A 10000-step itinerary around the centre of Naples
There is plenty of research proving that ten thousand steps a day lengthen your life expectancy.
1. The Lungomare and the Villa Comunale: among the most beautiful views in the world
The long Neapolitan walk begins at what can deservedly be considered a must-see among the places to visit in Naples: the Lungomare (waterfront promenade). Stroll along it in the morning, better still very early in the day, and you will be treated to some of the most fascinating scenery you can imagine.
In the 3 km of brisk walk, stretching from Mergellina to Via Nazario Sauro, you can admire all the grandeur of Vesuvius, which dominates the gulf from above. You will encounter the magnificence of Castel dell'Ovo, which seems almost to float on the islet of Megaride; you will catch a glimpse of Capri and the hill of Posillipo. In short, passing along the famous Via Caracciolo, which flanks the Villa Comunale park and the Riviera di Chiaia, you will breathe in the sea breeze and the unpolluted air of a green lung that reaches as far as Piazza Vittoria. In the distance is the Vomero hill.
After an aerobic activity, you need to recover some energy. On the bustling via Partenope you can stop for a drink, choosing from the many bars and clubs that enliven the street, or satisfy your hunger with a more satisfying pizza (Sorbillo's is excellent).
On the Mergellina side, on the other hand, you can stop at one of the many chalets. Finally, behind the Castle, you will find characterful fish restaurants in the Borgo Marinari. The choice is yours.
2. From Via dei Mille to Via Chiaia: the city's most elegant and wealthy streets
If you're wondering where to go in Naples if you love shopping, this reconnaissance route is for you. Via dei Mille, Via Filangieri and Via Chiaia are a paradise for high-fashion shops. The Louis Vuitton boutique and the Bulgari jewellery shop are just two examples of high quality stores.
Walking along Via dei Mille, you will catch your breath among the contemporary, local and international exhibitions at PAN, the Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli. Walk down via Filangieri, and then shop at Prada. Finally, you will reach Via Chiaia, full of clothing and shoe shops, as well as street food, bars and ice-cream parlours.
Crossing the historic Ponte di Chiaia, which connects the area with the Pizzofalcone hill, you will find the famous Pizzeria Brandi. Why not treat yourself to a delicious Margherita (it seems that the famous pizza doc was originally created right here), before heading to Piazza del Plebiscito.
3. From Via Cilea to San Martino: a brisk walk uphill
A more invigorating route is in Vomero, a hilly district of Naples. And walking uphill will, in fact, burn many more calories than on flat ground. Starting from the long Via Cilea, interspersed with shops of all kinds and plenty of bars, you will cross Via Luca Giordano. Are you feeling peckish? Take advantage of the various Japanese restaurants in the area.
Continuing on your way, on one side you will come to the famous Piazza Medaglie d'Oro, while on the other you will cross Via Aniello Falcone, known for its nightlife. Following Via Cilea again, you will come to Via Scarlatti and Piazza Vanvitelli, also full of bars and clubs. On reaching the parallel via Cimarosa, you might choose to stop at the Floridiana green area. But the climb continues, so buck up and be strong. You will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the entire city from the San Martino belvedere, where you will admire Castel Sant'Elmo and the Charterhouse of San Martino, complete with museum, church and two cloisters.
4. From Piazza Dante to Piazza del Plebiscito: a Neapolitan stroll through the city centre
After the steep climb, head down towards the centre to one of the most important areas of Naples: Piazza Dante, a large square housing the statue of the poet of the same name and more. You will see the Convitto Nazionale (National Boarding School), surmounted by 26 statues representing the virtues of Charles III, Duke of Bourbon, and cross the adjacent Port'Alba, the ancient entrance to the city.
The square is located at the beginning of Via Toledo, which is completely pedestrianised and excellent for a pleasant stroll, but also for a cultural visit to the Toledo Art Station. On the opposite end, stop at Esterina Sorbillo's for a fried pizza, and you will then reach Piazza Trieste e Trento.
Not far away is the San Carlo Theatre and, immediately after, the enormous Piazza del Plebiscito, overlooked by the Royal Palace and the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola.
You cannot leave Naples without first tasting the fragrant sfogliatella, a typical sweet with a unique aroma. In the very area, there is a historic café that continuously bakes them: the famous Gran Caffè Gambrinus. You will see that after the many kilometres covered, this crispy pastry will make your Neapolitan holiday even more of a pleasant memory.