A room with a view in Naples

Naples is a fabulous city, with a characterful old town, a smart shopping area and a bracing seafront. But it’s not particularly child-friendly as the streets are narrow, often with cars parked on pavements, and the hills are very, very steep – or you turn a corner to face a hundred steps. 

After a day of struggling with the buggy, there was nothing for it but to leave the kids behind in the hotel and explore the city alone on foot. I was very grateful that we had discovered such a fantastic hotel that gave the children plenty to explore without actually going anywhere. 

Hotel San Francesco Al Monte is a converted monastry high on a hill overlooking the Bay of Naples. It is full of atmosphere with many nooks and crannies to discover, including a fantastic model of the nativity, which is like a reconstructed Medieval town. But the best thing is the view – either from the wooden shuttered windows of rooms, from the panoramic lift or from the seventh floor terrace. The terrace must be amazing in summer when the swimming pool is open and you can escape the heat from the city below and order a spritz from the bar. But even in winter it gave the kids a great space to run around in and watch the big boats in the port below.

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