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The itinerary that I always suggest to visitors staying at my hotel involves the historic centre. It is here that the city’s historic, artistic and cultural heritage is concentrated and here that you will find several of my favourite churches, including that of San Domenico Maggiore, the church of San Lorenzo Maggiore, the church of Santa Maria la Nova and the Santa Chiara museum complex with its must- visit, Gothic- style cloisters. A little off the tourist track but definitely well worth visiting are the Museo Diocesano and the Farmacia degli Incurabili, featuring all the traces of the past safeguarded within their interiors. Conversely, for those in search of an experience that is both magical and mystical, I suggest visiting the Cimitero delle fontanelle: tradition has it that the Neapolitans came here to a adopt a skull and, in return for cleaning and polishing them and lighting candles to keep them company, the souls belonging to the skulls were asked to grant favours. Naples is a city to be savoured as a whole and, bearing this in mind, I always suggest looking at it from above. There are two places from which you can enjoy a sweeping view over the urban fabric; Castel Sant’Elmo, with the Certosa di San Martino, from whose park you can admire a panoramic view and the toponomastics of the city, and Parco Virgiliano, featuring several magnificent terraces and breathtaking views. Lastly, don’t miss a visit to the Orto Botanico, a place that attracts visitors from all over the world who come here to admire the botanical garden’s slew of unusual, rare and exotic plants. Naples is a city brimming over with enticing aromas and delectable dishes. I therefore feel that it is incumbent upon me to suggest a visit either to Sorbillo or Il Presidente, located in via dei Tribunali, to taste some of the world’s best pizza while, just a short distance from our hotel, in via Nazionale, I recommend the variety turned out by Pellone. To spend a typically European- style evening, head to piazza Bellini which, with its charming literary cafés, brings to mind the atmospheres of French bistrots. Before leaving the city, make sure to taste an authentic Neapolitan sfogliatella either at Pintauro, in via Toledo, or at Attanasio, in the vicinity of the Central Train Station. Naples offers a plethora of marvellous places that you need more than just a few days to visit. A good reason to return is most definitely to once again savour the feeling of being pampered by our typically warm, welcoming hospitality that will make you feel more special than in any other Italian or European city. The warmth and friendly approach that Neapolitans manage to convey is a feeling that you will take with you when you return home, a memory that will undoubtedly inspire you to return and start all over again.
Antonio Lettera, Manager of Starhotels Terminus, gives readers of Where Naples some tips about how to experience the city in just a few hours