares to take to the road again

10th June – Piazza Plebiscito, Naples, Italy

Having wrapped up the most recent leg of the tour with a sold-out show at Los Angeles Dodger Stadium in July, Paul has already performed 39 huge shows across 12 different countries since he launched the Freshen Up global tour.  Winning five-star reviews from critics and fans alike all over the world, the Freshen Up tour which draws in crowds of all ages and backgrounds, showcases Paul’s unparalleled career as both a phenomenal songwriter and performer that confirm his universal appeal. 

With songs like ‘Hey Jude’, ‘Live and Let Die’, ‘Band on the Run’ and  ‘Let It Be’ the Paul McCartney live experience is everything any music lover could ever want from a rock show: Nearly three hours of the greatest moments from the last 50 years of music, dozens of songs from Paul’s solo, Wings and of course Beatles catalogues that have formed the soundtracks of our lives.  Paul and his band have performed in an unparalleled range of venues and locations throughout the Americas, the UK, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and all points between: outside the Coliseum in Rome, Moscow’s Red Square, Buckingham Palace, The White House, a free show in Mexico for over 400,000 people, the last ever show at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park where The Beatles played their final concert in 1966, a 2016 week in the California desert that included two headline sets at the historic Desert Trip festival and a jam-packed club gig  for a few hundred lucky fans at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, and even one performance broadcast live into Space! Featuring Paul’s band of the last 15+ years – Paul “Wix” Wickens (keyboards), Brian Ray (bass/guitar), Rusty Anderson (guitar) and Abe Laboriel Jr (drums) – and constantly upgraded state of the art audio and video technology that ensures an unforgettable experience from every seat in the house, a Paul McCartney concert is never anything short of life-changing.

Pre-sale Information 
Pre-sale tickets will be available to purchase for the above Italy shows from 10am local time on Friday 22nd November. To purchase pre-sale tickets, click the link below and enter the password: 

10th June @ Piazza Plebiscito Naples 
GET PRE-SALE TICKETS HERE! / PASSWORD: FRESHENUPNAPOLI

The Neapolitan Ragù

The neapolitan Ragù (proun. [raˈɡu]) is certainly one of the fundamental dishes from Napoli’s cooking tradition. It is the typical dish to be eaten on Sunday. It isn’t simply “carne c’ ‘a pummarola” (meat & tomato sauce), like Neapolitan theatrical actor and director Eduardo de Filippo said the Ragù takes much time to be perfect…much time. It has to be cooked for many hours to reach that characteristic solidity and strong taste, it has to “pippiare” how the Neapolitans say. In fact, tradionally the Ragù is prepared during saturday night to be ready for the lunch of Sunday, with a slow heat in a pan of clay and with a wooden spoon.

THE RAGU’ TODAY

But nowdays, in the lighter preparation, also four-five hours are sufficient. The fundamental ingredients of the Ragù are the tomato sauce, added in onions browned after softly frying them with extra-virgin oil. In Naples the Ragù has to be directly prepared with beef meat , which is the perfect second course together with the ziti or candele spezzate pasta. If you taste the Ragù, forget the good manners, the “scarpetta” is a must, so tast last sauce in the dish with a piece of bread!
A simple dish but with an unique taste.

‘O rraù is not a recipe, but an ancestral symbol, a ritual that goes from gastronomy to the most authentic bond that unites the Neapolitan people with its own food.

We are on napoliautentica.com

Carlos Corrales Almeida visited us a few days ago and decided to share his experience on his travel blog napoliautentica.com, a project born from love for a city and the need to give a different point of view than usual on Naples and on how to live it as a tourist.
This is the direct link https://bit.ly/2JJeour
Recommended for all Spanish-speaking friends (and not only!).
We also report on this other beautiful project by Carlos: Napoli street photography, photos of Naples, streets, people and everyday life.

The Best Wine Bars in Naples

History, stunning sea-scapes, amazing cuisine and pizzas, laid-back Italian life; Naples is famous for many things, and you can add wine to the list. The city is home to numerous wine bars and enoteca, popular with locals, tourists and a mixed crowd. We pick the top wine bars to visit when in Naples.

Blind Pig – Hideout Drinkery

An unconventional retro style bar in Naples’ hidden alley and you know how much we love retro style!
Enjoy the excellent music selection and craft beers, wines, cocktails and spirits. The whole staff is friendly and this really cool spot is just perfect to relax and to drink like a Napoletano. It is also possible to eat delicious dishes to go with your drinks. The Blind Pig is waiting for you!

