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If you were thinking of passing right through Naples without stopping for a look, think again. Naples has borne the brunt of some mean reports in recent times. And they are quite unfair. Naples is home to elegant neighborhoods, historic cafes, incredible castles and a food culture that most cities dream about (even in Italy). Cast aside what you’ve heard about Napoli and let our guest Danielle Oteri from Feast on History share her love of this incredible, vibrant city in the south of Italy.
Naples is one of the most important cities in Italy for so many reasons. The city is home to national artistic treasures, over 400 churches and one of the most important archaeological museums in the world with artifacts found at nearby Pompeii. Vesuvius looms over the city and its diverse neighborhoods where you’ll find the typical narrow streets strung with washing but also elegant piazzas and fading palaces. It’s a heady mixture of ancient, Baroque and modern styles but always with a Neapolitan heart.
One of the reasons I started to become more interested in Naples was thanks to Elena Ferrante’s acclaimed series of novels known as the Neapolitan Quartet. The first book in the series is My Brilliant Friend was been adapted for television and filmed in Neapolitan dialect. These are some of my favorite books and if you haven’t read them or watched the series
Our guest Danielle Oteri adores Naples and created a guidebook and tour based on Ferrante’s novels. She shares some insights into the locations and scenes from the books as well as the highlights and secrets of this magnificent city.
What you’ll learn in this episode
- Best neighborhoods to explore in Naples
- Interesting sites to visit – castles, museums, churches and more
- All about the artistic, friendly and fun Neapolitan people
- Traditions and culture quirks of Naples that make it special
- What to eat when you’re in Naples (spoiler alert – everything!)
- When pastry o’clock takes place – delicious!
- Neighborhoods where you can discover the settings of Elena Ferrante’s novel My Brilliant Friend
- The must do tour in Naples
About our guest – Danielle Oteri from Feast on History
Danielle Oteri is a writer, art historian and founder of Feast on History a food, wine and art school specializing in Southern Italy. She is passionate about the city of Naples and surrounds and knows it inside out – including where to get the best sfogliatella and life changing pizza.
After visiting her grandmother’s town on the Cilento Coast she was inspired to celebrate her family’s homeland and help others do the same. Feast on History offers immersive culinary, art and wine classes in Italy and now online.
If you’re visiting New York City you can also join Danielle’s company Arthur Avenue Food Tours on a delicious walk through Little Italy.
You can find Danielle on these channels:
Places mentioned in the show
- Spanish Quarter – traditional neighborhood of narrow streets typically strung with washing
- Centro Storico – the historic center where you’ll find
- Chiaia – elegant district with amazing views and
- Vomero – elevated Art Nouveau neighborhood where you’ll find the Monastery San Martino and Castel Sant Elmo and views
- Castel Nuovo – fairytale medieval castle overlooking the Bay of Naples
- Capodimonte – huge art museum with Caravaggio and other masters
- San Gregorio Armeno – nativity street where you can buy little figurines
- Neapolitan Sacred Art – shop that sells religious art and curiosities
- 50 Kalò [Piazza Sannazaro 201 / B] – life changing pizza!
- Markets – great places to buy seafood and people watch – Pignasecca and Porta Nolana
- Pintauro [Via Toledo, 275] – great pastry shop
- Sfogliatella Mary – Danielle’s favorite pasty shop
- San Carlo – oldest theater in Europe
- Gran Caffè Gambrinus – elegant cafe opposite the San Carlo theater
- Pasticceria Poppella – cafe where you’ll find the best rhum baba!
- Rione Luzzatti – neighborhood where Elena Ferrante’s novels are partially set
- Spaccanapoli – street that cuts the city in two
- San Gennaro – cathedral of Naples in the heart of the city
What to eat in Naples
- Pizza – of course! Naples is the home of pizza
- Fritto misto – street food of fried seafood, dough and vegetables
- Sfogliatella – famous pastry from Naples
- Rhum baba – delicious pastry soaked in rum
- Naples underground – the must do tour in Naples
- Listen – Untold Italy episode 38 with Danielle on the Cilento Coast
- Best time to visit Italy
- How to plan a trip to Italy – our article that takes you step by step through trip planning so you can avoid our mistakes
- Driving in Italy – a practical guide
- Italy Travel Planning – the FREE Facebook group where you can ask questions and get inspiration for planning your trip
- Travel shop where you’ll find items mentioned in the show
Prefer to read along as you listen? You can download a PDF version of the full transcript of this episode.