Naples has recently experienced an artistic renaissance. Already home to ancient sites around Pompeii, not to mention the enchanting island of Capri, the southern Italian city has recently undergone a remarkable transformation from a sleepy port town into a top cultural destination, not unlike glorious Rome or fashionable Milan above.

Walking through the bustling streets of the city, one can feel the artistic regeneration of Naples at every turn. Galleries, museums and art foundations have sprung up everywhere, showcasing a wide range of artistic output, from Greek antiquities to contemporary abstraction.

We’ve compiled a list of places to see, stay, sip and shop.

SEE

Amy Sillman, “Temporary Objects”
Thomas Dane Gallery
Installation view of Amy Sillman's 'Temporary Objects' in Naples.  Courtesy of Thomas Dane Gallery.

Installation view of Amy Sillman’s “temporary object”. Courtesy of Thomas Dane Gallery.

Among the most recent newcomers to Naples is Thomas Dane Gallery. The British concessionaire’s eponymous outpost in Naples has just opened with stunning views across the bay. On view now is “Temporary Object,” a solo exhibition of new work by Amy Sillman (until July 29). The process-based American painter’s canvases are exhibited alongside a series of intimate drawings, offering feasts of color and form reminiscent of Matisse in their rendering and emotion. Each painting in “Temporary Object” reflects a stage in the development of a work that is never revealed, but offers insight into how to read the painting as if it were part of a film or storyboard. In this way, these palimpsestic works become akin to Naples and its own layered history.

Mario Schifano, “Il Nuovo Imaginario (The New Imaginary)”
Italy Gallery
Installatino view of

Installatino view of “Il Nuovo Imaginario (The New Imaginary)” by Mario Schifano. Courtesy of Galleria d’Italia

More gestural paintings can be found at Italy Gallery on Via Toledo, where “Il Nuovo Imaginario (The New Imaginary) 1960-1990” by artist Mario Schifano runs until October 29. The survey presents more than 50 works by one of the greatest Italian postmodern artists. Some of them reflect his time as restorer of the Museum of Etruscan Art and of the archaeological objects of the Villa Giulia in Rome. Others recall his interest in Pop Art, which exploded after his visit to the United States in 1963. Interest was short-lived and his desire to examine history through abstraction was rekindled, prompting him to turn to Futurism – with its fervent movement, bold shapes and vibrant colors – for inspiration. The exhibition also presents, for the first time, a series of works from the 1970s entitled “Paesaggi TV (TV Landscapes)” which shows Schifano’s attempts to present news and events on canvas.

“Alexander the Great and the East”
National Archaeological Museum of Naples (MANN)
Installation view

Installation view of “Alexander the Great and the East”. Courtesy of MANN.

The exuberant modern paintings of Schifano and Sillman form a stark contrast to the old works of “Alexander the Great and the East” (until August 28) at the National Archaeological Museum (MANN). The exhibition, which follows the announcement of MANN2, a new branch of the museum, offers a rich exploration of the cultural heritage of the Macedonian warrior. It is inspired by the restoration of the mosaic of the House of the Faun of Pompeii, one of the most famous of Antiquity, representing the Battle of Issus in 333 BC. BC, between Alexander the Great and Darius of Persia.

The exhibition coincides with “Picasso and Antiquity” (until August 27), in the museum’s Farnese Galleries, presenting ancient sculptures excavated in Rome during the Renaissance alongside intimate works on paper by Pablo Picasso, who was deeply influenced by the museum of classical art.

For a dose of contemporary art, go to Morra Greco and the Fondazione Donnaregina (also known as Madre Museum), both of which are just down the street from MANN. Often collaborating, though separate institutions, each boasts works by top names including Richard Long, Andy Warhol, Sol LeWitt, Olafur Eliasson and Francesco Clemente.

STAY

Courtesy of Atelier Inès Arts & Suites, Naples.

Courtesy of Atelier Inès Arts & Suites, Naples.

Among the plethora of new hotels recently opened in Naples, the Atelier Inès Arts & Suites in the Vergini district offers the most intimate stay. Opened in 2021, the design-oriented hotel offers just six distinctly themed rooms in a building that dates back to 1900, when it was the site of a cinema and open-air theater. The hotel also exhibits the work of artist Annibale Oste, from the 1960s, in the interiors of the rooms.

Another boutique hotel is the Artemisia Duomo in the Centro Storico (historic center), a short walk from the magical gardens of the Cloister of Santa Chiara. Its eight rooms, in addition to four spa suites, wonderfully bear the names of the female protagonists of the work of the Neapolitan Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi.

Courtesy of Grand Hotel Vesuvio in Santa Lucia, Naples.

Courtesy of Grand Hotel Vesuvio in Santa Lucia, Naples.

For even more legendary opulence, head to Grand Hotel Vesuvius in Santa Lucia, where creators such as Oscar Wilde, Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky and Émile Zola are said to have stayed during their visits to Naples.

sip

Courtesy of George's Restaurant, Naples.

Courtesy of George’s Restaurant, Naples.

As Naples’ art scene has exploded, so have its culinary hotspots. The Michelin-starred George restaurant on the rooftop garden of the Grand Hotel Parker, offers a classic Neapolitan dining experience. Chef Domenico Candela combines recipes from Italy’s Campania region with techniques he picked up in France, amid sweeping views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.

At local favorite Osteria della Mattonella, diners dine amidst hand-painted 18th-century walls adorned with intricately painted tiles. Perfect for art lovers, the brand new Sustanza Restaurant is in an Art Nouveau setting, opposite the National Archaeological Museum, where Chef Marco Ambrosino prepares Southern Italian specialties paired with natural wines.

SHOP

Naples, in fact all of Italy, is famous for its vintage shops. Those wishing to take part in the national pastime should hurry to Oblomova, selling a browser’s paradise of vintage treasures, from handbags and jewelry to collectible handicrafts.

Umberto Gallery, Naples.  (Photo by: Michele Stanzione/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Umberto Gallery, Naples. (Photo by: Michele Stanzione/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The more luxurious will want to head to the Chiaia district, in particular Via Toledo, where all the big brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton have set up shop. Or head to Galleria Umberto, where you can browse high-end Italian retail stores in a beautiful 19th-century neoclassical glass dome and surrounding arcade.

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