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.

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


Day Trips from Napoli: Herculaneum

The town of Herculaneum suffered the same fate as Pompeii. The town was buried under Mount Vesuvius’s volcanic ashes and mud in 79 AD.

Hit before Pompeii, many inhabitants didn’t have time to escape and were engulfed in layers of debris, ashes and mud, dying instantly to be preserved for centuries.

What to see

At the foot of Mount Vesuvius, the city was the volcano’s first victim, and therefore the first wall of lava, ashes, debris and gases covered Herculaneum completely a little after midnight on 25 August. The previous day, it had been plunged in a cloud of debris leaving it without sunlight.

A UNESCO world heritage site, Herculaneum is better preserved than Pompeii. The city’s houses, baths, taverns, temples and figures are undamaged; therefore, visitors will get a real sense of the splendour of this Roman city.

Wealthier than its neighbouring Pompeii, the town is full of beautiful buildings. The different floors of most of the buildings are still intact and it is possible to see the magnificent frescoes and mosaics covering the walls of palaces, public buildings and mansions.

On the far side of the city are the most luxurious villas overlooking the sea, notably the Villa dei Papiri, which was the luxurious retreat of Julius Caesar’s father-in-law.

In Herculaneum, archaeologists have also found the first Roman preserved skeletons from the first century, since prior to this period Romans would cremate the dead. The skeletons are on display in one of the city’s houses.

Beautifully conserved

The town of Herculaneum has been magically conserved all these years. Objects like beds, and doors managed to remain under the layers of ash and mud without decaying.

Although it isn’t as well-known or as large as Pompeii, Herculaneum’s ruins are extremely impressive and gripping. Definitely worth visiting!

Today, the town of Ercolano lies extremely close to the ruins of Herculaneum, creating an interesting contrast.

Getting to Herculaneum

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

  • Train: Visitors need to take a local train to get to Herculaneum. The Circumvesuviana line goes from Napoli (Piazza Garibaldi station) to Herculaneum (Ercolano Scavi station). It takes 20 mins to get there and the prices 2.20€.
  • 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

1 November – 31 March: Every day from 8:30am – 5pm
1 April – 31 October: Every day 8:30am – 7:30pm

Price

Adults: 13€
EU Citizens (18 – 25): 2€
EU Citizens (less than 18) and (over 65): free entrance

More info on official web site http://ercolano.beniculturali.it/

The 6 most beautiful churches in Naples.

The tour of the churches of Naples would be endless! We have chosen 6, certainly among the most beautiful. Are you ready? Go!

Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo
The church is the final resting place of much-loved local saint Giuseppe Moscati (1880–1927), a doctor who served the city’s poor. Adjacent to the right transept, the Sale di San Giuseppe Moscati (Rooms of St Joseph Moscati) include a recreation of the great man’s study, complete with the armchair in which he died. Scan the walls for ex-voti, gifts offered by the faithful for miracles purportedly received. The church itself received a miracle of sorts on 4 August 1943, when a bomb dropped on the site failed to explode. Its shell is aptly displayed beside the ex-voti. The church flanks the northern side of beautiful Piazza del Gesù Nuovo, a favourite late-night hang-out for students and lefties. At its centre soars Giuseppe Genuino’s lavish Guglia dell’Immacolata, an obelisk built between 1747 and 1750. On 8 December, the Feast of the Immacolata, a firefighter scrambles up to the top to place a wreath on the statue of the Virgin Mary.

Monastero di Santa Chiara
Vast, Gothic and cleverly deceptive, the mighty Basilica di Santa Chiara stands at the heart of this tranquil monastery complex. The church was severely damaged in WWII: what you see today is a 20th-century recreation of Gagliardo Primario’s 14th-century original. Adjoining it are the basilica’s cloisters, adorned with brightly coloured 17th-century majolica tiles and frescoes.

