Campania off the beaten path part 1: The Pedamentina and the Petraio Climbs

Sara Anna Iannone | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Campania is a region full of beauties. My dream is to visit them all, to be an expert of my very own region, but, alas!, this is a hard task indeed. So I’ve set my mind on exploring “Campania off the beaten path”, that is to discover places that are usually overlooked by travel guides and that sometimes even locals are unaware of. In other words, this series is not about the most popular touristic spots, but focuses on quieter, less known but equally beautiful places. Let’s start our tour with two of the most fascinating places in Naples: the Pedamentina and the Petraio Climbs!

Few people know that Naples is a city full of stairways, more than 200 according to Wikipedia. They were built to connect the center with the coast and the hills, like those of Vomero and Capodimonte. Because of their location and of the fantastic view they offer to the visitor, some of these stairs have become a touristic destination especially among foreigners. The Pedamentina Climb, linking Corso Vittorio Emanuele with the Certosa di San Martino on the Vomero hill, is undoubtedly one of the most iconic climbs of Naples. With its 414 steps, the Pedamentina offers, at least to me, the best panoramic view of the city embracing the whole city from Capodimonte to Mount Vesuvius.

Although it might seem like extra work, I suggest reaching the Pedamentina Climb from Montesanto Metro or Cumana station (a stop of the Naples metro system for Pozzuoli and the ancient site of Cuma). Here you can take the “Scale di Montesanto”, the Montesanto stairs (in the picture above), connecting with Corso Vittorio Emanuele where you’ll take the climb from Via Pedamentina di San Martino. I have to say that, unfortunately, from Montesanto to San Martino the climb is not always clean… It’s very sad that such a stunning place has been left in such a bad state and I hope that in the future things will change. Nonetheless, the climb is so pleasant that I personally didn’t feel tired at all. Reaching the top was super easy and, once there, not only you have the opportunity to admire one of the best panoramic views of Naples, but you can also visit the amazing Certosa di San Martino and the Sant’ Elmo Castle where you can enjoy a 360°-view of the city.

Instead of going back to the center by metro or by the Pedamentina Climb itself, you can go to the nearby Via Gradini del Petraio and descend the other famous climb, the Petraio climb. I have been there recently and I was amazed by the place because it felt like being in a completely different city! The view is different from the Pedamentina because the Petraio connects Vomero with the coast, so your eyes will enjoy the view of the sea and of the island of Capri. On a sunny day, walking among the narrow streets of the Petraio Climb is pure joy, especially for photography enthusiast in search of the perfect light in the perfect spot.

At the end of the Petraio, you’ll find yourself again in Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Go left and, after 5 minutes or so, you’ll be back from where you’ve started, that is the Montesanto Stairs, close to the historical center. The Pedamentina and the Petraio Climbs are perfect for anybody who wants to discover a different Naples, less “chaotic” and definitely less crowded. Both climbs offer great views and are the perfect definition of “off the beaten path” places! Enjoy!

A special thank to my friend Debora for letting me use some of her pictures!

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