Naples: the birthplace of Pizza, a treasure trove of museums, a city at the foot of an active volcano, and a gateway to Capri, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast. Too often, people view Naples as just a hub to more luxurious destinations like Positano and Sorrento. And while those towns are undoubtedly stunning, Naples is a vibrant and impressive city in its own right. A week in Naples would barely scratch the surface of all it has to offer, but most travelers prefer to stay in a luxury hotel on the coast. Still, I implore you to consider spending a day or two in Naples. Trust me, it’s worth your time!
For those with limited time in Naples, fear not! Here are five must-see experiences that are sure to tantalize your senses and leave you yearning for more. Though just a taste of Naples’ myriad of wonders, it’s guaranteed to leave you yearning for a return trip.
Although Pompei is a more prominent ruined city decimated by the Vesuvius eruption of 79 AD, Herculaneum is worth a few hours of your morning. It is in closer proximity to the city, smaller in scale, and not as crowded. Both towns were destroyed by the same eruption, but in varying manners. While Pompei succumbed to ash and lava, Herculaneum was overwhelmed by mud and molten rock.
Compared to its renowned counterpart, Herculaneum is remarkably well-preserved. The ruins offer a plethora of frescoes and mosaics, making it a must-see destination. Herculaneum is located less than 14 kilometers away from Naples and can be accessed via multiple modes of transportation, including bus, train, taxi, or private car. Entrance fee for the site is €11.
The Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus provides a fantastic way to explore the city at your convenience. With three routes available (red, blue, and green), you can hop on and off at each stop to see the sights that you find most interesting. Starting at Piazza Municipio (Largo Castello) stop #1 for all routes, you can switch buses as needed. If you fancy a quick tour without stopping, all three routes can be completed in approximately four hours.
As the fourth stop on the Red route of the hop-on-hop-off bus, the National Archaeological Museum – Museo Archeologico – is a personal favorite of mine. Its wide-ranging collections are so extensive that it’s possible to spend multiple days wandering through the exhibits.
In case your schedule is tight, ensure you visit the Artifacts from Pompei and Herculaneum, Mosaics, and Frescoes, while the adventurous can sneak a peek at the Secret Cabinet. Also, the Farnese Collection is well worth a visit if you have some extra time. It’s important to note that the museum is closed on Tuesdays, and admission costs €12.
This stunning viewpoint awaits at Stop #6 on the Blue Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus route, perched atop Posillipo Hill.
This particular bus makes a stop here for roughly 10 minutes, permitting you to indulge in the breathtaking vista of the Bay of Naples and the city. It’s widely regarded as one of the most impressive views that the city has to offer.
Beneath the vibrant urban landscape of Naples lies a fascinating subterranean world of historic ruins. Embark on an hour-long tour to uncover the hidden gems of this underground labyrinth.
A visit to Naples demands indulging in the city’s trademark dish – pizza. It would be a travesty to miss out on this quintessential experience. Fortunately, Naples has a plethora of pizzerias to explore, and it’s possible to sample multiple varieties in a single day. A must-visit is L’Antica Pizzaria da Michele, a cherished pizzeria enshrined in Naples’ cultural heritage. Tucked away in the heart of the city at via Cesare Sersale 1/3, it’s a family-run establishment, with the fifth generation of pizza masters at the helm. Don’t hesitate to visit them and experience the authentic Naples flavor.
Numerous excellent pizzerias are scattered throughout the city, but it is advisable to steer clear of the overly touristy ones near the port. With this small precaution, you are sure to have a delightful pizza experience.