A post-lockdown guide to Naples

Last Friday, 59 countries opened their borders for quarantine-free travel, including Italy. We asked performer Vincenzo d’Ambrosio and artist Sofia Ginevra Gianni to curate a coronavirus-friendly itinerary for your next trip.

Last week, the British government announced a series of air corridors between the UK and 59 other countries, including France, Spain, Vietnam, Japan and Australia. The decision, effective from today, means that us Brits can go on holiday without having to quarantine for 14 days upon return. Get in. 

After three months of stay-at-home sanctions coupled with the closure of clubs, festivals and live music for the foreseeable future, many people are leaping at the chance to jet away on a summer vacay. 

However, we must not forget that we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and although the number of cases has dropped substantially across Europe, the threat of a second wave looms large.

Whether we like it or not, Covid-19 has created a new – rather strange – normal, and countless new rules and restrictions now apply. 

So to help navigate any confusion, we’ve tapped up some friends from our community to list the places you can eat and drink at post-Covid, and the things you should do with that newfound sense of freedom.

Next up: Naples, as curated by local artist Sofia Ginevra Gianni, aka Sagg Napoli, and performer-slash-photographer Vincenzo D’Ambrosio.

Topline stats: On 18th May the city reopened after over three months of strict lockdown, which saw residents banned from leaving their flats, even for walks. Now restaurants, museums, schools, hairdressers and nail bars are all up and running. But no word on clubs yet, unfortunately.

Finally, do not travel if you’re displaying any Covid-19 symptoms, wash your hands and wear a mask. Simple.

VINCENZO D'AMBROSIO, PERFORMER

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What phase of lockdown are you currently in and what does it look like?

After more than three months, we’re currently in what they call Fase 3”. Everything is returning back to normal. Services such as hairdressers, barbers, and beauty salons are now open by appointment only. Bars and restaurants have been open since 21st May followed by museums, libraries, and places of culture.

What safety precautions are being put in place?

It is still mandatory to wear a mask indoors, but not outside. Even though the recent positive cases here in Naples are very low and we are doing well, I am still worried about a second wave of infection and continue to be extremely cautious.

What was your favourite place you discovered over lockdown?

During the lockdown I discovered Farmacia degli Incurabili (The Pharmacy of the Incurables) by watching the film Napoli Velata by Ozpetec. It is one of the oldest hospitals in Europe and one of the most suggestive places in Naples where science has met art. I was so fascinated by its beauty and its history.

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List your favourite restaurants open for a bite to eat. 

You eat well in Napoli. And this is a sacrosanct truth. Napoli’s home of pizza, hospitality and home of a cuisine that is not always high (in the gourmistic sense of the term). Every corner of the city hides a nice and characteristic place where you can taste a culinary specialty. The choice is vast: ranging from typical Neapolitan dishes to more exotic dishes. It is more often a simple kitchen, not poor, but at home. Free of trickery, full of flavours and tricks from grandmothers. 

Some of my favourites:

  • Tandem – try panino con polpette e ragù!

Where are the best outdoor spots for walks and boozy picnics?

Here’s where to have a picnic in Napoli and the surrounding areas of Campania, with playgrounds for children, barbecues and green spaces for the best outings:

Where’s good for pizza and pasta?

Neapolitan pizza does not need many presentations. Like pasta, it has become an icon of Italian taste all over the world, a sought after, copied, appreciated product from all angles. Here are some of my favourite places:

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  • Masardona – unbelievable fried pizza folds.
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  • La Notizia – slightly out of the city centre, but the pizza is definitely worth travelling for. 
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  • 50 Kalò – one of the only six pizzerie to have been included in the Michelin Guide 2020.
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And of course, gelato? 

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  • Chiquitos – best place for frappe al kinder (or any other fruit frappe).
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  • Gay Odin – a chocolate shop that’s been around since the 1800s.

Where should we head for clothes shopping? 

If, like me, you are fond of markets and you cannot help jumping from one stall to another in search of the business of the century, then Napoli is the city for you. Napoli has everything you are looking for: every neighbourhood and village in the province has its market, where you can find really interesting things.

What about galleries and museums, any good exhibitions we should catch? 

Napoli is one of the most important cities for art in southern Italy. It is a city rich in culture and there are so many museums to visit, from the Archaeological Museum to the City of Science. 

Here are a few to visit:

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What’s something you’re really wanting to do in Napoli but can’t right now?

I’m tired of live shows and streaming DJ sets, playlists and mixes. As a performer, I really miss my club, that physical space where I can be free to let off steam, have fun, and express myself by dancing and throwing out the anxieties and stress of the week. I miss meeting my friends, hugging them, and all those different people who come together with the desire to party. What I miss the most, is waiting until late for my friend DJ Manuel to let me perform the very last song a Mano a Mano by Rino Gaetano and go out of the club to meet the other beautiful creatures of the night.

SOFIA GINEVRA GIANNI, AKA SAGG NAPOLI, ARTIST

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What phase of lockdown are you currently in and what does it look like?

I think we are in phase three, meaning we can go out and about. Restaurants are open, you drink in bars and go to the beach, you only have to wear a mask indoors, inside restaurants and shops.

What safety precautions are being put in place?

Tables at restaurants are quite distant from one another, same with bars. People tend to still be quite cautious when meeting outdoors but the situation is Napoli at the moment is pretty chilled.

What’s your public transport system like at the moment?

Alternate seats on busses and trains.

List your favourite restaurants open for a bite to eat.

Always Concettina ai tre santi (pizzeria) and I recently went to a place called A casa ra Signora in Piazza Bellini, [it serves] traditional local food and has tables outside.

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Where are the best outdoor spots for walks and boozy picnics? 

Historical centre, not for a picnic, but definitely for boozy walks. For picnic I would go to the beach: Marechiaro, Gaiola, Giuseppone a mare.

What about galleries and museums, any good exhibitions we should catch? 

I think most galleries are still closed, I recently went to see a show at the Fondazione Morra Greco in Palazzo Caracciolo. The Madre Museum, the Archaeological museum and Capodimonte are all open.

Are there any places to listen to live music right now? Or to dance?


Best thing to do is to bring a small speaker and dance on the beach in Mergellina.


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