NaplesItalian West Coast
For a day spent ashore, these are the sights to see, the shopping districts to delve into, and the gourmet treats to discover.
Many beaches in and around Naples are flat and very popular with tourists. Those situated around the Bay of Naples usually consist of grey volcanic sand and the free public beaches are often small and crowded, with minimal facilities, although very sunny.
To enjoy the best beach resorts you will usually have to pay a fee and then you can enjoy some of the finest stretches of sand. For some of the most attractive beaches in Naples, head for Positano, Minori, Procida, Capri and the Almafi coast, which is without doubt one of the most stunning stretches of shoreline in the whole of Italy.
Along with food, Italy's synonymous with clothes. Naples is a fashionista's dream-come-true. Make a beeline for the city's main shopping haunt, the Via Toledo. The price tags rise as you head down this pedestrianised street towards the chi-chi stores of Via Chiaia and Piazza dei Martiri. The usual suspects - like Bulgari, Gucci and Louis Vuitton - line Via Calabritto and Via G. Filangieri, which branch out from the Piazza dei Martiri in Chiaia.
However, two area stores are notable for their local connection. Ernesto Esposito, Via Santa Caterina a Chiaia, showcases unique heels created by its namesake designer, a Neapolitan who also designs shoes for Fendi, Sonia Rykiel and Via Spiga. Riviera di Chiaia, is a tiny shop with a huge reputation for its classic men's accessories, especially,silk ties.
Beneath the glam veneer you'll find the Neapolitan Riviera's rustic side. Naples reveals its grittier face at the Forcella open-air market and the Porta Nolana fish market.
This stretch of shoreline is responsible for some of Italy's most famous, and arguably best, dishes. As the name suggests, the 'napolitana' – tomato and basil - pasta sauce was born here. Likewise, the margherita pizza. Whatever you go for, just remember to save room for dessert, the ice-cream in these parts is to die for.