Landmarks of Naples Walking Tour (Self Guided), Naples

Naples is one of the most significant and most beautiful cities in Italy. It is known for its old and majestic architecture, monuments, fountains. Some of its landmarks are a thousand years old and are still preserved in their original condition. This self-guided tour will lead you through the most spectacular places of Naples:
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Landmarks of Naples Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Landmarks of Naples Walking Tour
Guide Location: Italy » Naples (See other walking tours in Naples)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.7 Km or 4.8 Miles
Author: vickyc
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Castel dell'Ovo
  • Fountain of Giant
  • Palazzo Serra di Cassano
  • Piazza dei Martiri
  • Piazza Plebiscito
  • Santa Chiara Church
  • San Domenico Maggiore Square
  • Dante Square
  • Castel Sant'Elmo
Castel dell'Ovo

1) Castel dell'Ovo (must see)

The Castel dell’Ovo or Egg Castle is a seaside castle in Naples, located on the former island of Megaride, now a peninsula, on the Gulf of Naples in Italy. The castle's name comes from a legend about the Roman poet Virgil, who had a reputation in the Middle Ages as a great sorcerer and predictor of the future. In the legend, Virgil put a magical egg into the foundations to support the fortifications. Had this egg been broken, the castle would have been destroyed and a series of disastrous events for Naples would have followed.

The Greeks from Cumae were the first inhabitants of the island and it was from the location of the fortress that they founded what later became the city of Naples. The present structure dates back to the 15th century and was built by the Aragonese rulers. It served both as a royal residence and the state treasury. A small fishing village grew around the Castel dell’Ovo in the 19th century and is well known today for its marina and seafood restaurants.

Why You Should Visit:
The castle's roof is beautifully paved with bricks, making an ideal platform for 360 views of the city, the Mediterranean, and Mount Vesuvius.
The climb on foot is easy, via a wide, very gradually ascending thoroughfare. A few shops and one small art gallery occupy some castle space.
There are myriad points for great scenic photos, and also a public restroom near the top where you can buy drinks/snacks in vending machines.
In summary, if you're up for exploring, don't need gift shops and tour guides, and open to random experiences... it's an enjoyable time.

Try to go towards the end of the day as the sun is setting, and be sure to bring a camera, binoculars, plus water!
The castle is very close to the boat terminal and you can go back to Sorrento by boat if you stay there.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9:30am-6:30pm; Sun: 9am-2pm
Fountain of Giant

2) Fountain of Giant (must see)

Fountain of Giant also known as Fontana dell'Immacolatella is one of the most beautiful fountains in Naples. It was created by Pietro Bernini and Michelangelo Naccherino in 1601. It stood in different places, in the Largo of the Palace, in the Villa of the Popolo. Now it stands on the Bench of Saint Lucia not far from Castel dell'Ovo. The fountain is made from marble. It is made out of three round arches, the one in the middle being the tallest. Different statues and sculptures of divinities decorate the arches.
Palazzo Serra di Cassano

3) Palazzo Serra di Cassano

The Palazzo Serra di Cassano is a large mansion in Naples that belonged to the aristocratic Serra family. It houses the Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies, today.

The Palazzo Serra di Cassano was designed by architect, Ferdinando Sanfelice in the first half of the 18th century for the Duke of Cassano. The Dukes of Cassano were from the Serra family, one of the 54 aristocratic families of Genoa. Their wealth came from banking, insurance and law. Initially, the palace had two entrances, one of which faced the Royal Palace. This entrance was closed in 1799 by the Duke of Cassano, Luigi Francesco Serra, to protest the execution of his son, Gennaro Serra. Gennaro was involved in revolutionary activities against the Bourbons and was beheaded at the Piazza del Plebiscito, in full view of the palace.

The Palazzo Serra di Cassano has a simple double stairway made of grey volcanic stone flanked by a white marble balustrade. The interiors have many beautiful frescoes and most of the original furniture is preserved. The mansion once housed one of the finest libraries in Naples. The contents of the library were sold to Viscount Spencer in the 19th century and a portion is now in Althorp, the country home of the family of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
Piazza dei Martiri

4) Piazza dei Martiri

The Piazza dei Martiri or Martyr’s Square in Naples gets its name from the monument placed at the center. The monument was created to commemorate those who laid down their lives in three different uprisings in the city. It is located at the end of the Via Chiaia, a popular pedestrian street.

