The city spreads along the west coast of the gulf toward the Pianura Campana. The map gives you the possibility to notice the "different Naples " during 2500 years of history: the primitive Greek nucleus; the Greco–Roman city; the medieval city; the Swabian and then Aragonese city; finally the city of the 19th and 20th centuries, which extends until the boundaries of Campi Flegrei. Naples is a city of contrasts, sometimes of paradoxes: medieval quarters which preserve the ceremonial of the markets of that age, others which are already different from their boundaries. Some years ago even the anthropological characters allowed to establish the zone of origin or the houses of people. An element stands out among the others: the mildness of the climate.
The artistic visit to the monuments and to the archaeological sites must include Roman villas and ruins which are placed above all on the hill called Posillipo. Donn’Anna Palace and the magnificent baroque villas, the big caves of the underground (caves made of stuff of the Roman period); the Crypta beapolitana, where Virgilio’s Tomb is placed; and many urbanistic elements of Pizzofalcone, that represent the continuity of the ancient Greek acropolis. This does not mean that the monuments, the architecture and the artistic masterpieces are located only in this area. Piazza Mercato, Via Medina and Piazza Municipio, Piazza Plebiscito and Santa Lucia, Pizzofalcone, Mergellina and Posillipo, Vomero, Camaldoli and Capodimonte must be mentioned and visited.
In this city the churches, the museums, the centres of culture, the castles, the wonderful villas, the fountains, the squares, the magnificent buildings follow one another and are the best of an artistic survey that rarely can be compared to another one in the world. Since in Naples there are a lot of beauties, it is necessary to ask for information in the offices which give you tourist information which are located in different places of the city. Finally, Naples is a great box that extends from the sandy shore of Cordoglio, at west, to the sandy shore of San Giovanni, at east, to step over the hills and reach the southern border of the plain of Campania region: the visitor should discover each street and each monument.
Visiting Naples means also and above all "to live the city," and this can happen only if you come into contact with its "colour," which, mind, is not the decline of the customs, nor the metropolitan decay of its culture. It is instead the fact that the traditions have been always alive during the centuries. The art of goldsmith; the crafts of the lute-makers and of the masters who create masterpieces made of wrought iron or wooden objects; the genius of the "pastorai," who mould objects in clay according the past customs; the masterpieces made by the potters of Capodimonte are an example. In the Neapolitan "colour" the artists are inspired, such as Sammartino, musicians such as Mozart. These are only some examples, but they are sufficient to know the bases of Neapolitan culture and handicrafts.
The Greeks and the Romans, before the visitors came here during the period of Grand Tour, discovered the natural beauties of Naples: its sea, its hills, its mild weather, its wonderful panoramic landscapes. In the toponyms is kept the memory: Mergellina for Mar ialinum (unpolluted and clear sea water), Posillipo for Pausis Lypè (end of the pain), Chiatamone for Platamon (level shore), and certainly visiting the city always leaves in your mind a sweet memory of a sunset seen from the hill of San Martino, of a red sunset which makes Castel dell’Ovo alive, of the bright light that during the day creates some silver rays in the sea in Via Caracciolo. Even at night Naples has a spontaneous beauty, that goes beyond the string of pearls of the urban light and makes you discover wonderful and unexpected corners; sudden moments of natural beauty and unexpected faces of an old and always young beauty.