Worth getting out of bed for
Bask in the spa’s salt room for a while: inhaling the mineral goodness of air infused with salt is an old Eastern European tradition that’s supposed to benefit your skin, lungs and all-round wellbeing. Then, it’s time explore Naples. Some historic churches are nearby: less than 15 minutes’ walk from Romeo Hotel is Gesù Nuovo on Via San Sebastiano (+39 081 557 8111), which dates back to 1470 and was originally a palace. Its Baroque architecture and ornate interior make it well worth a visit. (When visiting churches, covered shoulders are a must.)
It’s also a short walk from Romeo Hotel to the port, where you’ll find boats bound for Capri and Sorrento. Walk down Via Cristoforo Colombo to the SNAV ticket office (www.snav.it) to embark on your daytrip. For an insight into the volcanic forces that have shaped the region, a trip to the crater of Vesuvius is unmissable. Local guides lead walking tours, and bus excursions are run by Vesuvio Express (+39 081 739 3666).
Naples has the finest pizza you’ll ever eat: the best is to be found along Via dei Tribunali, less than 10 minutes’ walk from the hotel. There’s a host of pizzerias to pick from: some are pretty basic, but all will feature a lively local clientele devouring huge circles of bread with any topping imaginable for only €3 or €4. The service is speedy, too. Two of the best are Di Matteo, 94 via dei Tribunali (+39 081 455 262), and Sorbillo, 38 via dei Tribunali (+39 081 033 1009; www.sorbillo.eu).
Brothers Antonio and Ciro Scognamillo transformed their parents’ wine cellar into the cosy and traditional Enoteca Belledonne, at 18 vico Belledonne a Chiaia (+39 081 403 162; www.enotecabelledonne.com).
At Gran Caffe Gambrinus, locals and visitors alike gather to sip coffee, nibble delicate pastries and enjoy the detailed Belle Epoque interior (+39 081 417 582; www.grancaffegambrinus.com).
This buzzing area has plenty of bars and clubs. Ask the concierge to point you in the right direction of what’s hot.
January On the sixth, Epiphany is celebrated by Neapolitans gathering in the Piazza del Plebiscito, where the witch-like Befana descends from the belltower on her broomstick to give ‘charcoal’ — actually black sweets — to naughty children. There’s also a daytime parade and an evening concert. Mid-July On the 16th, fireworks mark the end of the feast of Santa Maria del Carmine; for the best view, look towards the belltower of the church named after her. Mid-October The 6-day Naples film festival, launched in 1995, showcases films shot locally as well as independent productions from throughout Europe. The annual awards ceremony is accompanied by screenings at Castel Sant ‘Elmo (www.napolifilmfestival.com). Mid-December San Gennaro is the chief of Naples’ 50 patron saints and the subject of a traditional mystery celebrated at the Duomo on his feast day, the 16th: the Blood Miracle is the alleged liquefaction of his blood, a phial of which is carried in a massive procession through the streets, along with statues of several other saints. The ‘miracle’ is also celebrated on the first Saturday each May and September 19th.
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Smith extra at Romeo Hotel
€50 to spend on spa treatments