Naples: what to see, plus the best restaurants, bars and hotels

January 3, 2016

Southern Italy’s biggest city has scrubbed up beautifully – without losing its anarchic charm – and is now a great choice for a winter city break
Readers’ tips: where to go in Naples

Compare hotel prices and find the best deal - Nungwi Village

As fascinating as it is contradictory, ravishingly beautiful yet dilapidated and chaotic, Naples makes a brilliant winter break destination. It enjoys a mild, southern climate and a matchless natural setting on a wide azure bay, with the brooding bulk of Vesuvius, the Sorrentine peninsula and Capri on the horizon. World-class monuments, some of the best food in Italy, a vibrant street life and a thriving contemporary art scene increase its appeal and, in the period leading up to Christmas, the city is at its most extrovert. Still central to any Neapolitan natale (along with the food, such as Christmas rococo cakes) is the centuries-old tradition of the presepe, or nativity crib, which sees crowds elbowing their way along the Spaccanapoli (the arrow-straight road that splits the ancient centro storico in two) en route to narrow Via San Gregorio Armeno to stock up on tiny figurines, some with moving parts, for their home cribs.

Related: The coastline of Italy: readers’ travel tips

Related: The alternative city guide to Turin, Italy

Compare hotel prices and find the best deal - Nungwi Village

Related: Elena Ferrante’s Ischia: an Italian island paradise

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