Naples has a unique cultural and artistic heritage, blending art, great food and natural beauty like few other cities could. Consequently, it attracts tourists from all over the world and all year round. It transcends seasons and temperatures; after all, there is always the sun reflecting off the sea here.

Millions of visitors eagerly flock to see the city's major attractions: from Vesuvius to the excavations of Pompeii, from the alleys of Spaccanapoli to the National Archaeological Museum. However, Naples is also much more, it is also those places that we would call ‘secret’, less mainstream and well-known. Let us therefore discover together 10 secret places to see in Naples.

The secret places to see in Naples

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Naples is unique above all for the vastness of choices and options it offers its visitors, always numerous and always curious to experience and discover it. So let us try to go beyond the usual destinations, the usual places to see in the city, by identifying ten ‘secret’ places off the usual itineraries of mass tourism. 

They range from green spaces to places of worship and art, places far from the knowledge of the average tourist who therefore needs help to go beyond the usual. One example is the Pausilypon Park, an authentic hidden gem made in Posillipo that, especially with the submerged area of Gaiola, is waiting to be discovered and fascinated by its mysteries. Other open spaces to visit and add to the list are the Parco Vergiliano and the Passeggiata di San Vincenzo in Pozzuoli, then we will tell you the many reasons for the choice.

Not only that, we also have the Belvedere di Pizzofalcone, which has been causing such a stir lately, and the Spiaggia di Acquamorta, a romantic little beach on Monte di Procida that brings with it a legend to listen to and fall in love with. In short, there is nothing left to do but dive into the discovery of these secret places, never to be seen again.

10. Vergiliano Park

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The first secret place to discover in Naples is a near homonym of what is perhaps the city's best known and most famous park. We are talking about Parco Vergiliano, different from Virgiliano because of the first vowel in its name and much more besides! It must be said that both parks are dedicated to the famous Latin poet Virgil, hence the same name or almost the same name.

Parco Vergiliano is located in Piedrigrotta, in the Chiaia district, and is the green space that houses the tomb of Virgil and especially Giacomo Leopardi. We find ourselves totally immersed in greenery and nature, although we are really just a stone's throw from the mundanity and chaos of the city. After all, we are almost opposite the Mergellina metro line, to give you the idea.

Often unknown to most, almost forgotten, the Vergiliano is the ideal opportunity to detach oneself from the world for a few hours and enjoy an almost dreamlike atmosphere, in contact with history, literature and nature. All while enjoying unique views of the Gulf of Naples. In short, all that remains is to discover it. 

9. Walk of San Vincenzo

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We move on to Pozzuoli, specifically to the Sandro Pertini promenade, one of the landmarks of Neapolitan promenades. Between bars, restaurants, basketball courts and the new Ferris wheel, all with a view of the sea, this place is always crowded and full of people.

However, let us go further and move on to the end of the promenade itself to capture our ‘secret’ spot. This is the Passeggiata di San Vincenzo (St Vincent's Promenade), a branch that continues on a path through the greenery along the cliffs. Here you can admire unique landscapes and sunsets, perhaps sitting on the rocks so as to breathe in the sea air at its best. 

Recently, they have even added beautiful fountains that add further lustre to this glimpse of the promenade, a feature that will surely make this path popular in time. All that remains is to get moving and experience it as soon as possible!

8. Pausilypon Archaeological Park

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On the hill of Posillipo lies a priceless treasure, perhaps in this case a secret one because it is really submerged, more hidden: the Pausilypon Archaeological Park. An oasis of history, archaeology and nature that offers a fascinating immersion in the past, seasoned with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Naples. 

The park houses the remains of the Villa of Vedio Pollione, a wealthy Roman knight from the 1st century BC. Amongst the ruins are impressive vestiges of a theatre, an odeon, baths and nymphaea. An atmosphere that almost teleports visitors into the everyday life of ancient Rome. Here we also find the Grotta di Seiano, an imposing Roman tunnel of about 700 metres that connects the Bagnoli area with the Gaiola valley. An amazing piece of engineering that testifies to the construction skills of the Romans.

