A wonderful private theater, the smallest “Museum of typography” of the world, the secret deposits of the National Archaeological Museum, the oven where the first pizza Margherita was cooked in Capodimonte, a skull with “ears”, the sumptuous salon from which Garibaldi greeted the crowd, a community of friars who has lived since 1976 in some old railway carriages, an astonishing staircase hidden in an ancient building, extraordinary old libraries unknown to Neapolitans, vestiges of a former brothel, a Hellenistic hypogeum unique in the world, a customised Vespa from the Second World War, remarkable secret private collections, a Greek watchtower in a theatre, a rare clock that measures the equation of time, the staircase of a building entirely excavated in the tuff, a raft ride 20 meters below Piazza del Plebiscito …
Far from the crowds and the usual clichés, Naples holds many well-hidden treasures that are revealed only to local residents and travellers who know where to step o the beaten track.

An indispensable guide for those who think they are familiar with Naples or who want to discover another side of the city.


Valerio Ceva Grimaldi Pisanelli di Pietracatella, 38, belongs to an old noble Neapolitan family. A journalist by profession, he worked on the staff of the governor of the Province of Naples, Professor Amato Lamberti, then for the Assessorato all’Ambiente del Comune di Napoli. He also spent two years with Rai TV’s Gap programme. He was editor-in-chief of the newspaper Notizie Verdi and deputy editor of Terra, the first environmental daily with a wide distribution. He has published numerous articles and surveys on the City of Naples. If you would like to visit some of the places in the guide, accompanied by the author, e-mail him at:

Maria Franchini, who has been a guide and lecturer on the monuments of Campania for 15 years, was born in Naples. A journalist and the author of several books, she is passionate about Neapolitan culture and is also a specialist in Roman civilisation. She works for the Italian Cultural Centre in Paris, where she runs courses in the Neapolitan language, gives lectures and organizes seminars on her favourite subjects. 


Picture by courtesy of Giancarlo De Luca