Apart from seriously good pizza, sunshine, great beaches and its authentic somewhat chaotic atmosphere, Naples has many excellent museums to visit on a day trip from Sorrento or while staying in the city.
|View of Naples from Certosa di San Martino|
National Archaeological Museum of Naples
Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli is one of the best not only in Italy but also in the world. Taking it all in on a short visit can be rather overwhelming, so you might want to focus only on certain sections. Established by King Charles VII in the 18th century the museum has impressive collections of Greek and Roman antiquities with many artefacts from the nearby excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum. The main highlights include the giant Toro Farnese sculpture carved from an enormous single block of marble in the 3rd century AD, a beautiful colossal statue of Hercules, the 20-sq-metre mosaic from Pompei depicting the battle of Alexander against Darius and splendid Roman frescoes.
National Museum and Galleries of Capodimonte
One of the largest museums in Italy, it houses stunning collections of Italian painting from the 13th-17th centuries, collections of arms, armour, gold- and silverwork. Once a grand royal residence, the palace is furnished with opulent antique furniture. You can spend hours here admiring works by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Vasari, El Greco and other masters.
|National Museum of San Martino|
National Museum of San Martino
Housed in the 14th century monastery complex of Certosa di San Martino on the Vomero Hill, the museum boasts a fascinating collection of nativity scenes (“presepi” in Italian) with the largest containing over 700 miniature elements as well as 70 halls filled with priceless paintings and sculptures from the 13th to 19th centuries. The building of the monastery is decorated with stunning mosaics, frescoes, woodcarvings creating a beautiful setting for the museum’s collections. You can chill out in the monastery’s courtyard and admire spectacular views over the city and Bay of Naples from the terraced garden.
Photos via Flickr by: Paolo della Gatta, Heleen Kwant, Jules Joseph.