The major neighborhoods, streets, squares, and landmarks of Naples
The heart of Naples is bounded by the bay to the south and hemmed in by low mountains all around (hilltops onto which the city has since spread).
The Centro Storico
If you come by train, you'll most likely arrive in the dingiest corner of the city, Piazza Garibaldi, on the eastern edge of the center.
From here, wide Corso Umberto I runs diagonally across the center toward Piazza Municipio at the main port, Molo Beverello.
The historic old center of Naples is bounded by Corso Umberto on the south, Piazza Cavour on the north, Via Duomo on the east, and Via Toledo on the west. Though its heart runs Spaccanapoli, which translates loosely as "divide Naples in half" and refers both the this historic district as a whole and specifically to the arrow-straight street that runs down its middle east-west and changes names from Via S. Biagio dei Librai to Via Benedetto Croce to Via D. Capitelli (it's actually the old Decumanus Maximus, or Main Street, of the Roman city).
Across Via Toledo to the west lies the checkerboard of the Quartiere degli Spagnoli, a grid of narrow streets laid out by the Spanish viceroys along the bottom slopes of the Vomero hill. Its tall tenements are filled with lower income housing, and while you can see some of the most genuine Naples life in this area, be extra cautious; it is also one of the strongholds of the Camorra organized crime network.
South of the Quartiere degli Spagnoli, Via Toledo spills into Piazza Plebescito, the heart of 18th century Naples, with the royal palace and theater, and the docks just beyond.
West of the Centro Storico
West of the center are a trio of rather nicer, middle-class residential neighborhoods starting with the headland of Santa Lucia rising above Piazza Plebescito on the seaward slope of the Vomero.
Beyond this is the long, wide harborside park of Chiaia, with a few blocks of buildings climbing behind it up a small ridge.
At the end of Chiaia are the docks and train station of the workaday zone of Mergellina.
The hills of Naples
The center of is bounded by tall hills, atop which life procedes at a notably calmer, soemtimes leafier pace in residential neighborhoods.
Just west of the center, above the bayside Chiaia district, you can access the 20C middle class neighborhood atop the hill of Vomero via a series of funiculari (funiculars, or cog railways).
North of the center, Naples slopes upwards to Caopdimonte, home to a major city park and several key sights, including the city's major painting gallery and the creepiest of the city's catacombs.