Venice North, Naples South, Italian journey 2
Discover more than Rome!
For our second article on traveling Italy, we are covering Venice in the Northern region and Naples in the Southern region. Two romantic and full of history areas of Italy. Join us in our journey! For our first journey check here!
In the northern region of Italy, Venice is comprised of more than 100 islands in the Adriatic Sea’s lagoon. To this day is considered a romantic paradise with its gondola rides. It has no roads and the transportation is done using the canals and therefore, this is an important consideration when traveling and packing your luggage. Travel light.
Venice built entirely on the water of the lagoon is an intriguing city with a great history. The city of Venice is famous for its art and architecture. Just think that most of the buildings in the city contain works by famous legendary artists.
The architecture of Venice is a mixture of Gothic and Byzantine styles, therefore there are not many new structures in the city. Plan a visit of several days when coming to Venice.
Where to go
Many of Venice's most famous attractions are located in and around Piazza San Marco, or St. Mark's Square, the city's largest square. Among those attractions is St. Mark's Basilica, with its unique beauty and distinction.
Venice is also famous for its iconic Grand Canal. It is believed that the canal follows the course of an ancient river, and it is the island city's most heavily trafficked waterway. The Gondola rides along the S-shaped Grand Canal are a popular tourist attraction.
Plan on visiting the Piazza San Marco, Rialto Bridge, Doge’s Palace, Murano Island and the San Pietro Martire, The Murano Glass Museum, Burano, and Santa Maria Formosa’s Church.
Facts to know
When to visit
Venice is cold and damp in the winter, very hot and filled with mosquitos in the summer. The best times to visit are November to January, late February and March. Plan to bring good walking shoes as most of the sightseeing is done by foot and again – travel light – luggage needs to be light or you will be rolling your heavy suitcases. Remember all main transportation is done by water.
Venice restaurant’s specialties are seafood and there is plenty to choose. There are plenty of restaurants and delicacies to try. The prices are medium to high but always look for those that are not so frequented by tourists. You will be surprise – in a good way! These are some we know:
Osteria Brocadoro – 30 minutes from the center
L’Alcoba – by the Grand Canal
Osteria Alle Testiere – by Saint Mark Basilica
Gatto Nero – Burano island
Be ready to try new dishes like spaghetti with anchovies and other specialties from the area. Italy is different from one region to the other and more so when it comes to culinary specialties.
Some places are closed on Mondays, especially museums and art galleries. There are lots of bridges to cross, not easily done with strollers and or suitcases (remember travel light!). In early January some restaurants and establishments might close and owners will be on vacation themselves.
Consider as well, the hotel where you will be staying in relation to the places you want to visit. Famous and pricey is the Hotel Belmond Cipriani (5 stars) but it is also well positioned in regards to the touristic areas, water taxis and walks.
Other Hotels to inquire: Bauer Palazzo (4 stars), Hotel Le Isole (4 stars), Hotel Palalzzo Abadessa (4 stars), Hotel Al Codega (4 stars).
Going from the Northern region to the Southern region we get to Naples. Located about two hours south of Rome, is the largest city in the southern region. Although it is not a priority in the list of places to visit in Italy, we think Naples deserves to be included as such.
The vibes of the city of Naples are different as that of Rome, here the pace is faster and you will notice the difference. But keep it in perspective and start your journey around the city.
Depending on the length of your stay plan on visiting not only the city but the surroundings. Include Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as the island of Capri and Mount Vesuvius. The coastal areas and their surroundings are breathtaking.
Places in the city of Naples
The church of San Francesco di Paola -located at the west side of Piazza del Plebiscito, the city's main square.
The Royal Palace - In here the palace has a museum and is located in central Naples, in the main square, remains as impressive as it was in the hands of the Bourbons of Naples during their rule. This palace was one of three the rulers used, although its construction was meant for King Phillip III of Spain. He never got to visit the palace.
Naples Underground – Very interesting and a must to do while in Naples, take a tour (there are several) of the subterranean city. Wear sneakers for this adventure and sweater as it gets cool underground. This is an experience like no other.
Napoli Sotterranea, a mix of archeology and cave exploration is an incredible journey. Beneath the city, you will find the remains of another city built thousand of years ago. This type of adventure is to be done with guided tours. Ancient roman aqueducts, Greco-Roman excavations sites, and chambers blend to create a place that only by seeing it you can recreate and measure the grandiosity of the architecture, the art, and life as it was thousands of years ago.
Outside the city
Frozen in time this city, once a thriving area and resort to many Romans on vacation, was buried more than two thousand years ago by Mount Vesuvius eruption, the remains of the city are worth a day trip. You can visit the excavated ruins and preserved history. You will be able to recreate the way the people of Pompeii lived before its destruction.
Hundreds of thousands of years old, Mont Vesuvius is the responsible volcano that destroyed and buried Pompeii and its people in the year 79 A.D. More than 2,000 died buried by the volcano. Today more than 3 million people live in the area of the volcano. The volcano remains one of the most dangerous in the world.
Of course, there is the real Neapolitan pizza. Neapolitan pizza is made with San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella cheese. These types of tomatoes grow in the volcanic plains, common in the area of the Vesuvius. This dish is very similar to the iconically known pizza “Margarita” Other dishes original to the area are seafood, try the Salmon Salad with Orange Vinegar, Minestra di Pasta e Fagioli (beans). Well-known and delicious are the dishes with ravioli, Gnocchi, dried pasta, and meatballs – not in the traditional way on top of the pasta but as a second dish.
Where to stay
Among the best and centric hotels in the area of Naples you will find:
Renaissance Naples Hotel(4 stars) in the shopping district, Grand Hotel Europa (3 stars) Hotel Piazza Bellini (4 1/2 stars) Hotel Romeo (4 stars) Grand Hotel Vesuvio (4 1/2 stars). If you need information on hotels and if you need reservations for flights check this offer from Smartfares, Experience Europe! Save $30 on Your Trip to Europe with Coupon Code "EUROPE30". Book Now
Italy is a wonder of regions, places, and history. A once in a lifetime experience. If you are able to make the trip, remember to plan ahead to be able to experience all that Italy has to offer.
Do you have other ideas, places or experiences while visiting Italy? Want to share with us? Leave us a message below, we love to hear from you!
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The article “Venice North, Naples South, Italian journey 2”, first appeared at swagandsash.com. All rights reserved. 2017
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