San Carlo Theatre
Built in 1737, and rebuilt after a fire in 1816, this is one of the city’s most famous venues and features beautiful architecture and excellent acoustics, making it one of Italy’s premier opera houses. The interior boasts six levels with 200 boxes and an enormous stage that opens out to the gardens of the Palazzo Reale. If you’re lucky you can get tickets at short notice through your hotel’s concierge, but they don’t come cheap.
Of the several ancient castles in Naples Castel Nuovo is the most central, built in 1279 as a protection for the port. This striking castle is now a museum full of 14th- and 15th-century frescoes which are housed in the castle’s Gothic Capella Palatina. The silver and bronze collections here are particularly impressive. Castel dell’Ovo is a Norman Castle southwest along the waterfront at Santa Lucia surrounded the small fishing village of Borga Marinaro.
The National Archaeological Museum
This impressive institution has one of the most comprehensive archaeological collections in Italy, including spectacular treasures recovered at Pompeii and Herculaneum. Also on display are Roman statues, fine arts, frescoes, portraits from wealthy 17th Century prominent families, Greek vases and decorated bronzes. The ancient Egyptian and Etruscan relics are also impressive, making a trip here a full day excursion.
National Museum di Capodimonte
This cool museum is located in the enormous Capodimonte Park and dates from the early 18th Century with its impressive neoclassical royal palace. It now houses Naples’ wonderful picture gallery, which includes old master paintings and decorative arts. It’s thought to be one of the foremost Renaissance collections in the world under one roof. Highlights include Botticelli’s ‘Madonna’, Filippino Lippi’s ‘Annunciation’ and masterpieces by Caravaggio. Other lesser known pieces reveal Naples before the arrival of modern vehicles and buildings. There is also a whole wing full of 18th-century porcelain figurines.