Naples, the third-largest city in Italy, is renowned for its rich history, culture, art, and delectable cuisine. The city boasts impressive architecture and stunning landscapes that make it a must-visit destination for travelers to Italy. Its strategic location close to the ancient ruins of Pompeii, the picturesque Amalfi Coast, and the beautiful islands of the Bay of Naples makes it an excellent choice for day trips. This 10-day travel guide to Naples showcases all the top attractions and hidden treasures in and around the city. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, hiking an active volcano, or indulging in local wines at a vineyard, this itinerary is expertly crafted to help you make the most of your visit to Naples.
Day 1: Arrival in Naples.
After settling into your accommodation, start exploring the city’s charming streets and famous landmarks. Stroll through the bustling Piazza del Plebiscito, an expansive square surrounded by historic buildings such as the Royal Palace of Naples and the San Carlo Theatre. Don’t miss the Castel dell’Ovo, a picturesque castle located on a tiny island just off the Naples coast. Take a leisurely walk around the castle, admiring the stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the city skyline.
Day 2: Head to the National Archaeological Museum of Naples
National Archaeological Museum of Naples is considered one of the world’s most important archaeological museums. Spend hours marveling at the extensive collection of ancient art and artifacts, including the renowned Farnese collection and the Pompeii exhibit. The museum’s exhibits provide an insight into the fascinating history of Naples and its surrounding areas. Afterward, take a stroll through the Spaccanapoli, a narrow, winding street that slices through the heart of Naples’ old town. This street is home to a plethora of shops and restaurants, making it the perfect place to sample some local delicacies and do some souvenir shopping.
Day 3-4: Exploring Amalfi
No trip to Naples is complete without exploring the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. Spend the next two days marveling at the stunning scenery, picturesque towns, and crystal-clear waters of this world-renowned destination.
One of the most popular towns on the Amalfi Coast is Positano, a cliffside village that boasts colorful houses and stunning sea views. Stroll through the town’s charming streets and alleys, taking in the sights and sounds of this picturesque location. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, a stunning 13th-century church that features a beautiful dome covered in majolica tiles.
Another town worth visiting is Amalfi, the namesake of the region. This town is home to a stunning cathedral, the Duomo di Amalfi, which features a mix of Baroque and Byzantine architecture. Admire the cathedral’s intricate exterior and interior decorations, including the impressive 13th-century bronze doors.
To explore the Amalfi Coast, you can either drive yourself or use public transport. If you decide to drive, be prepared for narrow roads and steep cliffs. However, renting a car gives you the flexibility to explore the region at your own pace and discover hidden gems along the way. Alternatively, you can take a bus or ferry between the towns, enjoying the stunning coastal views from the water.
Accommodation options on the Amalfi Coast range from luxurious hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts. For a truly unforgettable experience, consider staying in one of the cliffside hotels in Positano or Amalfi, where you can wake up to stunning sea views every morning.
Public transport is a convenient and affordable way to explore the Amalfi Coast from Naples. Here are some options:
- Bus: The Sita bus company operates regular services from Naples to towns along the Amalfi Coast, including Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi. The journey takes around 1-2 hours, depending on your destination. The buses are comfortable and air-conditioned, and the fares are relatively cheap. You can buy tickets at the bus stations or online in advance.
- Train: While there is no direct train service to the Amalfi Coast from Naples, you can take the Circumvesuviana train from Naples to Sorrento, which is a popular gateway to the coast. From Sorrento, you can take a bus or ferry to other towns along the coast.
- Ferry: A ferry is a great way to enjoy the stunning views of the Amalfi Coast from the water. The Alilauro ferry company operates services from Naples to towns such as Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi. The fares are higher than those of the bus, but the experience is worth it. The ferry schedules may be limited during the low season, so be sure to check in advance.
Overall, public transport is a reliable and cost-effective way to explore the Amalfi Coast from Naples. Whether you choose to take a bus, train, or ferry, you’ll be able to enjoy the stunning scenery and rich culture of this world-renowned destination.
Day 5, 6, and 7: Island Hopping to Capri, Procida, and Ischia
The Bay of Naples is adorned with three mesmerizing islands that are perfect for a day trip from Naples. Spend three days discovering the wonders of Capri, Procida, and Ischia, and witness the enchanting beauty of these picturesque destinations.
