Naples, or Napoli as Italians know it, offers a vibrant culture and unparalleled culinary experiences. Overlooking the serene Tyrrhenian Sea and overshadowed by the mighty Mount Vesuvius, this city juxtaposes ancient and modern.
As the reputed birthplace of pizza, Naples tantalizes the taste buds, while its rich collections of art and its impressive architectural diversity invite travelers to lose themselves in the history of the place.
From its bustling streets echoing with lively chatter to its tranquil sunsets by the Lungomare, Naples promises a journey filled with passion and beauty.
We hope the following guide will provide plenty of inspiration for your travels in Naples. Before you go, be sure to check out our Tours in Naples.
Naples International Airport (NAP), also known as Capodichino Airport, is the primary gateway to the city. Located just 5 km from the city centre, it connects Naples to various European and international destinations.
Napoli Centrale is the main railway station, ensuring seamless connectivity to cities like Rome, Florence, and Milan. The station is also a hub for regional trains, connecting Naples to its picturesque surroundings.
The Port of Naples (pictured above) is one of the largest Mediterranean seaports. Apart from commercial activities, it offers ferry services to nearby islands and other coastal cities, making sea journeys a scenic option for travellers.
In Naples, one finds a blend of historic charm and modern comfort in its myriad accommodation choices:
From luxurious establishments overlooking the Grand Canal to quaint boutique hotels tucked away in narrow lanes, there’s something for everyone.
Bed and Breakfast accommodations provide a homely atmosphere. Locals often run them and offer a unique insight into everyday Venetian life.
Ideal for more extended stays or those wanting a home-away-from-home experience, various apartments, both modern and historic, are available for rent.
Budget travellers can find several in and around Venice, offering a mix of dormitories and private rooms.
For a truly Venetian experience, consider staying in a historic palazzo or a waterside accommodation with a private jetty.
This museum is a treasure chest of history, housing an impressive collection of Greco-Roman artefacts. A visit here offers insights into the rich tapestry of ancient civilizations that influenced Naples.
Walking through the ruins of Pompeii is like stepping back in time. The city, buried under volcanic ash from Vesuvius, provides a hauntingly vivid snapshot of daily Roman life.
An architectural gem, this church is home to “The Seven Works of Mercy,” a masterful painting by Caravaggio, which art lovers consider a must-see.
Naples’ seafront promenade is where one can bask in the Mediterranean sun, enjoy panoramic sea views, and witness the city in its most relaxed vibe.
Similar to Pompeii but on a smaller scale, Herculaneum offers another glimpse into the life halted by Vesuvius. Being less crowded it allows for a more intimate exploration.
Standing grandly at the heart of the city, this palace showcases Naples’ royal history through its opulent rooms, majestic architecture, and captivating stories.
While the spotlight often shines on Naples’ iconic landmarks, the city conceals many secrets that await discovery by the curious traveller:
Situated in the Sanità district, this underground cemetery is a surreal maze of bones and skulls. Steeped in folklore, it offers a unique perspective on Naples’ relationship with life, death, and superstition.
Explore this intriguing underground passage beneath the city’s surface. Initially conceived as an escape route for the Bourbon king, the tunnel later served various roles, from a WWII shelter to a vehicular impound lot.
Overshadowed by its famous neighbours, Capri and Ischia, Procida offers a more authentic slice of Neapolitan island life. Its pastel-hued buildings, serene beaches, and rustic charm make it a haven for those seeking tranquility.
Located a short distance from Naples, this museum celebrates Italy’s rich railway heritage. The museum, set against the backdrop of the sea, displays an evocative collection of historic locomotives and carriages.
Naples’ culinary scene is a symphony of flavours, textures, and aromas that pay homage to its storied past and fertile land:
Situated in Piazza Dante, this establishment is renowned for its invigorating coffee, a testament to Naples’ celebrated coffee culture. Each cup promises a delightful caffeine kick, from the robust espresso to the frothy cappuccino.
