As night falls and the lights come up, the mouth-watering aromas of garlic, roasting meats and fresh fish spill onto the sidewalks along Naples’ historic Fifth Avenue and entice the shoppers inside. Among the restaurants and bistros are two destinations which should simply not be overlooked.
Located at 761 Fifth Avenue South, Shaw Gallery is home to a splendid mix of Impressionist, realist and contemporary art and sculpture. The gallery is bright and spacious and the paintings range from dramatic (like Andre Kohn’s vibrant red-and-black depiction of two Argentine tango dancers) to subtle (like Josep Borrell’s “Figure Studies”, which welcomes visitors inside).
The experience at New River Fine Art, located down and across the street at 600 Fifth Avenue South, is a little more museum-like because of the names hanging on their walls. Here you’ll find works by Rembrandt, Chagall, Dali, Picasso and members of Camille Pissarro’s storied family displayed beside the paintings of masters-in-the-making like Jamali, Royo and Hessam. Equally impressive are the classical sculptures prominently displayed throughout this esteemed space.
Several blocks to the south is Olde Naples’ Third Street shopping district with outside-dining hot spots like Handsome Harry’s and Tommy Bahama. You need not park a Porsche or Ferrari along the curb in order to partake of the shopping, dining and galleries that dot this part of town, although many do.
Located at the corner of Third Street and 13th Avenue South is an intriguing little studio known as Antinori Gallery, which deals exclusively in American and Italian artists. Bold landscapes in the tradition of Paul Cezanne, with buildings bathed in light yet firm and solid, provide contrast to figures who seem prepared to leap off their supports and into your arms as you stare, transfixed and mesmerized.
Down the street is the Darvish Collection Gallery, Naples’ second oldest art gallery. It’s collection covers two floors, with the vast majority of its gems ensconced in the European-paneled exhibition rooms on the second floor. And around the corner, lining Gallery Row are a stunning assemblage of high-end galleries: Galerie du Soleil, Gardner Colby Gallery, Marianne Friedland Gallery, and DeBruyne Fine Art.
Who needs Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue, South Beach or Miami’s Wynwood art district when there’s Fifth Avenue, Third Street and Gallery Row in Naples? But be sure to check closing times, as some galleries do close early.