Straight, narrow and packed with charm, Spaccanapoli is one of Naples' main thoroughfares, defying the labyrinthine lanes of the rest of the historic centre.

Translated literally, Spaccanapoli means "Naples splitter", as the long, straight thoroughfare seems to divide the historic centre of the city in two. In reality, it's a nickname given to a sequence of streets that cut straight through the winding streets of the old town: Via Benedetto Croce, Via San Biagio dei Librai and Via Vicaria Vecchia.

Strolling down Spaccanapoli

At a glance, there doesn't seem to be anything particularly striking about the narrow street known as Spaccanapoli, but its importance lies in its history: being one of the three main roads (known as decumani) that traversed ancient Neapolis when it was founded in 580 BC.

Starting at Piazza del Gesù Nuovo in the west, you'll find yourself squeezed into the heart of lively Naples. Wander past piazzas, palaces and churches, including the spectacularly-decorated 14th century Santa Chiara religious complex, the Sansevero Chapel, the San Lorenzo Maggiore Basilica and the neoclassical Palazzo Venezia, amongst many others. 

As well as any number of famous places of interest, exploring Spaccanapoli you'll also find many souvenir and gift shops, as well as bakeries and restaurants.