Naples is one of the most historic cities in the world, dating back to the second millennium BC. It is often considered an open-air museum, with so many ancient monuments scattered throughout the area. As the largest city in Southern Italy, Naples offers much to keep you occupied, including the Royal Palace, Napoli Sotterranea, and Teatro San Carlo. Even beyond the city, it serves as the perfect base from which to explore the stunning countryside of Campania and Puglia, the island of Capri, Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii.
There are so many things to see and do, so we’ve gathered some of our best tips on Naples and the surrounding area.
Walk around Megaride
One of the oldest castles in the city is on a small island called Megaride, which is now connected to the mainland by a breathtaking promenade. The area around it used to be a small fishing village but today it’s a lovely area to eat – full of restaurants that specialise in fresh seafood! Ristorante Ciro is right at the foot of Castel dell’Ovo and serves up traditional Italian cuisine with a twist.
It goes without saying that you’ll find the best pizza in Italy – Naples to be precise. For a truly authentic slice, try Antica Pizzeria Brandi. This pizzeria actually invented the original Margherita in 1889 in honour of Queen Margherita, the first queen of a unified Italy.
Climb Mount Vesuvius
Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano in mainland Europe and a must-see on any trip to Naples. Currently dormant, Vesuvius is completely safe to visit. You can drive or take a bus but will have to do a bit of steep hiking to get to the top! Try to plan your visit for early morning or late afternoon to dodge the hot summer temperatures. Be sure to bring a few layers as well – it can get quite chilly at the top – and wear old trainers, which you don’t mind getting dusty. Whenever you go, and whatever you wear, it will all be worth it when you reach the peak and take in the stunning 360° views!
See Capri from the top
Nestled in the Gulf of Naples is the tiny island of Capri, renowned for its natural beauty. Once you’ve dived into the brilliant turquoise waters and explored the Blue Grotto, take the seggiovia (chairlift) to the top of Monte Solaro, the highest point on the island. En route, admire the lemon tree orchards that are used to produce ‘Limoncello Di Capri’.
Head out to Pompeii
Just a short journey from Naples is Pompeii, the city that was famously destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. Today, Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can see the ruins of the ancient Roman city, with stunning painting and architecture beautifully preserved. To get there, take the train rather than a taxi – it’s actually faster and only costs €2.80 from the main station in Naples! Remember to validate your ticket before boarding, or you will be heavily fined by train inspectors.
Whether you’re planning a city break, a beach escape, or a cultural tour, Naples offers a bit of everything: blue skies, blue sea, ancient ruins, modern culture, views for miles, and a little slice of paradise called pizza!