Naples is a vivacious city and has a cultural life to match. More than just mandolins and tenors, the city has one of the liveliest nightlife scenes in Italy. A huge student population means there are plenty of bars ranging from grungy to sophisticated, where you can drink molten black coffee, talk world politics and discuss Dante.
On the weekends, the piazzas brim with people drinking bottled beers, especially in summer. Clubs usually open at 2230 and fill up after midnight. Many close in July and August when they move to out-of-town beach locations.
It isn’t just students who love a night out. All Neapolitans have a theatrical bent, which means the city is well served with opera, live music, theatre and dance productions.
Bars in Naples
66 Fusion Bar
Found on a little street buzzing with a clutch of cool locales, this stylish bar is great for a pre-dinner aperitivo accompanied by a plentiful (and delicious) buffet, or a pre-club cocktail. Easy jams from the DJ and low lighting provide a laidback atmosphere, attracting a trendy clientele looking to conspire over fine liquors in a corner. Opened in 2002, the bar takes its name from the antique shop that previously inhabited this spot for 40 years.Address: Chiaia, Via Bisignano 58, Naples, 80121
Telephone: (081) 415 024.
The bottle-lined brick walls of Enoteca Belladonna boast some of Campania’s finest local wines. That may be why crowds of wine-glass wielding Neapolitans spill out of the tiny premises into the cobbled streets during the summer. Family-run, the bar was appropriately converted from an old cellar in the 1960s. Plates of charcuterie (cold cuts of meat) and toasted crostini(toasted ciabatta) topped with marinated aubergines and peppers make a fine match for the wine.Address: , Vico Belledonne a Chiaia 18, Naples,
Telephone: (081) 403 162.
Gran Caffé Gambrinus
Located at the edge of grand Piazza del Plebiscito, this is Naples’ most venerable café. Its art nouveau interior is ornately decorated, the glowing wooden bar stretching from one end to the other. Self-conscious patrons sip coffee and cocktails, attended by uniformed waiters. A cocktail or Prosecco here, prior to an evening performance at the Teatro San Carlo, is a local ritual.Address: , Via Chiaia 12, Naples,
Telephone: (081) 417 582.
A chameleon café, bookshop, publishing house and bar, Intra Moenia is the place to come for a long afternoon coffee or low-key evenings of good wine and good conversation. Located on Piazza Bellini, one of the most attractive piazzas in the historic centre, it has a refined cultural atmosphere. Many people simply grab a drink and sit out on the piazza on hot summer evenings.Address: , Piazza Bellini 70, Naples,
Telephone: (081) 290 720.
By day, Nea is an art gallery selling some fine local and national work, plus a pleasant café serving terrific coffee. A great meeting place for creative types, it opens into an 18th century terrace overlooking the old university. In the evening though, artistic admirers come and sip fine wines whilst admiring the collections as the odd DJ pops by to spin wax in the larger galleries.Address: , Via Costantinopoli 53, Naples, 80138
Telephone: (081) 451 358.
Clubs in Naples
L’Arenile di Bagnoli
For a sample of the Neapolitan summer club scene you can’t do much better than L’Arenile. Its fabulous wooden-decked cabana-style interior and terrace are draped with gossamer curtains and populated by Campari-sipping socialites. Pretentious it may be, but the romantic atmosphere and beachside views are hard to beat. The Tuesday night jam session hosts top names from the Neapolitan music scene. L’Arenile di Bagnoliis only open in the summer from April to September.Address: , Via Coroglio, Italy,
Telephone: (081) 570 6035.
Live music in Naples
A current favourite with local music hounds, Goodfellas has a down-to-earth vibe and an excellent programme of events. Settle down in a corner of the cosy, barrel-vaulted rooms for an evening of rhythm and blues, rock or jazz. Beers here are as varied as the line-up too, with top brews from around the world making their way to the taps of this popular drinking den.Address: , Via Morghen 34, Naples, 80100
Telephone: (340) 922 5475.
New Around Midnight
Possibly the best jazz club in Naples, New Around Midnight is the city’s oldest and most famous jazz den. It recently been taken over by new management, but has still retained its post as a tiny, atmospheric place. Major gigs are generally held on Friday and Saturday, and it’s best to book ahead on these nights if you want to get a table and food as well. The bands are typically homegrown but there’s the occasional blues performance every now and again as well.Address: , Via Bonito 32, Naples,
Telephone: (331) 232 6093.
Classical music in Naples
Naples classical music association, Associazione Scarlatti, put on a full calendar of events in different locations across the city. From intimate chamber music concerts to large shows featuring fully-fledged orchestras, the programme mixes up local and international talent. Some of the venues, such as the Castel Sant’Elmo, are spectacular.Address: , Piazza dei Martiri 58, Naples,
Telephone: (081) 406 011.
Centro di Musica Antica Pieta de Turchini
The Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini, a musical group keen on preserving and performing local music from the baroque era, do so beautifully in the all important Santa Caterina a Siena, a stunning baroque church. Performances in this unbeatable setting take place between October and May with a focus on opera and orchestral shows. The preference here is for southern and Neapolitan music, so it’s a real treat for those visiting the city.Address: , Via Santa Caterina da Siena 38, Naples, 80132
Telephone: (081) 402 395.
Dance in Naples
Theatres in Naples
The most beautiful of Naples’ many theatres is undoubtedly Teatro Bellini, which is located in the city centre. It opened in 1864 and has been damaged both by fires and earthquakes over the years, but it is still going strong. The programme consists mostly of theatrical productions such as the Divine Comedy and musical theatre productions.Address: , Via Conte di Ruvo 14, Italy,
Telephone: (081) 549 1266.