This iconic pizzeria in the heart of the historic centre serves pizzas that many consider the gold standard of Neapolitan pie. Thin crust, rich tomato sauce, and creamy mozzarella combine in a symphony of flavours.
Another contender in Naples’ pizza landscape, Starita offers traditional pies crafted with passion and authenticity. Whether you opt for a classic Margherita or venture into unique toppings, satisfaction is guaranteed.
On a warm Neapolitan day, nothing beats the refreshing taste of gelato, and Casa Infante stands as one of the city’s best. With an array of flavours, from classic vanilla to inventive seasonal options, it’s a paradise for dessert enthusiasts.
Beyond pizza and gelato, Naples boasts a rich culinary repertoire. Dive into dishes like ‘spaghetti alla console (spaghetti with clams), ‘sfogliatella’ (a flaky pastry filled with ricotta), and ‘babà’ (a rum-soaked cake), to name a few.
Beyond its gastronomic and historical delights, Naples is a haven for shoppers:
Dive into the bustling local markets, such as the Pignasecca or the Antignano, San Gregorio Armeno, to discover fresh produce, local cheeses, and artisanal products. These markets provide a sensory overload and a glimpse into daily Neapolitan life.
Look out for traditional crafts like handcrafted nativity scenes, known as ‘presepi,’ or bespoke Neapolitan tailoring, a testament to the city’s artistic heritage.
One of the main shopping arteries, Via Toledo is lined with both international brands and local boutiques, catering to various tastes and budgets.
From Limoncello, the zesty lemon liqueur, to hand-painted ceramics, Naples offers a plethora of souvenirs to remind you of your journey.
Scattered around the city, particularly in the historic centre, antique shops offer a treasure trove of artefacts, from vintage jewellery to historic memorabilia.
Navigating Naples, with its labyrinthine alleys and bustling streets, can be both exhilarating and challenging. Here are some pointers to enhance your experience:
Naples boasts an efficient public transport system, including buses, trams, and the metro. The metro, in particular, is noteworthy for connectivity and its art-filled stations, turning commuting into a cultural experience.
Spring (April to June) and early autumn (September and October) are ideal, with mild temperatures and fewer crowds. Festivals like the Pizzafest in September are also worth timing your visit for.
Naples is a city steeped in tradition. When visiting religious sites, it’s advisable to dress modestly. Also, while Neapolitans are known for their warmth, they appreciate basic courtesies in interactions, such as greetings.
Like any major city, it’s wise to be cautious of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas. Keep your belongings secure and stay aware of your surroundings.
Naples is a city best enjoyed slowly. Take the time to meander through its streets, engage with locals, and soak in its vibrant atmosphere.
Naples’ prime location makes it a hub for exploring the wider Campania region and beyond:
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this stretch of coastline boasts picturesque towns like Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello, each offering panoramic sea views and distinct charms.
These islands, easily accessible by ferry, are perfect for a day of exploration or relaxation. While Capri (pictured above) is known for its luxury and the Blue Grotto, Ischia offers thermal spas and serene beaches.
Places like Caserta, with its grand Royal Palace, or Paestum, known for its ancient Greek temples, offer a blend of history and beauty.
For the adventurous, a trek up this iconic volcano offers breathtaking views and an up-close look at the force that shaped much of the region’s history.
Naples, often described as the soul of Italy, is a city of harmonies. It’s where age-old traditions merge seamlessly with contemporary rhythms and where the aroma of fresh pizza wafts through ancient ruins.
From its sun-kissed shores to its vibrant markets, Naples beckons with a passionate and gentle embrace. As you leave its shores, you’ll carry with you memories of sights seen and foods enjoyed, but the indomitable spirit of a city that lives, loves, and celebrates like no other.
View our Day Tours in Naples if you’d like to see the city with expert guidance. Looking for a longer tour experience in Italy? We have you covered! Browse our Multi-Day Tours in Italy.
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