Naples is one of those destinations that will surely delight your senses. It is busy, colourful, bustling, and chaotic. The way of life isn’t one you’d describe as laidback because there is activity everywhere. There are many cultural sights and attractions to explore, because history and culture is woven into the city’s DNA. And yes, the heady, enticing aromas of pizzas and other Neapolitan staples will whet your appetite and start your love affair with this fascinating Italian port city.
It is difficult to cover everything Naples has to offer in a few days so we came up with a guide that will let you experience its highlights. The itinerary also includes the best of Sorrento, Amalfi, Capri, Anacapri, Positano, and Ravello.
Day One – Naples City Centre
We suggest you time your flight so that you arrive in Naples early on Friday so you can see more of the city.
Your first activity will be to take a leisurely stroll around the historic centre. The historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is split into two by Via San Biagio dei Librai. Check out the collection of heritage buildings and churches within centro historico.
Next, head to the Cathedral of Naples, the church where you’ll find the flask containing the blood of San Gennaro, the city’s patron saint. The impressive 14th century Gothic church the seat of the Archbishop of Naples.
After visiting the Duomo, you can explore Napoli Sotterranea or the Naples Underground. The ancient infrastructure, set 40m below Naples’ streets, included aqueducts, passageways, cisterns, Roman forums, and Roman markets.
For lunch, you will have what the city is famous for – pizza. Head to Via Cesare Sersale for Da Michele, a famous pizzeria that was featured on the film “Eat, Pray, Love.” You’ll find it on Via Cesare Sersale. It is really popular so do not expect to get seated in under 30 minutes.
After your hearty lunch, it is time to explore Greco-Roman art at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale. Included in museum’s collection are art and artefacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum like frescoes, mosaics, and sculptures.
Your next stop is the Palazzo Zevalos Stigliano on Via Toledo. The 17th century palace, done in Baroque architectural style, houses a fine collection of artworks, among them The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula, believed to be Caravaggio’s last work.
While you’re on Via Toledo, go to Galleria Umberto I to try the sfogliatelle at La Sfogliatella Mary. People queue up for their oven-fresh sfogliatelle. The flaky clam-shaped pastries – stuffed with cinnamon and ricotta – are amazing.
Continue exploring Via Toledo, a famous shopping street in Naples. Take in the lively atmosphere and browse through the shops, particularly the ones in Galleria Umberto I. You simply can’t leave Naples without checking out the fabulous arcade.
Next, see Piazza del Plebiscito, a large public square which is also the city’s most popular gathering spot. The square is surrounded by the Palazzo Salerno, Royal Palace, Prefecture Palace, and the Church of San Franceso di Paola. The sprawling square has hosted concerts featuring global artists like Maroon 5, Elton John, and Bruce Springsteen.
In the afternoon, check out Castel Nuovo. The medieval castle is located just in front of the city hall in the city centre. The imposing 13th century structure – considered a landmark attraction in Naples – is a sight to behold at sunset.
End your first day in Naples by exploring Piazza Bellini, a lively public square boasting affordable bars and restaurants. For your evening meal, try spaghettli alle vongole, a classic Neapolitan dish that’s a huge favourite throughout the Campania region.
The Naples City Tour is perfect for travellers who are looking for the perfect introduction to Naples’ highlights. This small group tour will take you to 8 attractions like the Duomo, Plebiscite Square, Royal Palace, and Castel Nuovo. The services of a guide and hotel pickup and drop off are included in the tour package.
Day 2 – Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Mount Vesuvius
No trip to Naples is every complete without visiting ancient Roman cities. First on your list to visit is Pompeii, an ancient Roman town that was buried under thick layers of lava and ash during Mt. Vesuvius’ eruption 2,000 years ago. Visiting Pompeii will be a surreal experience for you, as it’s one of the most perfectly preserved ancient town on the planet.
Also worth a visit is Herculaneum, another Roman town that did not escape the volcano’s wrath. Visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum on a day trip from Naples will give you a glimpse of how life was like in Ancient Rome before the catastrophic Vesuvius eruption buried several Roman cities and caused extensive damage in Campania.
If you can, take the opportunity to join a tour that will take you all the way to the top of Mount Vesuvius to enjoy uninterrupted views of the Bay of Naples.
On the Full Day Pompeii & Vesuvius Tour, you will spend 8 hours exploring the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii and ascend 1000 metres above the ground to reach the crater of Mt. Vesuvius. The tour is inclusive of the services of a professional guide and hotel pickup and drop off. Pizza, drinks, and lunch are also provided.
Day 3 – Sorrento, Capri, and Anacapri
On your 3rd day in Naples, you will travel early to Sorrento, a lovely town that is sandwiched between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Sorrento, also called the ‘Land of the Sirens,” provides spectacular views of the Bay of Naples, Capri Island It makes for a great base for exploring Amalfi Coast and many tourists would opt to spend a few hours or even a day in Sorrento to take advantage of the stunning views and beaches, see its lemon and olive groves, explore its well-preserved old quarter, and shop for souvenirs. And don’t forget to taste limoncello, Sorrento’s famous lemon-flavoured yellow liqueur.
From Sorrento, you can also take a short ferry ride to Capri. The Isle of Capri is in all angles a luxurious town and is dotted with luxury dining, shopping, and accommodation options. Its main attraction is the Blue Grotto and you’ll have to take a boat to see the sea cave. After Capri, you can take a bus to Anacapri, a town that known for its ruggedly beautiful terrain and peaceful hiking trails.
Departing daily from Sorrento, the Capri & Anacapri with Blue Grotto Tour will take you on a scenic excursion to the island of Capri to see the towns of Capri and Anacapri as well as the famous Blue Grotto. The tour is inclusive of bus and boat transfers, lunch, hotel pickup and drop off, and the services of a local guide.
Day 4 – Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello
Finally, it is time for your scenic yet terrifying coastal trip along the Amalfi Coast Road to enjoy awe-inspiring views. You certainly can’t get enough of the coastal towns of Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. In Positano, you will be met by colourful houses and villas that are built on different levels of a cliff, clinging to the precipitous terrain.
Your next stop is Amalfi, a town drenched in Southern Italian charm and teeming with history and culture. Amalfi, just like Positano, attracts large tourist crowds but it really is worth a stop. Attractions of great historical and artistic significance are Cloister of Paradise, Duomo di Sant’Andrea, and the Piazza del Duomo. Allot some time to walk down the cobbled streets of Amalfi and pop into the cafes and shops near the seaside square.
Another town you should visit while touring the Amalfi Coast is Ravello, perched on a mountain, approximately 350 metres above sea level, offering spectacular vistas. Home to exquisite garden estates, Ravello is where you’ll find Villa Rufolo, the inspiration for Parsifal, Richard Wagner’s last opera. The town also takes pride in the Duomo di Ravello, built in the 11th century and easily the most beautiful cathedral in the Amalfi Coast.
The Full Day Amalfi Scenic Tour is the ultimate tour for travellers looking to experience the highlights of the Amalfi Coast. Departing from Sorrento, the tour includes stops at the picturesque coastal towns of Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. Transportation to and from Sorrento and lunch are provided during the guided day tour.