They say seaside air is the best medicine… judge by yourself, with this beautifully romantic promenade that attracts locals as much as tourists and also allows for a quick dive along the way!
Starting Point: Piazza del Plebiscito
Crossing Piazza del Plebiscito (coming from Via Toledo), you will find yourself at the beginning of the Lungomare, with the Palazzo Reale behind you, the Vesuvio on your left and the seafront straight ahead. You can walk down Via Cesario Console (and admire the statue of Augustus) and when you’ll get at the end of the road, a couple of steps from the sea, turn right on the Lungomare. However, we suggest you turn right a bit earlier, at the intersection with Via Santa Lucia, so to cut through Borgo Santa Lucia and end up directly in front of Castel dell’Ovo (‘Egg fortress’), with the Fontana della Immacolatella (or fontana del Gigante) on your left.
Castel dell’Ovo is a definite must, both because it can be visited for free up to the top terrace and because it offers one of the most picturesque gulf views in the city.
Villa Comunale: the stroll turns green
After visiting Castel dell’Ovo, you can continue your stroll on Via Partenope, and – if it’s lunch time – you can stop at one of the many pizzerias along the way (we suggest Regina Margherita or Sorbillo). You will then reach Piazza Vittoria, from which you can enter the Villa Comunale and enjoy part your walk immersed in this beautiful green area, also home to the tiny but well-known Anton Dohrn Aquarium, the oldest aquarium in Europe.
In the middle of the Villa Comunale you will find a couple nice chalets which, although a bit pricey, make for a perfect pitstop to enjoy coffee or a drink and rest for a bit during your walking tour in Naples. You can then exit the Villa Comunale, return to stroll on the Lungomare Caracciolo and enjoy the view from the Rotonda Diaz, also home to the statue in honor of Neapolitan WWI general Armando Diaz.
Mergellina and beyond
Continuing on the Lungomare past the small hydrofoil port, depending on how tired you are, you have 2 possible options:
- Turn right on Via Sannazzaro, cross Piazza Sannazzaro and go up Salita Piedigrotta to reach Piazza Piedigrotta and the Mergellina metro station, from which line 2 (metro linea 2) can take you to most of Naples’ other districts.
- Straight ahead, the Lungomare of Mergellina offers plenty of chalets (such as the locally famous Chalet Ciro a Mergellina) to enjoy a relaxing break, and will eventually lead you to the Fontana del Sebeto and the tiny beach right in front of it. You can then venture up Via Posillipo, at least until the majestic Palazzo Donn’Anna, and maybe take a quick and refreshing swim at the Bagno Sirena right next to this beautiful historical building (the beach club is not too pricey, however you can also reach the ‘free beach’ from the same entrance, then just use the club’s showers when leaving). However far you end up reaching, the return trip won’t be a problem: ANM bus line 140 (which incidentally stops right in front of Palazzo Donn’Anna) will take you back to Mergellina, Piazza Vittoria or Santa Lucia. Just make sure you buy your bus ticket (ANM/UNICO TIC ticket) in advance, since ticket machines at bus stops are often out of order.