The Pausilypon Park is also home to the Gaiola Protected Marine Area, an unspoilt marine oasis rich in marine flora and fauna. Directly from the park you can enjoy magnificent views of the Gulf of Naples, Capri, Ischia and the Sorrento coast. An experience in the name of beauty and discovery that is just worth living. 

7. Acquamorta beach

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We move again to the Phlegraean Fields area to recount and highlight a delightful beach offering breathtaking views. We are talking about the Spiaggia di Acquamorta (Acquamorta Beach), a small beach located near Monte di Procida that overlooks the island of Procida with its small port. 

The Acquamorta Beach is an extremely suggestive and romantic place that can therefore be the ideal destination for lovers in search of new sunsets (and more) to admire. The origin of the beach's name comes from the ‘Legend of Acquamorta’, a story of love and passion with a tragic and mysterious twist. It tells the story of Acqua, a young and beautiful girl, who used to go with her father Cosimo to the beach when the mountain was not yet there. One day, Acqua dived further out to sea, risking drowning, but was saved by a young Procidan fisherman named Giosué, with whom she fell in love.

From then on, the two began to see each other from the beach, always greeting each other with great love. One day, Acqua did not see her Joshua and received news of some fishermen from Procida who had drowned at sea after a storm. The girl therefore sets out to sea in search of him but never returns. Hence the name Spiaggia di Acquamorta (Acquamorta Beach). 

6. The Pizzofalcone belvedere on Mount Echia

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Let's close with a place that is becoming more and more ‘famous’ in the last few weeks, rising to prominence after the modernisation works and the inauguration of the lift there. We are talking about the Belvedere di Pizzofalcone, one of the most beautiful belvederes in Naples located on top of Monte Echia in the Santa Lucia district. 

From the Belvedere di Pizzofalcone, it is possible to admire the Gulf of Naples in all its beauty as perhaps few others can. Landing here, taking advantage of the new lift, is a must if you want to visit and fully enjoy Naples. 

Monte Echia has a centuries-old history full of fascination and stories. Above all, it is said that Parthenope (later Neapolis) arose here on this promontory at the end of the 8th century BC. C., although there are earlier remains even of a few centuries. Here there are numerous remains from the Imperial Age, since the mountain was home to the famous Lucullan gardens, above all the famous Villa of Licilius Lucullus. If this is not enough, let us remember the main reason for coming here: the wonderful panorama.

5. The King Ladislao Park

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We continue our journey of discovery of secret places to see in Naples with a historic garden that has only been open to the public for several months. We are talking about Parco Re Ladislao, a green space located behind the church of San Giovanni a Carbonara in the very centre. With its 4500 square metres right in the heart of the city, the park is a place to be preserved and cherished. 

King Ladislaus Park is a medieval garden enclosed by high walls, a style typical of monasteries and convents. At the time of its construction, it had both aesthetic-contemplative and practical purposes. In fact, it was created for the use and consumption of the monks of the former monastery, who mainly cultivated plants and trees there for food and medicinal purposes. It was almost natural to take advantage of the flat structure of the land, a characteristic that allowed ample water availability and great surface fertility. 

Re-opened to the public from the end of 2023, the park has two entrances, one at Via Cardinale Seripando and another at Vicolo Primo Pontenuovo, which will be open daily from 7 am to 6 pm. Here it is possible to breathe clean air and get away from the chaos of the city, taking advantage of the extensive Mediterranean biodiversity present. One cannot count the shrubs, herbaceous species and various climbing plants in the garden. There are also various types of palm trees and flower beds.

4. Vineyard of San Martino

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Just a stone's throw from the Charterhouse of San Martino, and therefore attached to the unmissable belvedere of the same name so beloved by Neapolitans and non-Neapolitans alike, there is a secret place that not everyone knows about. We are talking about the Vigna di San Martino, a monumental area used as an agritourism that extends over no less than seven and a half hectares.

