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Naples off the beaten path

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Whenever I have the tickle for travelling and experiencing something different, but no time to get on an actual trip, I always opt for Naples

My high-school was so close to the main station, that it would have been a huge waste to never using a trip to the town of food, sea and amazing people. (I do realize it may sound as a cliché but.. ehy, have you ever met an annoying Neapolitan?).

Naples off the beaten path
So whenever staying in Rome makes me feel stuck, I go wander among Naples’ charming alleys, getting lost among its entrails, smelling its spirit and –of course- tasting its amazing food.
After all, changing my daily scenario has always proved to be a good idea!
Naples, Italy,
My tour started from Bagnoli, which ironically is also the place where I’ve ended my last trip in Naples (back in 2010, on the Pride Party dance floor). 
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path

Here I wanted to take some pictures at the modern ruins of the ex-Italsider, a steel mill abandoned in 1991. The view was astonishing, with a cloudy sky contributing to set the atmosphere.

Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten pathNaples off the beaten pathAll around the abandoned steel mill, the long wall was covered with graffiti!
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path

Then we headed to the seaside, to see some industrial buildings on the bay: the panorama was astonishing!

Looking at the sea from the top of the hill, I felt I was finally having a rest from my work-dramas and my “real life” in Rome.
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
We were so amazed by the view that we decided to keep driving along that panoramic road, heading towards another popular destination of the Naples bay: Marechiaro. There we had a surreal walk among the empty village, trying to imagine it in summer, overcrowded with tourists.
We were so lucky to catch its inner charm on a cloudy winter morning!
The narrow streets were empty, the boats were sleeping on the sand, the sea was calm and everything was so peaceful!
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path

Getting closer to Naples, the road became less peaceful but the view didn’t get any worse. We drove across the posh neighborhood of Posillipo, admiring the decadent charm of its liberty villas, the view over the bay and the volcano at the horizon.

Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path

We stopped to try a glass of local wine at the Mergellina harbour, just in time to meet our local friends for lunch.

Naples off the beaten path

Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
However cliché it may seem, I wanted to have pizza for lunch.
And as we were in Naples, I didn’t want just any pizza, I wanted the Best Pizza in town. Our friends brought us to a pizzeria in Sanità, a neighborhood in downtown Naples with a not-so-nice reputation and -it goes without saying- I loved the area! The pizza place is called “Concettina ai tre santi” and it is one of the most popular pizzerias in Naples. 
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path

By the time we ate our pizza, it was raining again and we had to leave the Sanità neighborhood without further explorations.

And so we went to the Contemporary Art Museum MADRE in the San Lorenzo neighborhood. The current exhibition is an overview on Vettor Pisani, a Du Champ-kind-of-crazy artist from last century.

I’ve also enjoyed the permanent collection of the Museum, which is definitely worth a visit!
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
While I was wandering around the museum, I couldn’t help noticing that there was a street, just behind the corner, full of street art. 
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
And as we were in one my favorite neighborhoods in Naples, we wandered around it all the afternoon, despite the rain. 
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path

Later we went for a walk around the old town centre, where we found those old-style shops where tailored suits and expensive ties are still stored in wooden, elegant drawers. Here you can spot the time passing by in every little, old fashion, detail. 

I’ve also loved the several Almodovar-ish courtyards; entering them, you’ll expect that some dramatic, loudly characters is coming down by the stairwell! 
(and -likely- it will happen, that’s Naples after all!). 

Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path

Even when the rain got harder, we didn’t want to give up and we kept walking around, marveling at the beauty of this town.

Naples can be both regal and folk, elegant and messy, in the space of a block. That’s why I’ve always found it so charming! 

Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path

We went to the Spanish Quarters, a poor but very central area of Naples well-known for its high rate of prostitution and criminality.

Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path

It is a very hip area, full of street art by the popular duo Cyop&Kaf who, in this disadvantaged neighborhood, undertook a creative project involving local children in a colorful make-over of Spanish Quarters’ walls.

Naples off the beaten path

Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
It was time to think about dinner and I wanted to go in the area surrounding the Bellini Square, where the queer community, students and artsy people use to gather. 
 
On a summer night you can actually feel the beat of the square, a vibrant energy coming from all those people having fun. 
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten pathNaples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
We went for a glass of wine at “Perditempo”, a place full of books, vinyls and cds, then we met our friends for dinner at “L’etto”, a restaurant where you pay 2,5€ for every hectogram of food you eat. Here, the impossible happened: I had a bad meal in Naples! Unbelievable!!! 
Naples off the beaten path
After dinner, we took the time for a last graffiti hunting.
As I still hadn’t resigned myself to the fact that a) it was raining and b) it was dark, I kept taking pictures wishing that –somehow- they could come up good.  
Which, obviously, they didn’t, but you can still spot something.
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
Naples off the beaten path
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Naples off the beaten path Naples off the beaten path
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