Naples is a city on the Bay of Naples on the Tyrrhenian
Sea, which is in the Mediterranean on the west coast of Italy. The
city has an urban population of more than 3 million. In southern
Italy and Naples, the language spoken is a dialect of Italian known as
Neapolitan. Naples' claims to fame are the invention of pizza and
neapolitan ice cream. It is the nearest city to the archeological
site of Pompeii. Naples has long been known as one of the more
dangerous and also more authentic areas of Italy. In recent years
effort has been spent on modernization and tourism. The 2013 banning
of cars along the waterfront just south of the ferry terminal is a prime
The summer months of June through September experience
average highs of 85 F (29 C) and average lows of 60 F (16 C). Average highs in winter are just under 50 F (10 C) while average lows are
around 40 F (4 C). The rainy season extends from October to
February. The best time to visit Naples for good weather is July.
Naples International Airport (Aeroporto Internazionale de
Napoli) is only about 10 minutes by cab from the Napoli Centrale train
station, which connects to other Italian cities such as Rome.
Underneath Napoli Centrale is the regional Garibaldi station which takes
passengers to Pompeii. From Napoli Centrale it's less than 15
minutes by cab to the ferry port and cruise ship terminal at Molo
Beverello, where you can visit many historical buildings on a walking tour
or catch the ferries to Capri or Ischia.
Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the background
Attractions in Naples:
Things to see and do:
The best place to start a tour of Naples is at the
Naples Port of Moto Beverello, which is where the ferries and the
cruise ships dock. Across the street from the ferries is the New
Castle (Museo Civico di Castel Nuovo) and beside it is the New Town
Hall (Piazza Municipio). From there it's a couple blocks to Galleria Umberto I,
and the Teatro di San
Carlo, the oldest opera house in Italy. The opera is
directly adjacent to the Royal Palace of Naples (Palazzo Reale), which
faces the Piazza del Plebiscito. At the other side of the plaza
is the Basilica Reale San Francesco di Paola. For an
organized tour, try the Naples
City Walking Tour
Egg Castle (Castel dell'Ovo) - on the
waterfront south of the historic area.
Piazza Garibaldi, Naples
Things to see and do near Naples:
Visit Pompeii - ride the Circumvesuvia train from the Garibaldi station, adjoining the Napoli Centrale.
Turn right when you walk off the train from Naples - there is no sign.
It takes less than an hour to get there. The stop is not well
marked, but almost everyone gets off at this stop, so follow the
crowds. The entrance to Pompeii isn't well marked either, but
it's only a few minutes of walking from the station.
Take a half day excursion to the extinct volcano of Mount
Vesuvius, which erupted to bury Pompeii in 79 AD.
Take a day trip to Isla Procida, a small island
in the Bay of Naples that is easily accessed from the ferry docks.
Take a day trip to Ischia. Ischia is in the Bay
of Naples. It is larger than Capri and is less inundated with
tourists, which makes it a great option. The largest city on
Ischia is also called Ischia. Visit the Castle, Castello
Aragonese, which was built in the 1400s and dominates the
landscape. There are also thermal springs and great beaches on
the island. Catch a ferry to Ischia at the Naples Port at Molo
which is where you also catch the ferry to Capri.
Travel to the coastal town of Ercolano, to explore the ruins of Herculaneum.
Street vendors in the Piazza Garibaldi, Naples
Naples with Tim Anderson
We were up too early for our free breakfast again in the morning in our
hotel in Florence. Over to the train station for our regular cafe lattes and the 3 hour ride to Naples.
Naples was crazy, but fun. We stayed at the UNA Hotel Napoli on the Piazza Garibaldi across from the train station.
This was a lovely room, our best on the trip, with a full bath and marble tile.
The room had wide screen TV and fancy remote controlling of all
lights from the bed. There was a view of the piazza. When you opened the windows, the sounds of Napoli came blasting through.
has cars coming in from 5 directions in a complicated traffic circle with no standard rules about where people or cars should be.
life in your hands and cross wherever you feel you might survive. The horn honking is continuous; indicating that either the driver politely
wants you to know they are there or impolitely wants you to get out of the way.
Add a few sirens and encapsulate this in a ring of street
vendors and you have the constant din of Napoli. Lots of fun.
Two way street for chariots, Pompeii
We headed on foot to the Circumvesuvia train from the Garibaldi station, adjoining the Napoli Centrale station.
The Circumvesuvia is a small
train full of graffiti and full of passengers heading to Pompeii. When you arrive at Pompeii, there are no directions and the throng of visitors
humorously comes to a stop as people start to pull out maps trying to figure out where to go.
We passed them and gambled to the right, which
turned out to be correct. The site is quite amazing, not only for its ruins but for its size.
We used the Rick Steves podcast map, which was great. We also had the podcast
audio but unfortunately I'm not a certified iPod operator and the battery was dead, so we missed the audio accompaniment by Rick.
not a bad thing. We enjoyed following the map for three hours.
A very pleasant day and we both agreed that city, the ruins and the hotel all received an unexpectedly much higher rating.