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Napoli, as it’s called in Italian, is the birthplace of Caruso, Sophia Loren, Bel Canto and O Sole Mio! Neapolitan culture has had wide-reaching influence on music – the romantic guitar and mandolin were invented here.

It is a surprisingly large city, and a sprawling one. The historic center of the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

There's a side to Naples that's a lot like the sunwashed murals you've seen in restaurants: All airy blue waterfront city, with quiet views and seafood eaten al fresco. But there’s so much more.

The old part of the city, Naples’ centro storico, is an open-air kasbah of hawking, yelling humanity that makes up in energy what it lacks in grace. Buildings rise high on either side of the narrow, crowded streets.

There are also vistas. From Vomero Hill you can see the Bay of Naples, Capri, Ischia and Vesuvius. Closer to sea level along the promenade, you’ll find Castel dell’Ovo, San Carlo Opera House, Santa Lucia, Town Hall and Angevin Castle – with today’s date in flowers.