The Naples Years

A Few of My Favorite Places, Faces and Stories from Bella Napoli

John Turturro said it best in his 2010 documentary Passione (#ad).

“There are places that you go to, and once is enough. And then there is Napoli.”

John Turturro’s quote perfectly encapsulates my enduring sentiments for Napoli. I fell deep and hard for this extraordinary city and had the privilege to call Napoli my home for 12 years. My time here was not nearly long enough, a lifetime wouldn’t have been enough, nevertheless, Napoli left an indelible mark on my heart.

My love for the city and the Neapolitan culture led me to found Napoli Unplugged, a highly successful website that demystified the city for English language visitors and ran from 2010 through 2018. Armed with my camera and a boundless curiosity, I explored the city, the Province of Naples, the Campania Region and beyond and recorded my discoveries on Napoli Unplugged.  I didn’t create all of the content myself. A diverse group of contributors also shared their unique perspectives on the NU pages.

Today, I am back in the US, but my heart is never far from Napoli.  The posts and series below are just a small sampling from my time in Naples, a glimpse at a few of my favorite Napoli things.


Bonnie's Napoli

Bonnie’s Napoli is a bit of a potpourri of posts I wrote over the years in Naples. I found inspiration and stories in the city’s art, architecture and archeology; it’s history and cultural heritage; the music, food and wine scene; and the many warm, loving and talented Neapolitans I met along the way.


Saturday Strolls

I started the Saturday Stroll series to share the discoveries I was making exploring Napoli, its many neighborhoods, alleys, stairways and hidden corners, not to mention its vast array of cultural sites. While I didn’t quite manage to keep up with the series, I never stopped strolling or exploring Napoli.


Cooking with Giuseppe

For one of my favorite series on Napoli Unplugged, I teamed up with my hairdresser Giuseppe, who was as passionate about cooking as he was about styling hair. One of the owners of Noi Salon, Naples & Rome, his day job kept him pretty busy, but every few weeks we’d meet up in my tiny apartment to whip up one of his favorite Neapolitan recipes. Like Napoli, itself, these recipes never go out of style.


The Bay of Naples & the Amalfi Coast

The Naples area is a beach lovers dream. The islands of Ischia, Procida, and world famous Capri are just a ferry ride away. Sorrento sits just across the Bay, and on the other side of the Sorrentine Peninsula is the renowned Amalfi Coast. 



The Naples Underground

Catacombs, crypts and cemeteries; aqueducts and air-raid shelters; even sparkling new metro stations, below the streets of Naples is a parallel city, a cavernous underground that has been used and re-used over the millennia.


Moving from Posillipo to Chiaia

A short series of posts about moving from our sea front apartment in Posillipo to a much smaller apartment in the alleys of Chiaia.


Curated Itineraries for Naples & the Amalfi Coast

Naples in 48 Hours

A weekend of art, food and leisurely city strolls.

Walking Tour of Historic Naples

A timeless stroll for the Naples neophyte or devotee.

Naples Netherworld

Venture out to the rarely visited Campi Flegrei, the Burning Fields.

The Pompeii Sites

Journey to a distant world frozen in time.

A Spa Day on Ischia

Soak up the thermal waters of a volcanic island near Naples.

Seven sensational day trips from Naples

Seaside escapes, restless volcanoes, royal palaces and some of the most famous archaeological sites in the world; there is something for everyone, all within easy reach of the city.

Spooky crypts and sparkling metro stations: 10 adventures in Naples' underworld

Naples is well known for the anarchic cacophony of its street life, but few visitors are aware that an eerily quiet underworld lurks beneath the surface.

Want to learn more about Bella Napoli?

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Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples

The Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples

Written by Bonnie Alberts, Barbara Zaragoza and Penny Ewles-Bergeron. Designed by Erin Romano. Photography by Bonnie Alberts. Illustrations by Kelly Medford, Lorenzo Dotti, and Simonetta Capecchi.

Written for the intrepid traveler seeking an immersive Neapolitan experience, the Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples features in-depth coverage of historic and cultural landmarks and over 100 beautifully composed photographs, plein air paintings and hand-painted cartography. Read more about the NU Guide – awards, press, bios and more here.