Neapolitan Bassi

Unique experience: rich in life and history. To visit Naples and not to take a walk among the popular districts, to disentangle between lanes and flanking the Neapolitan bass is to see only Naples in half. With the washing of the laundry hanging out to dry on the wires, the baskets lowered from the upper floors, the scent of coffee on the fire and the sounds and shouts coming from the shops, the vico represents the heart of the urban anatomy of the city.

The real joy for tourists will be to visit centuries-old churches and historical squares passing through these little lanes, sometimes just a little more than a corridor and less than twenty meters long, finding themselves unconscious spectators of the most intimate Naples. The impression will be that of having entered a living theater to watch an open comedy.

If you want to experience the experience of visiting the popular neighborhoods with a guide and in a group, here you will find various walking tour solutions and choose the most congenial to your needs. Below the explanation of the Neapolitan bass and the three most interesting alleys of the city

Neapolitan Bassi

The Bassi, also known by the term Neapolitan di 'o Vascio are small houses of one or two rooms on the ground floor, with direct access to the street. The bassi, characteristic of Napoli, but also in the Neapolitan area, are nevertheless considered an expression of urban and social decay. Over the centuries these places have been the scene of tragic events in the history of Naples like the numerous epidemics of plague and cholera due to poor sanitary conditions. During the Unification of Italy five epidemics of cholera broke out and the government of Savoy promoted the law for the rehabilitation of the lower districts (Porto, Pendino ) to be able to carry out major urban works to improve the health of the citizens. Other epidemics brought about by these unhealthy places appeared on October 1 1943 .

During the fascism the bass they were evacuated, but they were reoccupied during the war, and even today you can see this type of housing even in the newly built popular neighborhoods. Today, however, the conversion into shops, cellars and garages is widespread; also in many lows of the old center it is possible to find hatches that lead to the subsoil of Naples , where it is often possible to see the precious remains Greek-Romans, remained incorporated under the ground. A description of the bass offers it Matilde Serao, who lived for a few years in a bass by Piazzetta Ecce Homo and describes them as follows:

"Houses where you cook in an ibex, eat in the bedroom and die in the same room where others sleep and eat; houses whose basements, also inhabited by human people, resemble the ancient, now abolished, vicar's criminal prisons "

St. Gregory of Armenia Vicolo

Directions: Metro line 1: Dante, Università - Metro line 2: Cavour


1) The Vicolo di San Gregorio Armeno owes its name to the church of the same name which is one of the oldest in Naples. It is famous all over the world because it is home to the traditional crib shops, which originated in the classical era: there was a temple in the street dedicated to Ceres, Roman goddess of fertility, to which the citizens offered as votive offer of small terra cotta, made in nearby shops. The birth of the Neapolitan nativity scene is naturally much later and dates back to the end of the 18th century.

In San Gregorio you can find yourself in a micro-world of the past, where ancient crafts and forgotten lifestyles come back to life in the perfect miniatures of the artisans. Next to the statue of Baby Jesus, the Three Wise Men and the donkey you can also find caricatures of political figures, football players, actors, singers, coaches, packed for an unlikely and original Christmas nativity scene.

In 2016, San Gregorio Armeno was the catwalk chosen by Dolce & Gabbana for the event dedicated to Naples and Sofia Loren.


Scassacocchi Vico

Directions: Metro line 1: Dante, University - Metro line 2: Cavour


Vico Scassacocchi is located in the historic center of Naples, between Via dei Tribunali and Spaccanapoli. There are two theories on the origin of his name: the first is that once it was the ancestor of the scrapers (scassa-cocchi), who sold at bargain prices hubs, crossbows, wheels and everything that could be recycled from the carriages. The second hypothesis, however, sees the origin of the name linked to the fact that its width (less than two meters) would have caused in the past the breaking of the wheels of carriages and carriages. Vico is also mentioned in the film "Napoli Milionaria" by Eduardo De Filippo, in which the character of Pasqualino Miele (played by Totò) lives on the fifth floor of the number 17 of Vico Scassacocchi.


Vico Freddo in Rua Catalana

Directions: Metro line 1: University, Municipio


The Vico Freddo in Rua Catalana is located in the port area of the city. It is called "vico frisc" "just because you never hit the sun (because of the buildings that surround it) but, enjoying the wind of the sea, manages to keep a temperature wet and cool even in the hottest summers.

In 1343 the Queen of Naples Giovanna I d'Angiò, to encourage commerce, called in the city shopkeepers and workers of different nationalities, giving everyone a neighborhood where they could live. Rua Catalana was, of course, assigned to the Spaniards. In the latter there were tinsmiths, junkards and corkers. Even today it is a neighborhood-laboratory home to the artisan workshops of tin and other poor materials. Since 1997 the artist Riccardo Dalisi has brought back the vico to its former glory, bringing together all the artisans of the area who have created a museum of contemporary art in the open air.