Vico 2° della, Vico Quercia, 8, Naples, Italy +39 081 6337278

Enoteca Belledonne

A popular bar with both locals and tourists, Enoteca Belledonne is a definite must try when visiting Naples. Situated in Chiaia, this bar offers a range of both food and drink specializing in both local and international wines. Dishes include bruschetta and spaghetti with meatballs. Surrounded by many small boutiques and restaurants, this is located in one of Naples’ up and coming areas and is worth a visit if you get the chance.

Vico Belledonne a Chiaia, 18, Naples, Italy +39 081 403162

Spazio Nea

Nea is one of Naples’ most unique bars. An art gallery by day, Nea is dedicated to contemporary works and features paintings and sculptures by international artists dating from the second half of the twentieth century. However, this space is also home to a wine bar that serves delicious wine indoors and outdoors. With numerous magazines and catalogues placed on the tables visitors can relax and enjoy some peace and quiet after a hectic day. The artistic setting makes this a fabulous place to unwind after a busy day.

Via S. Maria di Costantinopoli, 53, Naples, Italy, +39 081 451358

Wine Boat Wine Bar

At the entrance of the room of Wine Boat you will find a boat-shaped counter, climb to the 2nd floor where you will find the air-conditioned room with tables for wine tasting. A wine lover and a Sunday drinker will welcome you to Quartieri Spagnoli of Naples for a trip through Campania. Crew will make you discover wonderful wines like Falanghina, Fiano, Greco of Tufo, Aglianico, Taurasi, …

Vico D’Afflitto, 39/40, Naples, Italy, +39 3381355254

Libreria Berisio

This midcentury bookshop doubles as buzzing cocktail and wine bar, its wine-red interiors drawing a predominantly young, international crowd. Sip a well-crafted negroni while browsing floor-to-ceiling bookshelves…or the cute peeps in the crowd. Oh Berisio…so charming place!

Via Port’Alba, 28-29, Naples, Italy, +39 081 5499090

Caseari Cautero

it is true, in this case we are not in a real wine shop, but in a gastronomy, but it is practically impossible not to mention the point of sale of Salvatore Cautero among the best for its careful and careful selection of wines. It is the only Neapolitan gastronomy with a showcase dedicated to wines and champagne so rich. Therefore, in addition to exhibiting high quality products of gastronomy, Salvatore will also be able to show you the perfect wine.

Piazzetta Pontecorvo, Naples, Italy, +39 081 19179449

L’Enoteca Del Grottino

This is truly a magical place for wine lovers, remains hidden from the eyes of tourists and for this reason it is up to us Neapolitans to make it known.
The wines of the enoteca del Grottino are many, all of which are prized and mostly of Campania origin. Highly recommend tasting them accompanied by traditional dishes.
The prices are slightly high, but given the excellent quality and the value of the wines it is more than understandable.

Piazzetta San Giuseppe Dei Ruffi, 17, Naples, Italy, +39 081 449101


The best pizzerias in the historic center of Naples

Everyone goes crazy for pizza. This could be the international slogan for what is the most famous Italian dish in the world. Many try to copy the original Neapolitan but to taste a real pizza here where it all started is priceless.

Here is a personal selection of the best pizzerias in the historic center of Naples for you to try.
One rule: these are all less than 10 minutes walk from our holiday home!

Gino e Toto Sorbillo

The international success and the notoriety of the media do not prevent Gino Sorbillo and his brother Toto from maintaining the point and continuing to become the spokesman of the same excellence as always. The long wait to sit at the table, here, is rewarded by the care of the service and the offer: author’s round pizzas, the result of a meticulous selection of ingredients that favors the organic. The undisputed queen is still the classic Margherita, demonstrating how the simplest of recipes, if performed with technique and skill, can become and remain the number one.

Where: Via dei Tribunali, 32 – 4 mins walking.
Open for lunch and dinner. Closed on Sundays.
www.sorbillo.it

Antica Pizzeria e Friggitoria Di Matteo

Even the former president of the United States of America, Bill Clinton, could not resist the temptation of the exquisite flavors of the Di Matteo pizzeria. A pizzeria that was born in 1932 and that gradually gained popularity throughout Naples and then throughout the world. A restaurant that besides preparing the real Neapolitan pizza, will give you the opportunity to taste the best Neapolitan street-food. Do not miss the Margherita Faccia Gialla with buffalo mozzarella and yellow tomatoes and of course her majesty la frittatina.

