Located at the foot of Vesuvius, Naples is a city that carries many contradictions. On the one hand, great monuments, mainly baroque, mysterious underground and lush night life, on the other gloomy fame of the place controlled by the mafia. Beauty is mixed here with neglect, joy with a bleak legend, and the surrounding beaches are full of sun-hungry tourists every year.
Naples was founded in Roman times, but its real significance came only when the capital of the kingdom was moved here. Castles, palaces, squares and churches built by the Angevin and Bourbon dynasties today delight even the most demanding art experts. The center of the city is Plebiscito Square, next to which stands the Royal Palace and the San Carlo Theater connected to it with a colonnade. Nearby, the Royal Church modeled on the Roman Pantheon, and around the square you can see many other baroque and neoclassical buildings. In turn, over the sea, the entrance to the port is guarded by two medieval fortified castles.
But Naples is not only the buildings that are visible at first glance, but also the underground. Around the city, hundreds of kilometers of corridors were drilled in the soft volcanic tuff. In the past, they served as water reservoirs and storage yards, during the Second World War as shelters, and some of them are now available to tourists. Some fragments are catacombs in which the dead were buried 200 or 300 years ago.
Naples is also a great base for exploring the south of Italy. From here you can organize trips to Vesuvius, to Pompeii or Herculanum or to Capri, Ischia or small Gaiola, where there is a marine nature reserve.