Chiesa di San Giovanni a Carbonara
Sumptuous sculpture and Technicolor frescoes makes this Gothic church worth a detour. Andrea de Firenze, Tuscan sculptors and northern-Italian artists collaborated on the Gothic-Renaissance mausoleum of King Ladislas, soaring 18m behind the main altar. Behind it, the circular Cappella Caracciolo del Sole uplifts with its vivid 15th-century frescoes and Leonardo da Besozzo’s tomb for Giovanni Caracciolo, the ambitious lover of King Ladislas’ sister Queen Joan II of Naples.

Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore
The basilica at this richly layered religious complex is deemed one of Naples’ finest medieval buildings. Aside from Ferdinando Sanfelice’s facade, the Cappella al Rosario and the Cappellone di Sant’Antonio, its baroque makeover was stripped away last century to reveal its austere, Gothic elegance. Beneath the basilica is a sprawl of extraordinary Graeco-Roman ruins, accessible on a one-hour guided tour. To better understand the ruins, start your explorations in the Museo dell’Opera di San Lorenzo Maggiore, which includes a model of the area as it appeared in ancient times. The ruins themselves will see you walking past ancient bakeries, wineries, laundries and barrel-vaulted rooms that once formed part of the city’s two-storey macellum (market). Above them, the basilica itself was commenced in 1270 by French architects, who built the apse. Local architects took over the following century, recycling ancient columns in the nave. Catherine of Austria, who died in 1323, is buried here in a beautiful mosaiced tomb. Legend has it that this was where Boccaccio first fell for Mary of Anjou, the inspiration for his character Fiammetta, while the poet Petrarch called the adjoining convent home in 1345.

Chiesa di Sant’Anna dei Lombardi
This magnificent church is testament to the close links that once existed between the Neapolitan Aragonese and the Florentine Medici dynasty. One particular highlight is Guido Mazzoni’s spectacular Pietà. Dating from 1492, the terracotta ensemble is made up of eight life-size terracotta figures surrounding the lifeless body of Christ. Originally the figures were painted, but even without colour they still make quite an impression. Also impressive is baroque painter Francesco Solimena’s arresting depiction of St Christopher. The sacristy is a work of art in itself. The walls are graced with gloriously inlaid wood panels by Giovanni da Verona, while the ceiling bursts with 16th-century frescoes by Giorgio Vasari depicting the Allegories and Symbols of Faith.

Duomo di Napoli
Whether you go for Giovanni Lanfranco’s fresco in the Cappella di San Gennaro (Chapel of St Janarius), the 4th-century mosaics in the baptistry, or the thrice-annual miracle of San Gennaro, do not miss Naples’ cathedral. Kick-started by Charles I of Anjou in 1272 and consecrated in 1315, it was largely destroyed in a 1456 earthquake. It has had copious nips and tucks over the subsequent centuries.
Among these is the gleaming neo-Gothic facade, only completed in 1905. Step inside and you’ll immediately notice the central nave’s gilded coffered ceiling, studded with late-mannerist art. The high sections of the nave and the transept are the work of baroque overachiever Luca Giordano.
Off the right side of the nave, the Cappella di San Gennaro (also known as the Chapel of the Treasury) was designed by Theatine priest and architect Francesco Grimaldi, and completed in 1646. The most sought-after artists of the period worked on the chapel, creating one of Naples’ greatest baroque legacies. Highlights here include Jusepe de Ribera’s gripping canvas St Gennaro Escaping the Furnace Unscathed and Giovanni Lanfranco’s dizzying dome fresco. Hidden away in a strongbox behind the altar is a 14th-century silver bust in which sit the skull of San Gennaro and the two phials that hold his miraculously liquefying blood.
The next chapel eastwards contains an urn with the saint’s bones and a cupboard full of femurs, tibias and fibulas. Below the high altar is the Cappella Carafa, a Renaissance chapel built to house yet more of the saint’s remains.
Off the left aisle lies the 4th-century Basilica di Santa Restituta, the subject of an almost complete makeover after the earthquake of 1688. From it you can access the Battistero di San Giovanni in Fonte. Western Europe’s oldest baptistry, it’s encrusted with fragments of glittering 4th-century mosaics.
The Duomo’s subterranean archaeological zone, which includes fascinating remains of Greek and Roman buildings and roads, remains closed indefinitely.

