Starting at the Borgo Marinaro and the wonderfully named Castel dell'Ovo (Castle of the Egg), this route leads up to Piazza del Plebiscito, and round Via Chiaia to Piazza dei Mar-tiri. From here you head seawards to pick up Villa Comunale and the lungomare (seafront) as it curves round the bay to Mergellina. The seafront is a favourite Neapolitan walk that is particularly enjoyable in the cool of a summer evening.

Start on the island of volcanic rock known to the ancient Greeks as Megaris and to modern Neapolitans as the Borgo Marinaro (p83). Naples' oldest castle, Castel dell'Ovo 1 (p83) has stood here since the 12th century. Returning to the mainland you'll see a row of luxurious hotels across the busy seafront road Via Partenope. Before you cross the road, however, take a second to admire the dramatic Fontana dell'lmmacolatella 2 (p85) a few metres down on your right.

From the fountain cross Via Partenope, turn left and take the second right into Via Santa Lucia. Make your way up this attractive street to the top, turn left, and after about 200m you'll find yourself at Piazza del Plebiscito 3 (p86). Traverse the square and bear left into Via Chiaia. Cobbled and smart, this historic street cuts through to Via S Caterina and Piazza dei Martiri 4 (p89), the centre of the upmarket Chiaia district, dominated by a 19th-century obelisk. This is a good place to stop for a coffee.

Refreshed, continue down Via Calabritto, pausing to shop or look in the expensive designer shops, until you reach Piazza Vittoria and the entrance to Villa Comunale 5 (p89). This smart park of palms, statues and swings is home to Europe's oldest aquarium, the Stazione Zoologica 6 (p89). For more greenery and some priceless porcelain make for the Museo Pignatelli 7 (p88), on the inland side of the park.

To get back to the lungomare, retrace your steps over the Riviera di Chiaia and Villa Comunale to Via Francesco Caracciolo, the extension of Via Partenope. From here it's a pleasant and relaxing walk around the bay to Mergellina. This stretch of the route has no sites per se but if you look out to sea you'll spot the distinctive shape of Capri in the distance. When you get to Mergellina - you'll know you're there once you pass the Porticciolo 8 (plOl) - make a beeline for the bars and gelaterie (ice-cream parlours) known as the Chalets 9 (plOl). Here you can rest up and either call it a day or, if you've energy left, push on for a short final leg.


Start Borgo Marinaro End Parco Vergiliano Distance 5km Duration 4 hours

Transport 0 C25 to Via Partenope


If you can tear yourself away from beer and ice cream cross over the main road to pick up Via Mergellina, which heads north, becoming Salita Piedigrotta after Piazza Sannazzaro. At the top of the short incline you will see the Chiesa Santa Maria di Piedigrotta 10 (p99) on your left and across the road Mergellina train and metro station. At the church, go left, hold your breath as you walk under the railway bridge, and you'll come to the ParcoVergiliano 11 (plOO) on your left. A small but well-tended park, this is where Virgil is said to be buried.

Start Piazza Museo Nazionale End Catacomba di San Gennaro Distance 3km Duration 4 hours Transport ® Cavour

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