Naples is one of the many underrated holiday destinations, but with so many outstanding and more popular places to visit in Italy, such as Rome or Milan, there’s no wonder why tourists rarely think about it as a great place to spend quality time with their family or friends and to explore the city and its surroundings.
The truth is every inch of Italy is different and has its own charm. It’s good to start with the world-renowned tourist attractions, such as the Colosseum, Fontana di Trevi or Duomo di Milano, but once you’ve crossed these places off your “to visit” list, it’s time you discover other wonderful parts of Italy. And the best place to start is Naples.
Iconic attractions not to miss in Naples
Naples will delight you from the very first moment you arrive. Its charm, mystery and architecture will sometimes make you feel like you walked 2000 years back in time. There are many places worth visiting and interesting things to do while here and some very good examples are:
- The National Archaeological Museum – visiting both Pompeii and Herculaneum requires a 20- or 30-minute ride by car, but if you’re not into getting outside Naples, you can visit the National Archaeological Museum, where you’ll find a fascinating collection of structures excavated from both locations.
- San Gennaro Catacombs – if you’re a big fan of the Indiana Jones series and you’re eager to go on an adventure in the mysterious underground world, with an intricate network of passageways and tunnels, then the Catacombs are the perfect place. The dim light inside, the high number of burials (over 3000 only on the first level), and the artwork and detailed frescos create a mysterious atmosphere, turning your visit into an unforgettable experience.
- Castel Nuovo and Castel dell’Ovo – two of the first buildings you see as you enter the port of Naples are these two castles. Castel Nuovo will fascinate you with its 13th century architecture and the 5 amazing towers, whereas Castel dell’Ovo is renowned as the oldest remaining fortification in the city, dating back to the 6th century BC.
- Santa Lucia district – if your main objective when visiting Naples is to experience the city from a local perspective and to “breathe in” the culture, then the district of Santa Lucia is the place to go. Cobbled and narrow streets that make their way down to the sea, restaurants and bars that emanate the authentic Italian style and numerous craft shops that drag you inside like a magnet – all of these make Santa Lucia an incredible place.
- Palazzo Reale – located right in the centre of Piazza del Plebiscito, and close to Basilica Reale, this palace will fascinate you with its opulence and extravaganza.
Explore the surroundings
To have the best experience of your life, sightseeing only Naples is not enough. There are plenty of other places around the city worth visiting and interesting things to do. Here are some examples:
- Climbing Mount Vesuvius – most of the landscape surrounding the city is dominated by Vesuvius, the volcano that gained its reputation after the eruption in 79 AD, when it destroyed both Herculaneum and Pompeii, two influential settlements of that time. After 20-30 minutes of climbing a not-too-challenging path, you’ll be mesmerized by the beauty of the views from the top.
- Pompeii ruins – the highly advanced, ancient city that was destroyed by the pouring lava of Vesuvius managed, somehow, to remain in an incredible condition. Take a walk through the ruins of Pompeii to admire not only the amazing structures and buildings, but also the plaster casts showing the death poses of the numerous unfortunate victims of the event that remained caught in the ash.
- Herculaneum ruins – just like Pompeii, Herculaneum was destroyed by Vesuvius in 79 AD. Although it is not as popular as its counterpart, it’s definitely an amazing sight to visit. There are many better-preserved buildings here compared to Pompeii, which offer you a more detailed image into the life of people in Antiquity.
- Capri – looking for one more place to take stunning photos just like the ones you see in famous travel magazines? Take a boat trip to Capri, an inhabited island renowned for its charming scenery, with quaint houses and mesmerizing caves located along the coastline. Some iconic places to visit here are Marina Grande, Blue Grotto Sea Cave and Monte Solaro.
Don’t forget to please your stomach
Traveling to Italy and not eating pizza or pasta is like booking a hotel room for the holiday of your dreams and not planning how to get there.
One very popular ristorante in the region is Da Michele, where you can get a “pizza vera napoletana”, which is the true Neapolitan pizza. Also, there are many more restaurants that serve this dish if you want to go someplace else. Just google it and opt for the one that suits you best. Complete your meal with a glass of Limoncello, a tasty alcoholic drink made of lemons, syrup and hard alcohol.
When to visit Naples
Excited to pack and go on a new adventure? Know that the best time to visit Naples is in spring, from mid-March to early June and from mid-September to early November. If you’re not into high temperatures and crowded places, plan your holiday to Naples in spring.
July and August are to be avoided, because it’s the hottest time of the year in this region, not to mention the high number of tourists.
October and November are also a great period to go sightseeing in Naples, although you should also expect rain and cloudy days.
Location and how to get there
Naples is located on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, in Southern Italy. It takes about one hour by train and about two by car to get from Rome to Naples. A better and more cost-effective option would be to travel by plane and land on the International Airport in Naples, as the airport is no more than 5 km away from the Historical City Centre.
With Blue Air, you have direct flights to Naples from Bucharest and Turin, as well as many other connection flights. Check our website for more details.