Where: Via dei Tribunali, 94 – 1 min walking.
Open for lunch and dinner every day.
www.pizzeriadimatteo.com

La Figlia del Presidente

Among the names that have made the history of Neapolitan pizza, La Figlia del Presidente brings out the charm of Neapolitan folklore thanks to an impeccable pizza, a soft and melting honeycomb, embellished with local flavors. Also try the ripieno al forno.

Where: Via del Grande Archivio, 24 – 5 mins walking.
Open for lunch and dinner. Closed on Sundays.
www.lafigliadelpresidente.com

L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele

Also known as the Sacred Temple of Pizza, the Da Michele pizzeria is another of the Neapolitan symbols, which have made history since the second half of the nineteenth century. The secret of this pizzeria lies behind the exclusive use of fresh products and in the more traditional leavening phase of pasta. You won’t even be spoiled for choice having only two simple types of pizza: Marinara or Margherita.

Where: Via Cesare Sersale, 1 – 8 mins walking.
Open for lunch and dinner. Closed on Sundays.
www.damichele.net

Pizzeria De’ Figliole

Here you can breathe the air of popular friggitoria, an adventure that began back in 1860. The mood mentions neorealism, with the women of the house in checkered aprons, at work between the counter and fryers and the men who serve at the tables with the shirt and friendliness of the landlord who has guests for dinner. The authenticity of contemporary Naples in front of the old court and at the corner of Forcella. The protagonist is a fried pizza that is a cloud generously filled with fresh ingredients balanced with the wisdom of experience. A few tables, but pizza fritta is a real street food, to be enjoyed standing or walking.

Where: Via Giudecca Vecchia, 39 – 7 mins walking.
Open for lunch and dinner. Closed on Sundays and Monday.
www.facebook.com/Pizzeria-de-figliole

And if you are tired of eating pizza, here you will find the best trattorias in the historic center!

Pizza Village 2019: the pizza festival in Naples

Napoli Pizza Village now in its ninth edition in 2019, returns to the Via Caracciolo waterfront.

The Napoli Pizza Village 2019, after a record edition held last year which counted 1,047,000 presences with over 122,000 pizzas baked by the 50 pizzerias present, will be held from 13 to 22 September, every evening from 6pm to midnight.

Napoli Pizza Village , which also held a stop abroad in October, more precisely in New York City in the United States of America, is a popular festival that aspires to represent an effective moment of global promotion of the territory through one of the symbols par excellence of Italy in the world: pizza.

The 30 thousand square meter village provides for the presence of 50 of the most famous pizzerias and hundreds of pizza makers from all over the world, ready to churn out over 100 thousand pizzas over 10 days.

Access to the Napoli Pizza Village 2019 area is free, as are the events included on the billboard.
In every evening starting from 21.30 live concerts are scheduled:
14 September Arisa / 15 September Achille Lauro / 17 September E. Bennato – C. Malgioglio / 18 September Dolcenera / 19 September Boomdabash / 20 September E. Nigiotti – Bianca Atzei / 21 September Mahmood / 22 September Anastasio.

Do not miss pizza classes for adults and other events, such as the prestigious World Championship of Pizzaiuolo – Trophy Caputo.

Who wants can buy the menu ticket online or directly at the box office: the ticket, at a cost of 12 euros, includes the possibility of choosing the pizzeria where you can taste pizza and soft drink, including dessert and coffee. For celiacs there is a stand with Gluten Free products set up in the center of the village, in Rotonda Diaz. It is possible to compose a real menu for celiacs including pizza, beer and gluten-free desserts, without any price change.

For the little ones there is NPV Kids, an educational path that will allow children to discover the history of pizza margherita and learn about the nutritional properties of pizza and its role in the Mediterranean Diet. The young aspiring pizza chefs, moreover, will be able to participate in amusing laboratories in which it will be possible to learn how to realize an authentic Neapolitan pizza, under the guide of a Neapolitan Master Pizzaiolo.

More information on the official website.

Day Trips from Napoli: Pompeii

It’s one of Italy’s most amazing attractions.  An entire Roman town, buried under ash and lava by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD then excavated so you can wander around.  If you get the chance to go, take it.  It’s just south of Naples and can be done as an easy day trip by local train.

