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Italian Course in Naples: 5 tips for an authentic cultural experience

Did you know that the prestigious TIME magazine included Naples in its list of 50 greatest places of 2023? If you sign up for an Italian course in Naples, you will soon realize that it’s a one-of-a-kind city!

Lilian Whiting, American journalist and author of poetry and short stories, once said:

“Rome is stately and impressive; Florence is all beauty and enchantment; Genoa is picturesque; Venice is a dream city; but Naples is simply — fascinating.”

History, myth and legend merge in its ancient city centre, creating a unique panorama with treasures hidden in its maze of alleys.

Here are five tips to prepare you for an authentic cultural experience during your Italian course in Naples!

A secret place for you to discover
If you have watched the thriller movie “Naples in Veils” directed by Turkish-Italian filmmaker Ferzan Özpetek, you certainly remember the beautiful spiral staircase at its beginning. The “La scala di Palazzo Mannajuolo” is a unique architectural work of its kind and one of the most beautiful Liberty-style examples in the city! You can admire it for free: once you reach the Mannajuolo Palace on Via Gaetano Filangieri, simply ask the caretaker for permission to enter and admire the staircase in the hall.

Only locals know about this curious hairy man
When walking on Via Mezzocannone, at number 9, you will be surprised to see a bas-relief of a man completely covered in hair! The inscription below claims that he represents the giant hunter Orion before he was killed by Diana and transformed into a constellation. However, according to Neapolitan tradition, he is Colapesce, a man tied to the pagan cult of the sons of Neptune. The best way to learn about these myths and what is known to be accurate is to explore the area with a passional local guide!

hairy man naples colapesce (1)
L’uomo villoso Colapesce (the hairy man) – photo from

Wallet pizza
It’s no surprise that Naples is a foodie paradise! It’s home to delicious products like mozzarella di bufala, mozzarella fior di latte, homemade pasta, Vesuvius cherry tomatoes, and friarielli (local broccoli). And this is where pizza was invented in 1889 when the king and queen of Italy – Umberto I and Margherita – visited Naples. But in addition to the classic round pizza that made Italy famous worldwide, here you can also try its street food version known as pizza a portafoglio, translated as wallet pizza. It folds back on itself (just like a wallet) to make it easier to bite even while walking!

Our insider tip
There are over 470 kilometres of known underground tunnels in Naples. The ancient Greeks dug the first tunnels to extract the tuff used to strengthen the city walls. The Romans created an aqueduct that used rainwater from underground cisterns, bringing water to Neapolitan homes until the 1800s! Exploring underground Naples is worth it; there are many tunnels and catacombs to choose from. We recommend visiting the Bourbon Tunnel, built in 1853 by Ferdinand II of Bourbon. It is off the beaten path and represents an emotional journey through the history of Naples.

italian course in naples language school

A new, quality Italian school in the city centre
The historic centre of Naples is the largest in Europe and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Among its imposing palaces, narrow colourful streets, vibrant shopping streets and ancient churches is our new Italian school for international students! It is hosted in the prestigious historical building of Palazzo Teatro Augusteo on the bustling Via Toledo. Learn all about the Italian courses in Naples at our new school!

If you have already studied Italian in Naples: did we miss any tips in your opinion? Comment below!

Recommended websites for more tips on Naples:
NapoLike – portal with news, events and tips on what to see and do.
Salvatore Buonocore – see the faces, landscapes and street art of Naples through the eyes of this photographer.
Girl From Naples – discover tips and even the “dictionary to survive in Naples” on Claudia’s blog.

Buon Italiano a tutti!

Contact us: we will be delighted to assist you by chat, telephone or email. You can also request a virtual meeting to meet us online.

Cover image by: OrnaW

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