Naples is the largest Italian seaside city, rich in history and interesting places, and UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. One of its characteristics is the very mild climate that reflects on the mood of the Neapolitans: a people famous for its cheerfulness and kindness. In the city certainly worth a visit the Cathedral and Museum of San Gennaro, the Neapolitan par excellence. A must visit is the walk in the famous Spanish quarters (i quartieri spagnoli) a maze of narrow streets and alleys where palaces and churches often merge without being able to perceive the difference. An area where the 'spasi' cloths are the frame of the neighborhood, which is then colored in a postcard picture. A place certainly very suggestive where you can also enjoy the excellent Neapolitan cuisine.
Not far from the port you will find Maschio Angioino or Castel Nuovo, an imposing fort positioned to guard the city in Angevin times. The name commonly used by the Neapolitans is Maschio Angioino because the mastio (in Florentine) was the tallest and largest of all 5 towers, often used by the King, hence the mispronunciation to literally the word 'male' (maschio in Italian) because it was inhabited by the Angevin king.
Aerial view of Procida island on a beautiful summer day
Back to sailing, Naples offers many alternatives to those who wish to rent a sailboat in the area. The Naples base is perfect for those who want to reach the Campano Archipelago, with Ischia and Procida just 12 and 15 Nm to the west, as well as Capri and the Sorrento peninsula to the south; the entire Gulf of Naples is also an excellent sailing area even just for a weekend.
Sailing is often a matter of time, so unless you are competing, a two-week holiday is the best choice to visit this area: you can choose to go north towards Ventotene (40 Nm) and Ponza (60 Nm), a pearl of the Mediterranean, or south towards the Aeolian Archipelago (150 Nm) with a stop in the Cilento Natural Park, an uncontaminated area slightly south of Salerno, where it is difficult to find crowd even in August. As far as the winds are concerned, attention should be paid to the third and fourth quadrant, but in particular to the third that is strengthening between Sardinia and Sicily, becoming particularly strong and stormy.
From a weather point of view, the advantage of this region is that these winds appear clearly on the maps 4 or 5 days before their arrival, allowing sailors to find safe shelter.
Turquoise bay near Lacco Ameno on Ischia Island
Mario, base manager in Naples of Dream Yacht Charters, has been working in the sector for more than twenty years and in this interview he gives us an overview of Naples, the islands and bays that are worth a visit if you decide to sail in the Campano Archipelago.
"The sailing base in Naples is located between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Pozzuoli, from here it is very easy to reach the Campano Archipelago: the Phlegrean Islands (isole Flegree) with Ischia and Procida, Capri and the Pontine Islands eight hours from our base. From here it is very easy to see a great variety of places, bays and coves, just perfect to experience by boat.
The catamaran is the most suitable boat to sail in this area, because it allows you to easily reach many bays and inlets".
Just to mention a few: "Marina Piccola ai Faraglioni in Capri, Sant'Angelo in Ischia and Nerano where there is the famous restaurant Maria Grazia where they invented the famous pasta and zucchini alla Nerano, where I always recommend going to eat. Palmarola an uninhabited island attached to Ponza, about twelve hours of navigation from the base of Naples - Definitely a paradise on earth.
"Ischia is full of natural spas, bays and turquoise coves. The same can be said for the island of Procida which is about 35 min sailing from our base. Worth mentioning for Procida is Marina Corricella, a fishing village where there are several restaurants you should definitely not miss - this is also where the oscar-winning movie Il Postino was shot". You can watch Mario's full Q&A here (you can enable English subtitles by clicking on the Gear icon at the bottom right of the video, Subtitles, English).
Ischia is famous all over the world for its thermal baths and the Poseidon Gardens, located at the end of Citara Bay, they are definitely worth a visit. In Ischia you will find San Francesco a very pleasant stop. Here you will find a delicious range of seafood restaurants with excellent quality fish, but also meety cuisine: one of the dishes of the local gastronomy is the Ischia rabbit - coniglio all’ischitana - often proposed in variants customized by the different restaurants.
View of Poseidon Gardens during the summer
Nerano, a splendid seaside resort between the Sorrentine Peninsula and the Amalfi Coast, is known not only for the beauty of its places, beaches, local restaurants overlooking the sea, but is also known for a typical local dish which has become famous throughout the world: Spaghetti alla Nerano. There are numerous variations of the recipe and those who try to grasp its secrets, inevitably lose some fundamental steps that the cunning chefs 'sinisterly' manage to hide.
What kind of cheese do you need for this recipe? Is it true that there are those who add the egg and those who consider it a heresy? Rest assured that we will never know, it seems one of the easiest dishes in the world, but even if we prepare it with what we think are the right ingredients, it will never be as good as when eaten right in Nerano.
Spaghetti alla Nerano (Photo By Enzo Rippa)