One of the most beautiful buildings in Naples, the 19th-century Galleria Umberto I marks the center of the historic downtown like a huge, glass-ceilinged cross. This elegant shopping arcade set between Via Toledo and the San Carlo Theater is included in a number of food and sightseeing tours. It’s the perfect spot for a quick espresso break.
Modeled after Milan’s Galleria Emanuele II, Galleria Umberto I was damaged by bombing during World War II, but today the glass dome and roof again shine over its shops and cafés, protecting the ornate architecture and original mosaic floor. Located in one of the most vibrant areas of Naples’ downtown, Galleria Umberto I is a popular gathering place for Neapolitans and tourists.
Most guided walking or Segway tours of Naples take a turn through Galleria Umberto I, as well as important landmarks like Piazza del Gesù, the Duomo, Church of Santa Chiara, and Via San Gregorio Armeno. Naples is known for its bright flavors, and many tours combine sightseeing with tastings of local specialties. Pompeii archaeological park is located just outside Naples, so consider a joining a tour that includes a visit to these famous ruins along with highlights of Naples’ historic center.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Naples walking tours that include a stop at Galleria Umberto I are mostly outdoors; wear sunscreen and a hat in summer, and choose comfortable footwear.
- Galleria Umberto I is located near many of the most popular attractions in Naples, so it’s ideal for a break from sightseeing, or for a quick espresso or gelato.
- Shops inside the gallery sell high-end clothing and accessories, cosmetics, books, and gourmet treats.
- The shopping arcade is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Galleria Umberto I is less than 10 minutes’ walk from Naples’ port or Municipio train station, and sits in the heart of the downtown near the San Carlo Theater and Piazza del Plebiscito. Naples is a major transportation and cruise ship hub, with direct trains from major Italian cities as well as ferries from Salerno and Sorrento.
When to Get There
The best time to visit Galleria Umberto I is from late morning to early evening, when the shops are open for business and the cafés bustle with customers.
Naples’ Historic Center
Naples’ historic center encompasses more than 10 distinct neighborhoods along the Bay of Naples and includes sights and monuments dating from ancient Roman times through the 19th century. Highlights include Piazza del Plebiscito, Spaccanapoli, and the National Archaeological Museum.