Capri is the most popular island among the three, renowned for its natural splendor, glamorous nightlife, and upscale boutiques. Take a ferry from Naples and spend the day basking in the island’s azure waters, exquisite beaches, and remarkable landmarks like the Faraglioni Rocks, Gardens of Augustus, and the Blue Grotto. Don’t forget to treat your taste buds with the famous limoncello, a tangy liqueur made from the lemons grown on the island.
Procida, a lesser-known island, is small yet equally mesmerizing. The colorful island boasts picturesque fishing villages, charming beaches, and captivating panoramic views. Take a ferry from Naples to Procida and discover the island’s hidden coves, narrow alleys, and splendid architecture. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Terra Murata, a hilltop fortress that offers captivating vistas of the island and the sea.
Ischia is the largest of the three islands and is famed for its hot springs, spas, and picturesque hamlets. Take a ferry from Naples to Ischia and spend the day unwinding in the thermal waters or exploring the verdant flora and mesmerizing coastline. Be sure to explore the Castello Aragonese, a medieval fortress that offers a stunning panoramic view of the island and the sea.
To get to the islands, you can take a ferry or hydrofoil from Naples. Several companies, including Alilauro, Caremar, and SNAV, operate services to the islands. It is advisable to book tickets beforehand during the high season to avoid long lines and ensure availability. Molo Beverello is a port in Naples, Italy that is used for ferry services to the nearby islands, including Capri, Procida, and Ischia. It is located in the city center, near the Castel dell’Ovo and the Piazza Municipio. Many ferry companies operate from Molo Beverello, including Alilauro, Caremar, and SNAV. The port is easily accessible by public transportation, including the metro and bus lines, and is also within walking distance of many hotels and tourist attractions. If you are planning to take a day trip to any of the nearby islands, Molo Beverello is likely the departure point for your ferry.
Day 8: Pompeii and Herculaneum
Pompeii and Herculaneum are two ancient Roman cities that were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Today, they are popular tourist destinations that offer a glimpse into the daily life of the ancient Romans.
To get to Pompeii and Herculaneum from Naples, you can take the Circumvesuviana train from the Naples central station or the Garibaldi station. The train takes approximately 30-40 minutes to reach Pompeii and 50-60 minutes to reach Herculaneum.
It is possible to visit both sites in a single day, but it requires good time management skills. We recommend starting early in the morning and visiting Pompeii first as it is larger than Herculaneum. You can easily spend 3-4 hours exploring the ruins of Pompeii. Afterward, take the train to Herculaneum and spend another 2-3 hours exploring the ruins.
Alternatively, you can choose to visit only one of the sites, depending on your interests and available time. If you prefer to take a guided tour, there are several options available that provide transportation and a knowledgeable guide.
In terms of transportation within the sites, both Pompeii and Herculaneum are large and require a considerable amount of walking. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing water and sunscreen. There are also audio guides available for rent at both sites that provide detailed information about the ruins.
Overall, visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum is a fascinating experience that should not be missed by history and archaeology enthusiasts. With proper planning and time management, it is possible to explore both sites in a single day.
Day 9 – Local Naples
On the ninth day of your trip, take a break from day trips and explore the local sights and sounds of Naples. Start your day with a visit to Spaccanapoli, a historic street that runs through the heart of the city’s historic center. Wander through the narrow alleys and explore the vibrant markets, shops, and cafés that line the street.
Next, head to the Naples Cathedral, a stunning church that dates back to the 13th century. Admire the intricate Baroque architecture and the beautiful frescoes that adorn the interior.
Afterward, visit the Cappella Sansevero, a chapel known for its stunning Baroque sculptures and artworks. Don’t miss the chance to see the Veiled Christ, a masterpiece sculpture by Giuseppe Sanmartino.
In the evening, head to the lively Piazza Bellini, a popular meeting spot for locals and visitors alike. Grab a drink at one of the outdoor cafés and soak up the atmosphere.
Day 10 – Mount Vesuvius
On the final day of your trip, visit one of the most iconic landmarks in the region, Mount Vesuvius. Located just a short distance from Naples, Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano that famously erupted in AD 79, burying the ancient city of Pompeii in ash and pumice.
To reach the volcano, take a train from Naples to the town of Ercolano, and then take a bus to the Mount Vesuvius National Park. From there, you can hike up to the crater and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Afterward, head back to Naples and spend your final evening enjoying the city’s vibrant nightlife, sampling delicious local cuisine, and reflecting on the many memories you’ve made on your 10-day journey through southern Italy.