Everyone knows that Valentine’s Day is the feast dedicated to lovers. Couples, friends and all those who experience this tender and deep feeling for a special person, find an excuse to celebrate their love and spend a day full of sweetness and romance on this occasion, which falls on the 14th of February. Naples is the perfect city to celebrate Love: it will offer you the best possibilities to make this day truly unique, whatever the weather conditions or your preferences are.
14th February: spend a day full of sweetness in a special city
Whether it’s a beautiful sunny day or a day characterized by a cathartic drizzle, Valentine’s Day is always the day of lovers. It is said that the most precious thing to give to those we love is our time; therefore, even if you are not the type of person who loves to buy gifts, this day is made to be with your significant other. There are many things you can do in Naples to make this day even more special, and below we will list some suggestions that can be a good starting point to create the perfect day to share with your partner.
Visit the most beautiful places in Naples with your better half
For those who have the opportunity to travel with their own means of transport, there are many romantic spots in Naples to choose from if you wish to spend a special day. First of all there is the beautiful Capodimonte Park. With its tree-lined avenues, its meadows, and its peaceful atmosphere, it is the ideal place to take a stroll while chatting with your soul mate. Walking hand in hand in a silent green background, you will enjoy some sweet and magical moments together with your partner, surrounded by nature.
Not far from Capodimonte Park, there is also the small and characteristic Poggio Park. This delightful urban park houses one of the most beautiful panoramic viewpoints in Naples. A kiss and a photo together will seal a very special morning on Valentine’s Day.
On the other hand, if you are sea lovers, there is an unmissable coastline all to yourself! The Neapolitan February often offers sunny days where the warm rays of the sun seem to “defrost” the spirits in spite of the wintertime. These are the perfect days to take a walk by the sea. What better place then, than the Beach of Miseno with its characteristic Dragonara Cave to be pampered by the warm rays of sunlight? A romantic walk on the sand, accompanied by the background of the waves that caress the shore and fill the air with the scent of the sea: this is a unique experience to enjoy during the winter, when you have become accustomed to the cold and gloomy colours that are usually typical of this season.
Not far from Miseno, you can get to the enchanting Casina Vanvitelliana in the afternoon. The atmosphere that this small lakeside spot offers at sunset includes a truly striking view that makes it one of the most suitable romantic places for couples in love. In the evening, then, there is nothing better than to end this special day with a romantic dinner by the beautiful Lake Fusaro.
If you love to take walks, you can spread love in the historic centre
For those who enjoy walking, however, the historic centre of Naples is the most suitable spot, because it is full of opportunities to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the best possible way.
Just a short walk from the centrally located Piazza del Gesù, there is the Church of Santa Chiara. At a first glance it might seem like a not very suitable proposal, if I suggested that you go for a visit to its cloister. But believe me, you will certainly not be disappointed by the beauty of the colourful and verdant garden of the convent. The artistic majolica and the peace of this cloister make it a very special place to visit with your better half.
The unmistakable Villa Pignatelli has a different (but certainly not inferior) kind of beauty. The two places can be reached on foot with a short but highly recommended walk through the historic streets of the centre of Naples. The street food and the shopping in Piazza Dante, Via Toledo and Via Roma will not disappoint you, and indeed they will make your stroll even more pleasant. However, it is recommended to do all this in the morning as the Villa closes at 13:00.
A walk and a well-deserved rest along Via Caracciolo will leave you spellbound by the beauty of the background. The sea, the rocks and Mount Vesuvius that dominates the entire Gulf of Naples will accompany you along the way to the Municipal Villa. Here benches and chalets will be an excellent spot for relaxation.
Finally, the evening is made for romance, and the characteristic Borgo Marinari is among the best romantic places thanks to its very inviting typical restaurants by the sea.
What can we do if it rains on Valentine’s Day?!
If the weather is not cooperating and clouds or rain seem to threaten your special day, don’t worry!
The Aquarium of Naples, for example, is an excellent alternative to shelter from the rain and be fascinated by the marine environment and by the animals that are hosted in the tanks.
Not far away, right among the streets of the historic centre of Naples, there is the access to the intriguing underground Naples. This is a network of tunnels and water wells that constituted the aqueduct from which water was once drawn for Neapolitan houses.
This place inspired the nice legend of the munaciello. According to this traditional legend, the munaciello was a spirit that roamed among the houses. Those who could see him out of the corner of their eyes could vaguely distinguish his red or black dress. Legend has it, in fact, that the munaciello could be benevolent or malevolent. The one dressed in black was spiteful and often made naughty jokes in the homes of Neapolitan families. If instead he was dressed in red, he brought gifts and good luck to the inhabitants of the house. The legend of the munaciello, in truth, seems to have different origins. One of these is based on a probable association between the figure of the munaciello and that of the aqueduct worker (commonly called “water carrier”). The latter had access to the houses through the water supply rooms and it was not difficult for flirtations to arise between them and the Neapolitan women. In case the water carrier left gifts at home, the women, to explain the surprise, gave credit to the munaciello.
We are obviously talking about other times, with their stories and legends of which it is impossible to know what is true and what is not. So if you have identified yourself a bit too much in the story and you are starting to feel a little anxious and jealous, you could look for one of the many hotels in the centre of Naples that offer spa and dinner, and immerse yourself in the sweetness of your love.
It costs nothing to love: taking a walk in Naples without having to spend too much
For the younger ones, or for those who want to spend this day without necessarily spending a fortune, there are also completely free and equally attractive suggestions.
First of all we recommend to start your Valentine’s Day by taking a trip to the panoramic Parco Virgiliano. This park is located a few steps from Mergellina station: therefore it is not only very easy to reach, but also located in one of the most beautiful spots in the city.
Once you will reach the top of its ramps, you will admire a truly beautiful panorama that will help you start this special day in the best possible way. A packed lunch among the rocks of Mergellina could also be a very romantic and original idea.
After lunch, pampering and relaxation, you could take a stroll near the sea until you reach the Castel Nuovo. This particular spot, with the marina at its feet and the small garden surrounded by greenery, will be the perfect crowning of a splendid walk, especially if you decide to rest on one of the benches facing the sea, perhaps at sunset.
Do you need a topic to break the ice? Here are the origins of Valentine’s Day
The most ancient origins of this feast are to be found in Roman times. The pagan festival of the Lupercalia, in fact, was celebrated on the 13th, 14th and 15th of February in honour of the Lupercus, that is the Faun god who protected the cattle from the attack of the wolves.
However, this feast had archaic origins and even more particular meanings: it was the day chosen to celebrate the cycle between life and death, the rebirth of nature and the subversion of roles followed by the establishment of new rules. In this way the world was purified and the sense of society was renewed. During these days the celebrations included archaic fertility rites, linked to sexuality in its crudest sense.
This festival was later replaced by the Christian feast of the holy martyr Valentine, established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. The Pope wanted to eliminate any explicit reference to sexuality and linked this day to the feast in honour of Saint Valentine, protector of romantic love. And so, over time, this association has prevailed and Valentine’s Day has become the celebration of Love par excellence.