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The Kingdom of Naples

  • Piazza dei Martiri (map)

Naples is far more than a point of transfer to Capri or Pompeii. It’s the former seat of Bourbon Kingdom of Naples and Sicily. In it’s heyday, only Paris rivaled Naples for sophistication.

Right now may be the best time to visit Naples since the 1700s, when it was an important stop for artists and writers on the Grand Tour. European tourists arrive hourly at the new (and amenity-rich) Capodochino airport. The historic center of Naples, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, has been pedestrianized. Devotees of the author Elena Ferrante are traveling to Naples to gain a deeper understanding of the many worlds described in her “Neapolitan Novels” from the shopping district around Piazza dei Martiri to the elegant Vomero. This tour includes an optional extra day devoted to seeing the sites described in the Neapolitan Novels.

This tour is hosted by Danielle Oteri who is an expert on the the Renaissance in Naples. In collaboration with local guides, guests will get an intimate view of Naples not offered elsewhere.

There is an optional day on this tour devoted to Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels.

10 Guests Only


Day 1 is an introduction to Naples that starts in front of the elegant Gran Caffè Gambrinus and lets you gaze at the Teatro San Carlo opera House, the Royal Palace of the Bourbons and the Piazza del Plebescito. We’ll take a guided tour of the Aragonese Castle on the Bay . From there you’ll walk Via Chiaia, have lunch at the oldest pizzeria in Naples, then visit Piazza dei Martiri’s elegant shopping district. You’ll meet Salvatore Argenio in his historic tailoring shop before strolling along the Lungomare at sunset. The focus of Day 1 is shopping, strolling and taking in the beauty and rhythm of Naples.

Dinner and wine included


Day 2 is a crash course in the 3,000 year history of Naples. You’ll follow the Via Toledo through the Spanish Quarter, come to Spaccanapoli where you’ll see the Barqoue splendor of the Church of the Gesù and the majolica cloister of Santa Chiara, After lunch take a tour of the Naples Underground and then finally the magnificent Veiled Christ, one of the most visually arresting carvings that makes even the most cynical museum goers gasp in disbelief. 


On Day 3, we’ll go off-the-beaten path to explore the Sanità district, outside the ancient city walls of Naples. We’ll find art in unexpected places and taste some of the city’s most traditional dishes.


To fully understand the importance of Naples as a kingdom, you must see the La Reggia, the Bourbon palace, twice the size of Versailles with even more splendor. We’ll travel out of Naples for the day to Caserta to see the palace and English gardens.


Finally, Day 5 is meant to capture the legacy of Naples. We'll visit the Museo di Capodimonte, the largest museum in Italy housed in a Bourbon hunting palace. Then we'll visit chapel of San Gennaro, the city’s patron saint whose blood miraculously liquefies every September 19th. Finally we'll have lunch together at Tandem where you’ll have the world’s best ragù.


Beginning with a morning in the Rione Luzzatti, a look at the library, the elementary school and the Church of the Sacred Family, you’ll then drive through the infamous tunnel toward Bagno Elena, the elegant beach club where Elena had a summer job babysitting and then to the tony Vomero neighborhood where Elena lived when she returned to Naples to be near Nino.

Program Costs


Single supplement $500

Additional day for Day 6 devoted to Elena Ferrante is and additional $350.


  • Paperback copy of Ferrante Fever: A Naples Guidebook Inspired by Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels

  • Hotel accommodations based on double occupancy with daily breakfast

  • Local guides and all entrance fees

  • Two lunches and one dinner with wine

  • Transportation to and from Caserta

Not included

  • Airfare

  • Trip insurance

Questions? Contact Danielle at or call 917-881-3918 between 10am-6pm EST

Earlier Event: April 26
A Painter’s Taste of Italy Retreat
Later Event: May 14
Food Writers in Cilento Retreat