What to see

Pompeii was one of the largest and most shining cities built during the roman era, as you can see how) the ruins are everywhere. Thanks to its large production and export of oil and wines, Pompeii became a very rich city and tourist destination for the Roman patricians. You never know what Pompeii would have become. In ’79 AD, Vesuvius, which no one knew was a volcano yet because it looked like a common mountain, destroyed the town with a violent eruption.

The Forum
Located in the archaeological site of Pompeii was the economic, political and religious city center. It was the place where all public debates and religious events were carried out, and it was the real heart of the city. At the beginning, it was a not a very large area, and there were few shops showing their merchandise. During the second century BC, people of Pompeii decided to give a more appropriate structure to the Forum on the basis of the task it held. The area was enlarged, some coverings were added for the shops, arcades were added to protect walking people from the rain, and public buildings were built along the sides of the square. The decoration of the Forum of Pompeii was completed with the replacement of the old tuff flooring with a more beautiful one made of travertine, the remains of which are still visible today. Once at the center of the square, the ruins of the Temple of Apollo attracts the eye. It is the most important ancient religious site of Pompeii. The statues of the goddess found close to the Temple of Apollo, were transferred to the Archaeological Museum of Naples.

The forum of Pompeii

The Lupanar
People of Pompeii, as good pagans, loved the pleasures of the flesh and didn’t have any problem showing off their passions. Many houses of Pompeii, had a secret room in which slaves of rich masters whored themselves. You could buy a little bit of company by paying from two to eight “assi” (currency of Pompeii at that time), an accessible amount for almost everyone, considering that the average price for a glass of wine was of one “asse”. The Lupanar (from Lupo meaning wolf, because “wolf” in Latin means “prostitute”) is the only building in Pompeii built specifically for this purpose. The brothel, located in the ruins of Pompeii, was distributed on two floors, each one reserved for a certain type of customer. The ground floor made by five bedrooms, a hallway and a bathroom, was for lower class customers. The first floor, however, was reserved for the upper class customers. Its own entrance and balcony roof gave access to the rooms, and it was also decorated with a refined taste. On the walls, you can still see the little pictures drawning voracious lovers in different erotic positions, ideal for lazy lovers looking for some inspiration. At the entrance of the Lupanare, as in most modern coffee shops, there was the chance to buy condoms to use with charming slaves of the brothel.

The Houses of Pleasure in Ancient Pompeii

The house of the Faun
The owner of the “House of the Faun”, inside the archaeological site of Pompeii, would definitely have been one of the most envied men in the city. The ruins of the house suggest a huge complex, with rooms, environments, and areas dedicated to different tasks. The property owner’s identity could not be traced back by remains. The structure has been  called the “House of the Faun” for the bronze statue of the dancing faun, who was at the center of one of the main halls. The “House of the Faun” was a sort of a modern residence, in which there was also a kind of mall. The structure, in fact, consists of two large connected areas, each one with a separated entrance, connected by a series of shops rented to traders. In addition to the shops, the “House of the Faun” also had a good number of rooms, but nobody knows if they were for private use, or rented. The structure was built with very modern construction techniques: some lead plates were placed under the walls plaster to protect the environment from moisture. In Rome, there is no trace of such majestic houses, while in the archeological site of Pompeii there are facilities such as “The Villa of the Mysteries,”, “The House of Pansa”, and “House of the Labyrinth”. They are all smaller than the “House of the Faun” but just as important in order to understand the richness and greatness of the Roman ruling class of Pompeii.

The Amphitheater
Located at the end of Via dell’Abbondanza, in the archeological site of Pompeii, is the oldest stone building of its kind that has ever been discovered. In fact, its construction dates back to 80 BC, while the first amphitheater of Rome, the one of Statilio Tauro, was built in 29 BC. One peculiarity of the amphitheater found in the excavations of Pompeii is that the structure had no basement under the floor of the arena, as the same construction of the imperial age used to have. At the top of the Amphitheatre you can see the large holes used to shore up the roof of the arena, in order to protect the spectators from the sun beating, wind, and rain. In this way, the shows could take place at any time of the year, without having to worry about the seasons. The terraces of the Amphitheatre of the archaeological excavations of Pompeii were divided into three orders, and one of these was reserved, with no doubt, for women. This timeless place has been the scene of one of the most exciting rock history concerts. In 1971, in fact, Pink Floyd recorded their “Live at Pompeii” concert without an audience, which became one of the most memorable moments in the music history.

Amphitheater – Exterior

The Villa of the Mysteries
This is an ancient roman house, located slightly outside the city and the archaeological site. It is not possible to verify the owner of this great building, also in this case, but some ruins suggest that the owners could have been some rich Roman patrician.  Some people argue that the villa belonged to Livia, the wife of Emperor Augustus, since there was a statue found in the ruins representing her. The Villa of the Mysteries takes its name from a series of paintings discovered in a room of the house, which some experts are still trying to determine the meaning. All schools of thought agree that the frescoes represent a young woman who is initiated into a cult. The dispute is about the kind of ritual that was initiated on the woman. Some argue that it is a Dionysian rite, while others simply believe that the woman is prepared for marriage. Whatever ritual to which the frescos of the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii refer , these images instil into visitors a strong subjection . The villa had many rooms, all decorated with great elegance and many of which were for dinners and social events. Even in the Villa of the Mysteries, bodies were found of people who were doing normal daily activities ,when they were blown over by the violence of the Vesuvius lava.

Villa of the Mysteries

The Cave Canem mosaic
Maybe you have seen it at the entrance of some villas in Italy or in the world? The Cave Canem (Beware of the Dog in Latin) is one of the world’s most famous mosaics, and it’s right here, in the House of the Tragic Poet. It has been recently restored in order to bring back its ancient splendour, after years of neglect, with a device that protects it from rain and wind, but does not prevent the view. The House of the Tragic Poet is a typical house with atrium and takes its name from a mosaic placed at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.

The Cave Canem mosaic

The Garden of the Fugitives
It is the most heartbreaking testimony of the end of Pompeii, for sure, with the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. During the excavations of 1961-62 and 1973-74, the bodies were found of 13 victims of the eruption, surprised by lava and lapillus while they were running away towards Porta Nocera. Men, women, and children, of one or more family groups, were asphyxiated by the gases and then slowly covered with ashes. The ones you see today in the Garden of the fugitives are perfect reproductions in plaster, which enable us to understand the last moments of life of these inhabitants of Pompeii.

Garden of the Fugitives

Getting to Pompeii

The most common ways of getting to Herculaneum from Napoli are:

  • Train: Visitors need to take a local train to get to Pompeii. The Circumvesuviana line goes from Napoli (Piazza Garibaldi station) to Pompeii (Pompei Scavi station). It takes 35 mins to get there and the prices 3.20€. No prior booking is necessary or possible, just turn up, buy a ticket at the Circumvesuviana ticket office, go through the automatic ticket gates onto the platform and hop on the next train.  The final destination of the Circumvesuviana train is Sorrento. Don’t confuse Pompei Scavi (Villa di Misteri) with the other Pompei station on another Circumvesuviana route, or Trenitalia’s mainline Pompeii station which serves the new town.
  • Car rental: Although this is a good option for families or groups of friends, you must keep in mind the price of petrol, parking and tolls. We would recommend this option only for those thinking of renting a car for additional days to visit other attractions nearby.

Schedule

The ruins are open every day of the year, usually 09:00-19:30 April-October, 09:00-17:00 November-March, but check opening times and entrance fee at www.pompeiisites.org or www.pompeionline.net.
Allow more time than you think you need.  You can easily spend all day there, there’s lots to see.

Price

Adults: 15€
EU Citizens (18 – 25): 9€
EU Citizens (less than 18) and (over 65): free entrance.

Next to the ticket office at the entrance, there is a free baggage check. Bags or backpacks larger than 30x30x15 cm cannot be brought into.

Should I visit Pompeii or Herculaneum?

The biggest difference between Pompeii and Herculaneum is size: the ruins of Pompeii cover about 44 square hectaures, while Herculaneum covers just 4.

Pompeii was an important city and trade center, while Herculaneum was a small resort town without the large public buildings (forum, amphitheater, theaters, gym) found in Pompeii.

However, Herculaneum is in a much better state of preservation due to the deep layer of ash and dust that covered the site, filling the buildings without damaging them. Pompeii was heavily battered by falling rocks and hot air that knocked down upper floors of buildings and incinerated wood, both of which are still intact at Herculaneum.

All things considered, if you only have time to see one site, choose Pompeii. Herculaneum is a good alternative if you don’t want to do too much walking or if the temperatures are particularly scorching, as it has more shade than Pompeii.

We do not recommend visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum in one day, as it is simply too tiring.