This immense green lung covers an area that is halfway between Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the San Martino gardens. In 1967, the vineyard was listed as an ‘Asset of Landscape Interest’. It was purchased twenty years later by Giuseppe Morra and is currently managed by the ‘Piedi per la terra’ association. This is an organisation that has been involved in educational research in the field of Ecological Education for about twenty years. 

Among the activities of the Vigna di San Martino is therefore a lot of attention for children with numerous camps, but also and above all a lot of wine production. Around 4,000 litres are produced each year, a quantity that is not sold, but consumed by visitors, producers and members. To access the vineyard, simply contact the association Piedi per la Terra.  

3. The dolls hospital

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In Via San Biagio dei Librai, in the iconic Spaccanapoli, there is an atypical museum that goes beyond the ‘artistic’ canons we would expect from the word ‘museum’. We are talking about the Ospedale delle bambole (Hospital of the Dolls), a cult and historical place in Naples, with a tradition of craftsmanship that has been going on since 1800, when the set designer and artisan Luigi Grassi conceived the project. 

We are precisely in the courtyard of Palazzo Marigliano, where vintage toys and dolls are collected. In addition to the museum, there is also a workshop that restores what is collected. The dolls are actually cared for as if they were animated objects. The main repairs concern porcelain, plastic, wooden and papier-mâché dolls.

This church is a real gem, a hidden gem of Neapolitan art and sacredness waiting to be discovered.The main gem here is the Caracciolo del Sole Chapel, one of three chapels in the church.It is a true pictorial masterpiece, famous for its cycle of frescoes by numerous important artists, all depicting scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary.

1. Anatomical Museum of Naples University

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The last leg of our journey through 10 secret places to see in Naples ends in the name of culture and science. In fact, we have chosen the Anatomical Museum of the University of Naples as our final destination. We are located on Via Luciano Armani, a few minutes from the Piazza Cavour/Museo metro station (L2/L1).

The visit to the museum is structured as if it were an authentic hospital. In fact, we find several wards: the Bambolatorio, which is the department where visitors' donations are received; the Tailoring, Make-up and Hair Salon, which are the departments where the dolls are adorned; the Oculistics Department is where repairs are carried out. Other curious departments are the First Aid and the Sacred Restoration Department. In short, an adventure out of the ordinary to be experienced. Only in Naples, of course. 

2. Church of San Giovanni a Carbonara

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About a kilometre's walk from the Ospedale delle Bambole, therefore still in the very centre of Naples, we find another secret place that does not deserve to be so because it is all to be discovered. We are talking about the Church of San Giovanni a Carbonara, a Gothic-Renaissance church that represents one of the most important historical monuments in the Neapolitan city. 

The church dates back to the 14th century, it was erected between 1339 and 1343 thanks to donations from the nobleman Gualtiero Galeota, it was then given to the Augustinian Fathers, marking the beginning of the monastery and church. It underwent several influences over the centuries, from the Angevins and especially the Caracciolo family, which led to many changes over time. It also includes the church of Santa Monica and the church of the Consolation in Carbonara.

The Anatomical Museum has been open since 1500 and is one of the oldest and most interesting institutions of its kind. The museum's collections derive from both the ancient collections of the historical Neapolitan hospitals and those of the naturalists' cabinets of the 16th and 17th centuries. Here you can find really anything: internal organs in jars, human and animal sections, but above all deformed foetuses, one-eyed heads and many other things catalogued as ‘monstrosities’.

Admission to the museum is totally free, just book on the official website. These are the days and times: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Remember how for several of these attractions and many more you can access the discounts and benefits of the Naples Pass. The crush to access the many wonders of Naples is a major one, the same applies to these 10 secret places we have listed. All that's left to do is to go ahead and anticipate: with the Naples Pass you can.