Gio Ponti's Neapolitan Dream

The Quartieri Spagnoli and the Decumani neighborhoods in Naples are intriguing to walk through but claustrophobic to sleep in. Streets are so narrow that about the best you can ask for in a hotel view is a couple of meters between your window and the adjacent building. There are many hotels concentrated around the central station, but this neighborhood should be avoided at all costs for accommodation as it’s sketchy. The posh precincts of Chiaia and Vomero are just that—and to me miss out on some of the essential character of the city. Santa Lucia, situated between the Quartieri Spagnoli and Chiaia, backed by a steep hill and a working-class neighborhood that leads up to the intriguing and hidden district of Monte de Dio, is for me the perfect place for a visitor to stay. The Royal Continental fronts the Bay of Naples and there are sweeping views up over the Castell dell Uovo out to the land and sea. Opt for one of their Gio Ponti designed rooms, which offer a 1960’s Italian modernist look that is both liveable and luxe. In the summer months ascend to the roof for a dip in Ponti’s small but elegant saltwater pool.

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by Tom Downey
AFAR Contributing Writer
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