Filled with art-slung palaces, castles and churches, Naples has enough culture to satiate the most ravenous vulture. And it doesn’t end with frescoed domes and Caravaggios either. Other claims to fame include pizza, buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, and Kimbo coffee. Just watch your waistline – a key concern if you want to look in on some of Europe’s finest bespoke tailors, who have dressed everyone from King Vittorio Emanuele to Aristotle Onassis.
Artful slumber: In a city bloated with chintzy, dated hotels, Hotel Piazza Bellini keeps the truly cool purring. Occupying a restored 16th-century palazzo opposite bohemian Piazza Bellini, its 50 rooms are pimped with quirky murals and whimsical local art.
Going for Baroque: Seventeenth-century architect and sculptor Cosimo Fanzago turned marble into polychromatic magic in the charterhouse-turned-museum, Certosa di San Martino.
Art & alchemy: Giuseppe Sanmartino’s 18th-century marble masterpiece, The Veiled Christ, is possibly the finest sculpture in Italy. You’ll find it in Cappella di Sansevero, stomping ground of prince, inventor and alchemist, Raimondo de Sangro.
Caffè under chandeliers: Naples is famous for its thick, strong espresso, and there’s no better place to sip it than Caffè Gambrinus, former hangout of Oscar Wilde.
Scented souvenirs: Skip the kitsch nativity scenes and follow your nose to Kiphy, an artisanal workshop selling organic soaps and beauty products made using essential oils and herbs. The orange and cinnamon soap bar are nearly good enough to eat.
Perfect pizza: Ever-packed Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo is where the locals line up for bubbling, wood-fired pizza perfection. In the hometown of pizza, this speaks volumes.
Caravaggio: With blood on his hands, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio fled from Rome to Naples in 1606. His Flagellation of Christ is one of countless artistic highlights at one-time Bourbon palace Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte.
A tailor: If you plan on turning heads, double your chances with a suit from veteran tailor Mariano Rubinacci. Past clients include legendary film director Vittorio de Sica, whose Oscar-winning flick Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow tells you all you need to know about Naples.
Quiet time: When you’re ready to escape the city’s trademark anarchy, slip into the Majolica-tiled, fresco-fringed cloisters of the Basilica di Santa Chiara.
Aperitivo: For civilised late-afternoon wine and cheese sessions, head to La Stanza del Gusto, which features in-the-know drops and produce from all over Italy. There’s a little produce shop in the basement and a fine-dining restaurant upstairs.
Culinary ingenuity: For regional classics with a twist, book a linen-lined table at Palazzo Petrucci. Menus are seasonal and refreshingly inspired, with creations like roasted cod with lavender, aglianico-wine vinegar and anchovies. We also love the attentive service.