When asked what he loves about Naples, Giorgio Berti, a Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate and broker for Rome Exclusive, looks horrified and says this question would put any Neapolitan into crisis. “I would proudly answer ‘everything’,” he says. “I love the sea, and thanks to the mild climate, I can enjoy it all year round. Then there’s the historic center of Naples, which reminds me of the city’s Greek and Roman origins, not to mention culture in every palace, museum, and church. And then there’s the hilly districts of Posillipo and Vomero, which offer the privilege of living in the city and a holiday resort at the same time.”
Naples is Southern Italy’s largest city with art, architecture, and famous basil-topped pizzas for visitors and locals alike to enjoy. Orginally called Neapolis (new city) when it was founded in the sixth century BC, Berti recommends starting with some history by visiting Basilica di San Domenico Maggiore, built between 1283 and 1324, whose gothic façade hides an ornate interior. One of Naples’ hidden treasures, the Church of Santa Chiara is also worth seeking out and features a cloister described by visitors as breathtaking.
For more historic architecture, head to The Royal Palace. Built when Naples was under Spanish rule in the 1600s, Palazzo Reale features a theater, a chapel, the national library, and royal apartments. If you’re an opera fan, the San Carlo theater, founded in 1737, hosts opera, ballet, and concert performances. Or, if shopping is of interest, visit the Umberto 1 Gallery, which is located opposite the theater. Built between 1887 and 1890, it has an impressive glass ceiling and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site listing.
Where to Eat and Drink in Naples
Naples is also known for food and whether you need breakfast, lunch, or dinner, there are plenty of options. Berti does not hesitate to name Michelin-starred Palazzo Petrucci as one of the best restaurants in the city. “In addition to the mainly fish-based cuisine, the restaurant enjoys a magnificent view of the Gulf of Naples,” he says. Sharing the same view from a panoramic terrace is nearby Rosiello restaurant, which Berti describes as “timeless.”
Meanwhile, if you find youself in the lovely Chiaia district, head to Coco Loco where you can be assured of a friendly welcome from owner Diego Nuzzo. For a seafront option, visit Borgo Marinari where Berti recommends both the Grand Hotel Vesuvio’s Caruso restaurant, named after tenor Enrico Caruso and situared on a roof terrace with lovely views, and Zi Teresa, which overlooks the Castel dell’Ovo, or Egg Castle, on the seafront (pictured above). He recommends trying the peppered mussels or linguine with lobster. You can visit the castle too, just make sure you book a timeslot on the website first (it’s free or you can opt for a guided tour for a small fee).
Galleries and Museums to See
Once you’ve had time to digest your food and the views, there are plenty of museums and art galleries to see. Berti recommends the National Archaeological Museum, which includes Greek and Roman sculptures, along with items from Pompeii and Herculaneum.
There’s also the Capodimonte museum with its collection of porcelain plus paintings, tapestries, prints, and a large collection of armory. Finally, don’t miss the Sansevero Chapel Museum, which, among many masterpieces, includes the famous sculpture of the Veiled Christ. For art galleries, Berti recommends Lia Rumma and Studio Trisorio.
Property Market Insight
After visiting this vibrant city, some decide to invest in their own slice of Naples. According to Berti, buyers can be divided into three categories. “First, there are those looking for a house in the city who also want the holiday resort feeling. They opt for the Posillipo district, which offers seafront properties with views of the Gulf of Naples and Pozzuoli. Second, those who prefer the convenience of services and the charm of the Naples seafront choose the Chiaia and Vomero districts. Finally, buyers fascinated by history who want to live in a 16th-century palace choose the historic center, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.”
Berti reports that the Naples property market is currently experiencing a strong recovery following the challenging conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Looking ahead, he predicts a consistent growth trend of around 5 percent each year for the next few years. Perhaps now’s the right time to consider a property of your own in Naples.
On the Market
The villa enjoys wonderful views of both the sea and the blue island, and is located in Via Tragara, a 15-minute walk from the famous Piazzetta. The property is spread over approximately 5,382 square feet [500 sq m] and divided into two levels, which operate as independent properties. Both levels feature design references to Roman classicism.
This 19th-century villa features a classic style with period floors, Venetian mosaic, oak parquet, fireplaces covered with precious marble, and wooden shutters. It’s surrounded by a private park of 21,528 square feet [2,000 sq m] with a well-kept garden and panoramic views from Capri to Vesuvius.
Located in a park, this villa, which consists of two buildings, has a beautiful garden including a centuries-old pink pepper tree, which provides shade to relax in. Inside the home, the floors, corridors, and staircases are marble or natural stone, as are the fireplaces. There’s a private courtyard for parking.