Experiencing Naples: Maradona murals, where to stay & Italy's ultimate football pilgrimage

Napoli Italy Naples cityGetty/GOAL composite

When last season's Serie A title triumph became little more than a formality, then-Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti told his players that they were about to see "a city explode with joy". However, when the Scudetto was finally secured in May, it sparked an outpouring of emotion that even took the Tuscan by surprise.

"I now realise that I was talking about something I couldn't imagine," Spalletti confessed. "Naples has to be experienced - not imagined."

Never has a truer word been spoken.

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Naples is something special, something unique. It is a vibrant centre of rare Baroque beauty but with an undeniably ugly edge. Naples has long long been plagued by socio-economic problems, tarred and terrorised by organised crime, and yet it remains a bastion of hope. Or, more accurately, faith.

There are two religions in Naples: Christianity and calcio. And the two are intertwined. Take a stroll down the famous Via San Gregorio Meno and you'll see numerous nativity scenes featuring the city's two patron saints, San Gennaro and Diego Maradona, positioned side by side.

Naples, then, is the ideal Soccer City for any football fan looking to immerse himself in the local culture, simply because the two are utterly indivisible. So, GOAL is on hand to take you through the ideal matchday experience in one of the most remarkable places on the planet...