Naples Travel Tip: The Campania ArteCard

Like a lot of cities and travel destinations, it’s possible to purchase a discount card in Naples that enables you to have free/discounted access to various historical and cultural sites around the city. Sometimes these things are worth it, sometimes they are not.

In Naples however, I would strongly advise picking up a Campania ArteCard swiftly after arriving in the city. It can be purchased at the airport, and at the ticket office of various tourist sites (at the archaeological museum, at Pompeii, etc).

There are variations of the Campania Artecard available and the most suitable will depend on your personal interests and your intended Naples itinerary.

The cards allow free access to some sites, free use of public transportation, and reduced entry at additional sites. Prices start from €12 for those under 25, and €21 for those over 25. Either way, it will save you a fair bit.

Over 100 Ferrari from all over the world in Campania

More than 100 Ferrari from all over the world will meet in Campania for the eighth edition of the Ferrari Cavalcade.
The event offers Ferrari customers unique driving experiences, along fascinating routes that allow you to fully appreciate the performance of the contemporary cars of the Cavallino.

Over 200 collectors and enthusiasts crews from more than 20 countries around the world, with a large representation of Europe, the United States, the Middle East, and with numerous participants from the Far East, New Zealand and Australia. Numbers that reflect the boundless attraction of the Maranello brand.

This international parterre awaits a journey full of surprises and a variety of landscapes that only the Campania region can offer. At the wheel of their Ferrari, participants will be able to explore the wonderful views of the Amalfi coast and the Campania hinterland, from the Parco del Partenio to the slopes of Vesuvius.

The tour will begin on Tuesday 18th June with a visit to the city of Benevento, where the Ferrari can be admired in Corso Garibaldi from 1 pm. The following day from 1.30 pm the cars will be available on the Salerno seafront, before going along the bends from Amalfi to Sorrento, where they are expected in Corso Italia from 7.00 pm. On June 20th, the Royal Palace of Caserta will be the setting for the Cavalcade, in front of which the models of the Cavallino Rampante will line up around 10:30 am, and the center of Naples, with a stop in Piazza del Plebiscito from 2.30 pm. The fourth last day of the tour, Friday 21st, will be dedicated to one of the jewels of the Gulf, with a parade of cars from Capri to Anacapri at 7:00 pm.

An exceptional program and a great show not only for Ferrari owners but for all citizens and tourists, which binds the most famous car manufacturer in the world to these places symbol of Italian beauty.
“We want to bring the Ferrari brand closer to the beauty of Campania – said Alessandro Cellamare, head of Ferrari events – It will be an opportunity for our customers to see territories they would not have visited. It is not just a Ferrari event, but of the territory. A convoy that moves every day in Campania and that, on average, will cover 800 kilometers every day “.

Cross Piazza del Plebiscito with your eyes closed.

The purpose of this game is managing to go between the equestrian statues in the center of the square, sculpted by Antonio Canova and depicting Charles III of Bourbon and Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies.

Rules of the game: close your eyes or wear a blindfold. Procedure: starting from the gate of Palazzo Reale, walk straight for about 170 meters. Do not be surprised if, on opening your eyes, you realize not only that you have not managed to cross the space between the two statues, but that you are somewhere else entirely.

According to legend, it is all Queen Margherita’s fault: she is said to have granted a pardon to the prisoners of the Kingdom who passed this test, however, a curse launched by the Queen herself prevented the competitors from being successful.
As a matter of fact, the particular conformation of the square, with its surface of not perfectly linear cobblestones, hinders walking in a straight line, making this a very difficult thing to do in Naples with kids, especially during the night.

Casatiello Napoletano. The King of Easter in Napoli.

There are two things that are synonymous with Easter in Napoli – Pastiera – the ricotta and wheat based pie that is like a cheesecake on steroids and its equally indulgent antithesis – the rustic and savoury Casatiello Napoletano. Think of them as the yin and the yang or the Adam and Eve of the Neapolitan Easter table.