The Piazza dei Martiri occupies a site that was once part of the extensive gardens and orchards of the 11th century Abbey of Santa Maria a Cappella. Later, in the first half of the 17th century, the church of Santa Maria a Cappella Nuova was constructed here. It was demolished to make way for a square under the orders of Napoleon’s brother in law, Joachim Murat in 1812. The memorial column found in the square was moved from another location and four lions were added, each representing four different rebellions, the 1799 Neapolitan Revolution, the revolutions of 1820 and 1858 and the 1860 War of unification.

The Piazza dei Martiri, today, is a lively square that is popular with locals and tourists. Many high end stores are located around it. It is also the site of many popular clubs frequented by young and chic Neapolitans. It is also the location of the large Feltrinelli book and music shop that is popular with locals and visitors.
Piazza Plebiscito

5) Piazza Plebiscito (must see)

The Piazza Plebiscito is a square named after the plebiscite that resulted in the 1860 unification of Italy. It is the largest square in Naples.

The Piazza Plebiscito was laid under the orders of Joachim Murat the brother in law of Napoleon who was installed as the King of Naples after the defeat of the bourbon rulers. He ordered the demolition of an ancient abbey and a church to make way for the square. When the Bourbons returned to power after the defeat of Napoleon, Ferdinand I, the reinstated Bourbon ruler completed the unfinished Piazza. Before the plebiscite, it was called the Largo di Palazzo or space in front of the palace. After World War II, it was neglected and became a large parking lot until 1997, when it was restored to its former glory for the G7 summit held in Naples.

The Piazza Plebiscito has a semicircular shape. It has the Royal Palace at one end and the church of San Francesco di Paola on the other. The equestrian statues of the Bourbon kings, Ferdinand I and Charles III are placed in front of the church. Today, the square hosts New Years Eve and other festival celebrations and events like rock concerts. Large installations of contemporary art are also placed here periodically.
Santa Chiara Church

6) Santa Chiara Church (must see)

The Santa Chiara Church is part of a complex that includes a monastery, tombs and an archeological museum. It was severely damaged by the World War II allied bombings and restored in 1953.

The Santa Chiara Church was commissioned by Robert the Wise, King of Naples and his second wife, Queen Sancha of Majorca in 1310. It was built between 1313 and 1340. The church and the convent had an austere Gothic style. The interiors were redesigned in Baroque style between 1742 and 1757. The original structure was completely destroyed and only a shell remained after World War II.

The Santa Chiara Church has a simple façade with only one rose window at the center. The west porch is the only surviving part of the 14th century structure. The interior consists of the largest church hall in Naples. The nave is surrounded by ten chapels that contain important gothic monuments. The tomb of King Robert is behind the main altar. Other tombs are those of King Francis II and his consort, Maria Sophie of Bavaria and their daughter, Princess Cristina. The tomb of Salvo D'Acquisto, a national hero is also located here. The cloister houses a museum dedicated to the history of the convent where remains of the church interiors that survived war damage and other collections are on display.
San Domenico Maggiore Square

7) San Domenico Maggiore Square

The San Domenico Maggiore Square lies in front of a church of the same name. It is in the historic center of Naples and Spaccanapoli" Street on which it is located was one of the three roads laid by the early Greeks when the city was called Neapolis.

The San Domenico Maggiore Square was laid between the 15th and 19th centuries during the reign of the Aragonese rulers. They made it one of the most important centers of the city. The square is surrounded by many important medieval and structures built by the Spanish rulers.

The San Domenico Maggiore Square has an important monument at its center. It is an obelisk erected by Dominican monks of San Martino after a plague killed a large portion of the population of Naples in 1656. The statue on top is that of San Domenico di Guzman, the founder of the Dominican order. Other notable buildings flanking the square are the Palazzo Petrucci, the oldest surviving building in Naples, the San Domenico Maggiore church and the adjacent abbey, that was the original seat of the university of Naples and the Palazzo Sangro di Sansevero, the residence of the family of the early scientist and innovator, Raimondo di Sangro, Prince of Sansevero.
Dante Square

8) Dante Square

The Piazza Dante or Dante Square in Naples is dominated by the statue of the renaissance poet, Dante Alighieri. It is a centrally located square in the city.

