Travelling to Naples can become an experience which makes the most of the travel and tourism duality and is a model for the country at large. The Naples Metro has a dual purpose for the city: the first is its functionality, guaranteeing the majority of city residents access to the system within walking distance; and making the city’s main tourist sites accessible. From the Archaeological Museum people can easily reach the old city centre with Piazza Dante and Via Toledo, or go to Municipio, with the Teatro San Carlo opera house just moments away – it even has its own exit, heading to Via Duomo, the museum street. This project will continue along the promenade with Villa Comunale (the only historical park with two dedicated metro exits), right up to the western area with a route which could even go as far as Bagnoli in the future by using line 6.
The second relates to the metro as a feature able to attract tourists in its own right. The stations have been built characterised by high architectural standards and are embellished with works of art to the point that they have won numerous awards all over the world. Their peculiarity is such that in some cases they have been chosen as sets for major film projects, like Naples in Veils and the television series version of Gomorra, to give two of the most recent and noteworthy examples. Metro Lines 1 and 6 feature 160 different artworks on display from around 102 artists, which is a “must-see gallery” featuring some great stars of contemporary art and architecture. This aesthetic aspect has proven to be an important choice for the Naples Metro system lines. Despite the minimum monetary outlay, it has had an enormous return: out of 1.33 million tourists per year who use line 1 to visit the city, approximately 176,000 visit the stations as cultural locations. We are sure that this number will increase, and that the Metro will become one of the most visited museums in Naples, with nearly as many visitors as the Capodimonte museum and many more than those visiting MADRE. This is even without having yet completed some extraordinary works, such as those of the Municipio station’s archaeological park. Finally, the Naples Metro is the only great modern attraction in a city which owes all of its tourism to monuments or museums from the Bourbon era or earlier years.
(photos of artworks by Merz, Bob Wilson, Sol Lewitt)