A type of rustico, or a rustic bread, Casatiello is hardy, filling, and oh so satisfying. Something I would think of more as a comfort food for the cold, wet days of winter, here it is nevertheless a symbol of spring.  Made only for the Easter holiday, its brother Tòrtano however is made year round.

Two breads cut from the same dough, the only difference between them – hard-boiled eggs. Perhaps symbolic of creation, I can only guess the addition of eggs to Casatiello render it suitable only for the Easter holiday. Made in a round pan similar to an American bundt pan, the shape is said to symbolize the crown of thorns.

The recipe dates to at least the 1600s and they say, the Napoletani that is, that it is not Casatiello without sugna (or strutto in Italian) – pork fat/lard. Served as part of the antipasti on Easter day, it tastes even better the next day, Pasquetta – Easter Monday.

The first step in any good Casatiello? The ingredients.

Flour, lievito – fresh yeast sold in little cubes, water, salt, pepper, and most importantly, sugna for the dough. Hard boiled eggs and an assortment of salumi and cheese inside.

To make Casatiello with 1 kg flour we recommended “un mezzo chilo di misto,” – a 1/2 kg of assorted salumi and cheese. For our Casatiello we chopped up some ciccioli, capicollo, salame napoletano, and pancetta coppata. Pecorino cheese is typically used but this time we are using a Caciotta di Avellino.

Ingredients

For the dough
1 kg flour plus extra for rolling the dough.
300 ml Water.
1 cake (.6 oz) fresh yeast or one package or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast.
Warm water.
Salt and pepper.
About 4 tbsp of lard for the dough plus more for coating the dough.

For the filling
1/2 kg assorted salumi and cheese.
6 hard-boiled eggs.

Cooking Method

Pour flour onto a work surface.
Mix in salt and a very generous amount of pepper.
Add yeast (if you are using active dry yeast you will need to dissolve it in about  1/2 cup warm water first).
Add water a little bit at a time, working it in until a soft dough begins to form.
Add the lard and work it completely into the dough.
Continue working the dough, adding water as needed until the dough is just slightly damp and very elastic.
Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 2 hr or more.

The Casatiello dough after the first rise

Meanwhile chop the salumi and cheese
Boil and chop the eggs and add them to the salumi mixture

After the dough has risen one hour, flour the work surface and roll it out into a large rectangular form.

Spread the salumi mixture across the length of the dough starting near the bottom of the dough.  

Roll the dough up like a cigar, pinch the edges and coat them with lard.

Roll up the Casatiello

Bring the ends together to form a circular shape.

Grease the Casatiello pan with lard, work the dough into the pan and generously coat the top of the dough with lard.

Cover and let rise 3 hours.

Casatiello after the second rise

Bake at 180º C for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Buon Appetito!

April 1st and Chocolate Fish in Napoli ~ no joke!

We’re all being careful not to fall for any April Fool’s jokes today – and there’s no escape from the pranksters’ favourite day of the year in Italy. Here, it just has a cuter name: April Fish. That comes from a common joke that involves sticking a drawing of a pesciolino (little fish) onto the back of an unsuspecting victim. Then, everyone else asks if anyone has seen “April’s fish” and makes jokes about that person – when, of course, the victim doesn’t know it’s them.

Chocolatiers deliciously get into the spirit with fish-shaped goodies. Schools of fish of all sizes fill shop windows, the larger ones often filled with smaller treats. To a chocoholic, fish never tasted so good! Since Easter usually falls around the same time, fish feature predominantly in shop windows through that holiday as well.
Here would be a good excuse to buy special chocolates on this day over. Not that we ever really need an excuse for chocolate…

Wherever you are, have fun on April 1st and enjoy some chocolate.

True love is forever.

Perhaps not everyone knows that the Catacombs of San Gaudioso guard a distant love.

The fresco of the lovers is hidden in the belly of the city since 1600 and every day reminds us of the beauty and power of the longest-lived sentiment of all.

Happy Valentine’s Day and a good holiday of lovers ❤