Pinocchios Naples Via S Gregorio Armeno

Do you know when you stumble on something really magical? I almost don’t want to share Via San Gregorio Armeno, Naples, but it is Christmas, so I must.

We arrived in Naples via a cruise ship, Carnival Sunshine. Coming from our cruise ship bubble, it was a little bit of a culture shock. It feels anarchic and dark in places. It is a student city and less wealthy than more Northern parts of Italy. We were warned to keep our possessions close to hand, the kids were a bit taken aback by seeing more poverty and homelessness, graffiti and rubbish, but somehow it felt more real and the treasure we stumbled upon was far, far more rewarding.

Via S Gregorio Armeno, Naples

There are two things you must do in Naples, other than see it and die, you must eat pizza, which was invented here, and visit the incredible Via S Gregorio Armeno, a narrow pedestrian street dedicated to Christmas.


Via San Gregorio Armeno, is the street of the Christmas Nativity Scene makers, you can buy all manner of nativities, many with moving parts, and Christmas decorations, as well as all kinds of bits and pieces to put together your own Christmas scene. Or even a pizza themed scene.

Nativity Makers

The scenes can move, some even have water features, you name it your nativity makers can make it happen:

My children were utterly fascinated by this street, from buying tiny baskets of fruit and vegetables.

nativity makers, naples

To tiny boxes of food stuff…

nativity makers, naples

nativity makers, naples

To stocking up on sheep and wise men…or wooden red hot chilli pepper Christmas decorations.

nativity makers, naples

Grown ups can also shop for larger, more ornate Christmas features…

nativity naples

There are opportunities to pose with well known religious figures…or a punk. I told you Naples was anarchic.

the pope, naples

Via S Gregorio Armeno led to more busy streets and fascinating alley ways, and archways leading to cafes, shops and churches.


Beauty and anarchy, life and death, such fascinating contrasts, my pirate-mad then 5yo couldn’t take his eyes or hands off this skull and crossbones outside a church.



Need to know

Naples is THE place to eat pizza, pizza was invented here. THE place to eat it, according to endless critics and, as immoraltised in Eat Pray Love, is L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele. Sadly I did not know this, and we wandered around for ages looking for somewhere to eat great pizza – but the pizza we ate was still utterly incredible, in fact I would cast aside Christmas dinner to eat that meal once more!

Via San Gregorio Armeno, Naples – this is a fairly long, but just about doable walk from the cruise port, but with little legs and when feeling new to the city you might prefer a cab.


Happy Christmas wherever you are in the world.


Penny, Helen, Alison and Katie


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