The Piazza Dante was once the site of a large marketplace. At the time, it was called the Largo del Mercatello or Market Square. The square was redesigned and renovated by the architect, Luigi Vanvitelli in 1765. After the modifications, it was called the Foro Carolina after Maria Carolina of Austria, the consort of the then reigning King of Naples, Ferdinand IV. After the unification of Italy in 1871, the statue of Dante Alighieri by sculptor, Tito Angelini was erected here in 1872.

The Piazza Dante today is a popular square for both locals and tourists. It is within easy reach of most of the important monuments in Naples and lies near the new first line of the underground station. There is also a well known food market at the Rione della Pignasecca nearby. The original modifications by Luigi Vanvitelli including a semicircle of highly decorated columns with statues are still located on Piazza Dante and form the western side of a boarding school. It is a popular venue for family activities in Naples.
Castel Sant'Elmo

9) Castel Sant'Elmo (must see)

The Castel Sant’Elmo is a unique star shaped structure that was built to protect Naples from attacks from the sea. It has served many purposes through history and is one of the important landmarks of the city.

The first historical record of a fort on the site of Castel Sant’Elmo is that of a small structure built by the Normans in 1170. Later, relatives of Charles of Anjou built a large residence called Belforte on the site of the old fort in 1275. The Aragonese viceroy, Don Pedro de Toledo commissioned renowned military architect, Pedro Luis Escriva to enlarge the structure and the fort owes its unique shape to his design. It was enlarged between the years 1537 and 1547. From 1604 until 1956, it was used as a prison.

The Castel Sant’Elmo is a popular tourist attraction in Naples today. It hosts exhibitions, concerts and conferences from time to time. Two early churches within the fort are the Church of Sant’Elmo that dates back to the 16th century and the Chapel of Santa Maria del Pilar that dates back to the 17th century. A funicular takes visitors up the San Martino Hill to reach the Castel Sant’Elmo and the prison cells within the fort offer spectacular views over the city and bay of Naples.

Walking Tours in Naples, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Naples

Create Your Own Walk in Naples

Creating your own self-guided walk in Naples is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Art Galleries and Art Museums Tour

Art Galleries and Art Museums Tour

Italy is well known in the whole world for its outstanding artists. Naples has an especially rich culture and history that you can admire by visiting its museums and galleries. These contain priceless paintings and works of art that are both old and contemporary. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most prominent art exhibitions in Naples:

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Naples Museums Walking Tour

Naples Museums Walking Tour

Naples is one of the oldest cities in the world and has an incredible past. The city went through a multitude of civilizational changes that have left their mark, something you can see in the city's museums. This self-guided tour will lead you through the museums that will show you what remains of Pompei and Herculaneum, and other great world historical sites:

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Historical Churches

Historical Churches

Naples is a city with many religious, historical and architectural sights of great artistic value. The city has numerous magnificent churches. They are especially worth a visit because they have preserved their original structure from ancient times. This self-guided tour will lead you to churches, cathedrals and basilicas with beautiful paintings, architecture and history:

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Chiaia District Walking Tour

Chiaia District Walking Tour

Chiaia is deservedly considered to be the most exquisite part of Naples. Refined and exclusive, it hosts world-known brand name stores and is the place where one can always meet a famous personality. Home to once-in-a-lifetime pizzas and amazing seafood restaurants, it also offers gorgeous views of the Bay of Naples and its marina. The famous volcano Vesuvius can be seen from Chiaia too. Villa...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Naples Introduction Walking Tour

Naples Introduction Walking Tour

Naples is the 3rd largest city of Italy. It is situated on the shore of the Mediterranean and is a dream city for tourists. Within it there is a hidden city of ancient civilizations. You can visit its underground streets. The architecture of the city is magnificent and contributes to the magical landscape of the city. This orientation walk will lead you to the most ancient and amazingly beautiful...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles
Capodimonte Hill Walking Tour

Capodimonte Hill Walking Tour

Capodimonte Hill is very rich and full of unique attractions. It rises above the lower part of Naples and offers panoramic views of the sea, the islands and the volcanoes. The unique Royal Botanical Garden and the famous Capodimonte Palace are set on this hill. This self-guided tour will lead you through the most popular sites of Capodimonte:

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles