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WHAT TO SEE AND VISIT IN NAPLES, TRIPS TO POMPEII AND PROCIDA ISLAND

Naples Vesuvis vulcano

Naples atmosphere will get you from the first moment: bustle of street markets is followed by shopping fever in luxurious high street shops of the best-known brands, spectacular avenues diverge into small hidden streets with restaurants and cafes, and magnificent squares neighbor ancient corners of historical quarters. Naples is the center of it all.

 

 

Naples for a weekend or longer

You can spend a lovely romantic weekend in Naples but if you add other beautiful stops in your itinerary, like islands Capri, Ischia, Procida, or ancient Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius, your trip can easily take a whole week. Naples can also be a starting point on a great trip to Amalfi coast.

The most beautiful sights in Naples can be explored on foot, as everything interesting is located in an old quarter Centro Storico, which belongs to UNESCO Heritage. Historical quarter is followed by spectacular avenue Via Toledo, which ends in dock quarter Santa Lucia. Even more than the historic sights, you'll be amazed by local atmosphere of busy street life, which is full of contrasts...you simply have to be there to understand.

naples centro storico naples centro storico

Naples Centro Storico

 

When and how to travel to Naples

If you want to avoid tourist peak season, higher prices and summer heat, then the best time to visit Naples are spring and autumn months, from May till end of October.

You can get from Capodichino airport to center of Naples – Piazza Garibaldi – by taking bus line ANM or Alibus [45 minutes]. Taxi costs around 25 Euro.

If you want to live in the center of everything, then the best accommodation would be near Via Toledo avenue, for example Salotto Borbonico.

 

 

Local curiosities

Italy is often visited for its amazing Italian cuisine. And where else would you find the best typical Italian food – pizza – than in Naples. Naples is actually the place where pizza comes from...When you're walking through local streets, you can see pizzerias on every corner. Some of them have a sign outside with a pizza man 'Vera pizza Napoletana' which indicates restaurants that make pizzas using traditional recipes. And some restaurants are even proud to have a Michelin star, for example Sorbillo in Centro Storico. You can tell that some restaurants are the real deal right from the first glance, as they have long lines of people waiting outside.

pizza Mozzarella di bufala

Campania region is the biggest producer of mozzarella. If you try and taste the one made from buffalo milk – mozzarella di bufala – you'll find out that something as special and delicious as this isn't available at home, unless you go to a specialized shop or a restaurant of the highest quality.

As everywhere in Italy, even here you can enjoy great coffee in local cafes and delicious Italian gelato. Ice cream here is not placed into cones by a scoop but by a little shovel. Typical cone size costs 3 Euros and you'll get so much ice cream that you just hope the cone will be able to handle it.

 

 

Ten stops on a walk through Naples – what to see and visit

What can be seen and visited in Naples? Check out Google route, download app Maps.me and read about individual stops:

 

1st stop – Pignasecca market

If you start your journey in Montesanto station and head towards Carita square, you'll get to the oldest Naples market – Pignasecca. Farmers loudly offer fresh fish and seafood and also different types of fruit and vegetables. Early mornings here are pretty busy.

 

2nd stop – Piazza del Gesu Nuovo, Chiesa del Gesu Nuovo, Basilica Santa Chiara

Walking past Piazza Carita, you'll get to historical square Piazza del Gesu Nuovo in Centro Stroico. In the evening, the square fills up with young people, cafes and restaurants are full to the roof and if there's 'primera divison', everyone is focused on tv screens and cheers loudly. On the square itself is a baroque column and Jesuit church Chiesa del Gesu Nuovo, and there is also Basilica di Santa Chiara from 14th century nearby.

Pignasecca Naples Piazza del Gesu Nuovo Naples

Pignasecca market, Piazza del Gesu Nuovo

 

3rd stop – Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, Sant Angelo a Nilo, Sansevero chapel

Walking along Via San Biagio dei Librai will get you to Piazza San Domenico Maggiore square with Franciscan church San Lorenzo Maggiore. Red church Sant Angelo a Nilo on a neighboring square Piazzetta del Nilo offers an entrance to catacombs. Near the square is a famous chapel Sansevero, where you can see incredible statue of Jesus Christ. Entry fee is five Euro, you're not allowed to take pictures and there is a long line in front of the entrance.

 

4th stop – Duomo, Chiesa di San Paolo Maggiore

If you walk around Chiesa di San Gregorio Armeno church, you'll get to Via Duomo street, where's Naples cathedral Duomo. On your way back to town, you'll walk on Via dei Tribunali street, which is parallel with Via San Biagio dei Librai street. You'll be walking through the crowds that get denser in front of famous pizzerias Di Matteo and Sorbillo, till you get to basilica San Paolo Maggiore.

Sant Angelo a Nilo Naples naples centro storico

Sant Angelo a Nilo, Centro Storico streets

 

5th stop – Piazza Vincenzo Bellini, Archeological Museum, Dante square

If you continue straight on Via dei Tribunali street, you'll walk out of Centro Storico on Piazza Vincenzo Bellini, where there are foundations of ancient Greek walls. Nearby is famous Archeological Museum, where they keep treasures of ancient Rome.

