Walks in Naples: Pedamentina di San Martino
If you like stairways, adventure and panoramas, then search no more, we got you covered! From the top of the Vomero hill all the way down to the city center, any route you decide to take will lead to a (literally!) breathtaking, unforgettable experience!
There are several ways to reach the Vomero neighborhood and Via Morghen, the starting point of this uphill-downhill walk:
- Take the Funicolare di Montesanto and get off at the last stop, Morghen.
- Take metro line 1 and get off at the stop Vanvitelli to find yourself in Piazza Vanvitelli, from which you will go uphill Via Scarlatti, take the two stairways (there are escalators if you don’t feel like sweating yet) in front of you and find yourself in Via Morghen, in front of the funicular stop.
- Take the Funicolare Centrale or Funicolare di Chiaia to their last stop to find yourself in Piazza Fuga (directly with the former funicular, and by walking briefly uphill Via Cimarosa with the latter). Go up the stairway in front of you in the square and turn left on Via Morghen until you see another staircase (and escalator) on your right. Go up the 2 stairways to find yourself in Via Morghen, in front of the funicular stop.
With the Funicolare di Montesanto building in front of you, take the tiny uphill street on its right (there should be a brown information sign pointing you to the ‘Certosa di San Martino’) to find yourself on Via Maestro Colantonio (the street going right). This street will open into Via Annibale Caccavello, where you’ll turn left and walk until the next intersection, home to one of the city’s famous cammeo stores (definitely worth a look, and, if your budget allows it, perfect as a souvenir for your mom!). Turn right on Largo San Martino and walk downhill while preparing yourself for the panorama waiting ahead on the Belvedere!
If you want to get an even better view, there are 2 possible options… and you’ll have to pay a ticket for either of them (unless it’s the first Sunday of each month): you can go up Castel Sant’Elmo or you can venture into the gardens of the Certosa di San Martino; they offer different, but equally breathtaking, views of the city below, and if you really want to visit them both, you might consider getting a cumulative ticket, which costs 10 euros, lasts 2 days and also includes other attractions such as the Museo di Capodimonte and Villa Pignatelli.
To get down from San Martino to the city center, you have 2 ‘staircase-y’ options, both offering, once again, different but equally inimitable views:
- Take the 414-steps-long stairway right below you, the Pedamentina, which will take you to Corso Vittorio Emanuele, from which you can either take the Funicolare di Montesanto (by turning left on this panoramic street and walking briefly until you encounter the funicular stop ‘Corso Vittorio Emanuele’) to reach the stop ‘Montesanto’, or you can venture down Vico Trinità delle Monache into the Quartieri Spagnoli (‘Spanish Neighborhood’), then turn left on Via Pasquale Scura in front of the Chiesa di Santa Maria ad Ogni Bene dei Sette Dolori, which many consider to be the official starting point of Spaccanapoli. Either way, you’ll end up in the proximity of the Piazza Carità end of Via Toledo, in the so-called ‘Pignasecca’.
- Go back on Largo San Martino and Via Annibale Caccavello, but this time instead of turning back on Via Maestro Colantonio, continue straight ahead until the end of Via Annibale Caccavello. When you see a dead end in front of you, turn left on what appears to be another dead end, but with the sea in the background. You are now at the beginning of the Gradini del Petraio, about to immerse yourself in one of the most picturesque and timeless hidden gems this city has to offer. Descend on this stairway until you reach Largo Petraio, a breathtaking panoramic hotspot as well as the perfect pitstop to regain some energy and, if you’re lucky, witness some of the city’s pure folklore, with children playing soccer and chasing each other and women hanging laundry in the street or gossiping on the benches in the tiny square. Continue downward on the Rampe / Salita Petraio, where, if you are tired, you can take the Funicolare Centrale (the funicular stop is on your right shortly after leaving Largo Petraio) to reach Corso Vittorio Emanuele or Piazza Augusteo. If you decide to walk, the stairs will stop on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, from which you can enter the Quartieri Spagnoli to reach either the Chiaia neighborhood or the historical center:
- To reach the Chiaia neighborhood, cross the street on Corso Vittorio Emanuele and continue straight ahead on Via San Carlo alle Mortelle, then take the downhill street on your right, Rampe Brancaccio, and the stairway at the end of the U-turn to find yourself in Via dei Mille.
To reach the historical center, walk briefly on Corso Vittorio Emanuele (left when exiting the Rampe Petraio) until Piazzetta Cariati, then, with the funicular building behind you, take the downhill street on your left, Via Cariati, which, after a few turns (when intersecting with other streets, always pick the left one to avoid getting lost!), continues straight through Piazzetta Concordia into Vico Conte di Mola, which will finally lead you to Piazza Augusteo, close to the Piazza Plebiscito end of Via Toledo.