Archive for the Via Toledo Category

Naples – San Ferdinando – Via Toledo – food stops

Posted in Campania, Italy, Naples, San Ferdinando, Via Toledo with tags , , on January 12, 2016 by gannet39

Just to the right of the entrance to Galleria Umberto, at 214 Via Toledo, is the wonderfully named Cioccolateria Gay Odin where you can buy beautifully presented chocolates for your loved ones at home.

Gay Odin

They’ll even let you try a few before choosing what you want for your selection box.

Patriotic sweets

My favourite take home item is the Vesuvio, a small chocolate volcano that comes in its own special box.

Chocolate  vesuvius

They also sell bars in beautiful wrappers.

Sugar free chocolate

The company was founded by Isidore Odin who fell in love with his assistant, Onorina Gay.

Chocolate moulds

There have a few other branches around the city including one at 427 Via Toledo (near Piazza Dante) which sells ice cream that’s reputed to be the best in the city. They also have a museum at 12 Via Vetriera.


Another must visit for the sweet of tooth is Pintauro at 275 Via Toledo. In the early 1800s this shop was the first in the city to sell sfogliatelle, a pastry filled with vanilla custard and dusted with icing sugar that has become a symbol of the city. If you’re lucky they’ll still be hot from the oven.

In terms of eating there are heaps of places on the side streets off Via Toledo, a handful of which are okay (please see my post on the Spanish Quarter). However as a general rule of thumb, it’s probably a good idea to avoid anywhere that has a big sign and is easy to find as it’s probably a tourist trap with food that’s below par.

If you’re feeling flush however you could try this place:

Ciro (Advanced A-) 71/73 Via Santa Brigida, (down the side of the Galleria Umberto),


Ciro won’t be easy on your wallet as it’s very famous, posh and popular and has an extensive seafood menu and wine list. I wasn’t really dressed for the occasion (jeans, trainers) and I got a frosty reception from the maitre d, although my waiter was a nice chap.

I had an amazing Capretto al Forno con Patate (roast lamb with spuds) for a reasonable €14. However I got stung €8 for a grappa here, albeit a riserva.

The moral of the tale is to always ask how much something costs in Naples before accepting suggestions.

At the far end of Via Toledo you will come to Piazza Trieste e Trento and then Piazza Plebiscito, more of which in the next post.


Naples – San Ferdinando – Via Toledo – things to see

Posted in Campania, Italy, Naples, San Ferdinando, Via Toledo with tags , on January 11, 2016 by gannet39

From Piazza Dante you can walk down Via Toledo which is the main shopping street in Naples. I’ve written two posts about this road, the following one about food and this one about things to see.

Galleria Umberto

At one end is the Galleria Umberto, a beautiful glass domed shopping centre built in 1887, which copies elements of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, that in turn was influenced by the historic glass and metal arcades of Paris.

Galleria Umberto roof

It was under renovation for many years but now fully restored, it’s full of posh shops once again. Even if you’re not buying, you should definitely stop in to admire the ornate decoration and the beautiful roof.


I particularly like the metal angels on the roof struts.


A lasting memory is of a group of kids using the smooth expanse of the floor for an opportunistic game of football, before they were chased off by the security (this is a football-mad city with no green spaces).

At 185 Via Toledo, a few doors down from the Galleria, is Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano built in 1639. Once the family home of a rich Spanish merchant, it’s now an art gallery under the patronage of a national bank.

The ground floor is a bit gloomy but the glowing gold decoration on the walls of the main staircase, dating from 1832, is simply stunning.


The ceiling depicts the poetess Sappho and the god Apollo sitting on clouds in a golden sky with the figures of the Muses in the background, framed by a gilded cornice.


Various rooms contain beautiful sculptures…


…and paintings by Neapolitan artists, which occasionally can be quite gruesome.


I was enticed in by an exhibition of WW1 propaganda posters called ‘La Grande Guerra’; neoclassical art married with the brutal images of war.


Please see my next post for food shops and restaurants along Via Toledo.

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