 

6th stop – Via Toledo, Spanish quarter

You continue from Dante square along main street Via Toledo, which was built by Spanish king Don Pedro de Toledo. Spectacular buildings on Via Toledo contrast with dark narrow streets of Spanish quarters, which is located west from the main street and was originally built as barracks for Spanish soldiers.

Piazza Vincenzo Bellini Naples naples spanish quarter

Piazza Vincenzo Bellini, Sapnish quarter street

 

7th stop – Piazza Municipio, medieval castle Castel Nuovo

You can turn left from Via Toledo to Piazza Municipio, which is quite near a medieval castle Castel Nuovo. This 'New Castle' was built in 1282.

 

8th stop – Galleria Umberto

If you walk back from the castle towards Via Toledo, you can walk past famous Naples shopping gallery Galleria Umberto from 19th century. Marble floors are complimented by fresco paintings and 56-meter-high glass dome.

Castel Nuovo naples Galleria Umberto naples

Castel Nuovo, Galleria Umberto

 

9th stop – Piazza del Plebiscito, Royal Palace, Teatro San Carlo opera house

Via Toledo avenue enters into Santa Lucia quarter. There, you'll find formidable square Piazza del Plebiscito with royal palace Palazzo Reale, with a replica of Roman Pantheon Chiesa di San Francesco di Paola and the oldest Italian opera house Teatro San Carlo.

 

10th stop – Castel dell Ovo

If you walk on the shore, you can get to the oldest castle in the town – Castel dell Ovo. This castle offers beautiful views on the city, across the bay and on Vesuvius mountain.

Piazza del Plebiscito Naples Castel dell Ovo Naples

Piazza del Plebiscito, Castel dell Ovo

 

 

Pompeii

Pompeii is an exceptional site due to the fact that it's so well preserved. The town was hit by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in year 79, but it wasn't destroyed by lava or an earthquake, instead it was buried by seven meters of ash and pumice. Because of that, Pompeii was hidden and preserved for centuries. The eruption was so strong, that Mount Vesuvius shrank from original three kilometers to 1281 meters.

Pompeii Via del Vesuvio Pompeii Arco di Caligola

Via del Vesuvio, Arco di Caligola

You can easily get to Pompeii on a train Circumvesuviana, which departs from Naples, for example from Piazza Garibaldi [2,8 Euro, 50 min] and ends in Sorrento [30 minutes from Sorrento]. In this case, you'll get out of the train straight to an entrance to Pompeii ruins near Porta Marina gate. You can also travel to Pompeii on a regional connection Trenitalia, for example from Montesanto station, however in this case you'll get out on a Pompeii station which is approximately kilometer and a half from the entrance to Pompeii ruins.

Pompeii Via Stabiana Pompeii Foro Jupiter temple

Via Stabiana, Foro with Jupiter temple

Porta Marina used to be one of seven town gates and connected the town with docks. Today, you won't be able to see the docks, as the eruption moved the shore few kilometers away. After entering the complex [13 Euro] it feels like you're two thousand years back in past. You walk through wide avenues lined with Roman buildings, some of which still have ceilings, mosaic pavements or colorful frescos on the walls. You can continue through Roman forum, theater, athletic stadium or amphitheater. You can stop and admire former beauty of temples and villas, see the bathhouse or peek into a public house.

Pompeii Terme Stabiane Pompeii Casa dei Vettii

Terme Stabiane, Casa dei Vettii

Whoever has a bit more time, can also visit Mount Vesuvius, which is still an active volcano. Local hotels offer half day trips there [17 Euro] or you can go on your own with a hired car. You can get to Mount Vesuvius from Naples – Piazza Garibaldi by EAV bus.

 

 

Procida Island

Procida island is the smallest island in Naples bay. It is also the most pictorial one and it's no surprise that is highly popular with filmmakers – talented mister Ripley could tell you all about it.

Procida Marina Corricella Procida Marina Corricela

Marina Corricella

Procida island can be easily reached by a boat from Naples and is an ideal place for 1-day trip. You can get on a boat in Beverello which is located right beside medieval castle Castel Nuovo and it takes around 40 minutes to reach the island [return ticket for 24 Euro, 8:40 there, 14:55 back].

Procida Casalle Vascello Procida

Casalle Vascello, Procida streets

The minute you get to Procida island, you'll be welcomed by a beautiful shore lined with colorful houses. Even though you can immediately feel the Italian atmosphere, the most beautiful part of Procida is on the other side of the island. If you walk along the coast to Santa Maria della Pietta church, turn left and walk uphill on Via Vittorio Emanuele street, you'll get to a small square Piazza dei Martiri. There is a beautiful view from here on the castle and on Marina Corricella and if you notice a sign saying Casalle Vascello, you'll be able to explore hidden corners of Procida island.

When you're done with exploring the castle, you can walk down to Corricella sea front and after a delicious lunch you can also go for swim on a local beach Spiaggia Chiaia, which is not far from here.

 

 

 

Looking for flights to Naples? Try flight tickets Kiwi.com.

 

Do you want to know What to see and visit in Amalfi coast?

Do you want to know What to see and visit in Rome?

 

 

 

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