The best place nearby to escape ugly Piazza Garibaldi and get some real local colour is the even more manic Mercado di Porta Nolana, the main outdoor market in Naples (at Via Diomede Marvasi which is first left off Corso Umberto).
Porta Nolana was once one of the gates into the old medieval city but its walls and towers were incorporated into houses a long time ago.
The streets around the gate itself are great to wander round, just for taking in the atmosphere. Your ears are assailed by a cacophony of fishmongers, clam sellers, green grocers and the occasional cheese monger, all shouting out their wares. Much of the seafood here is top quality and still very much alive. Please click on these photos to get the best view.
I’d like to try some of the cafes around the market at lunch time one day but in the past time has never been on my side. It’s always good to leave something for next time though.