Vendor City Guide: Naples

Street secrets revealed by the people who know them best

Our guide this week:  Sergio Gatto, 61, was a dog trainer for many years. When he had to close his business he moved to London, working in the catering sector for two years. Now back in Italy, he sells Scarp de’ tenis and also works on the editorial board of the magazine.

My favourite place in Naples

Plaza Leon is a cafe which is situated in Piazza Giovanni Leone, near Porta Capuana, one of the ancient entry routes into the city. I enjoy going there to have a good coffee, sitting comfortably to talk to the young barista who lets me eat delicious croissants filled with pistachio cream with my coffee. From this privileged place I can observe the square where there used to be a market and a palace (the old seat of the magistrates court), which is now in the process of being restored.

Best things to eat 

In Naples you can have excellent coffee, exquisite pizza and eat pasta with delicious ragu, but not everyone knows the casiatello and pastiera, popular pastries or cakes that you eat during the Easter period. And then there are also the lemon cakes, a typical speciality of Sorrento. 

Where every tourist has to go

A tourist coming to Naples absolutely has to visit the Castel Sant’Elmo. It rises above the city and from there you can admire the Lungomare [the seafront promenade]; you can see architectural and artistic works that make the history of the city and the Neopolitans. 

Don’t miss

Something you wouldn’t want to miss out on is the underground tour of Naples. You can go down and visit the aqueduct and the greco-roman theatre, the catacombs of the first Christians and the remains of air-raid shelters from the Second World War.

When to visit the city

It’s always nice here! You can visit Naples any time during the year. In winter the weather is not very cold, and in summer even if it’s hot there’s always some nice wind coming from the sea. And everyone knows how hospitable and welcoming people from Naples are.

Translator: Veronica Rossani

Image: Megan Reddi