|source: flickr CC robertschrader|
During a three week tour of Italy, I spent 6 days based in Naples, and honestly I can understand why it is often overlooked as a tourist destination. The city is very dirty – a lot of uncollected trash clogs the streets, and the air pollution is pretty bad in the centre of the city due to the chaotic traffic flow! I have never seen traffic more chaotic and I have never heard a symphony of car horns on the same scale as Naples! The city has a reputation for corruption and crime, and as such travellers and tourists should be aware of their surroundings at all times and remain street smart.
|source: flickr CC discopalace|
(Naples was the only place I have been scammed in my 7 years of travel! Admittedly when we purchased a brand new laptop from the dodgy man selling it from a cardboard stand; after having haggled him down from 500 Euro to 50; we weren’t sure it was going to turn on! After watching him put the laptop into a case and hand it to us however, we opened the bag to find it full of cheap washing powder! It made for a good story if anything – and I’m extremely glad we didn’t pay 500 Euro!) Here comes the however…
HOWEVER Naples is the best base for day trips to explore Southern Italy, has an amazing night life, is safe despite its reputation, and as the birth place of pizza has the best traditional Italian pizza unlike anything you will find anywhere else in the world! So I would highly recommend spending at least 48 hours in Naples and would spend my time accordingly:
Wake up early and take a day trip to the city of Pompeii. The city of Pompeii is the ancient Roman city which was buried in ash and soot in 79 AD when Mt Vesuvius famously erupted. The volcano eruption completely engulfed the city and killed 20,000 Romans. As the city was completely preserved in detail, today it is an outdoor museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s truly phenomenal to walk through ancient Rome – and the detail is absolutely incredible. Everything appears as it has been frozen in time – jars, tables, artwork, and even people – completely preserved from 79 AD for generations to come. Pompeii is better than anything you will ever see in film or television, and hands down beats any behind the scenes tour you will ever take in Hollywood, mainly because it’s REAL!!!
You can catch the train or bus from Naples to Pompeii for around 3 Euro (40 minute train ride), and entrance to the city will cost around 11 Euro for an adult with concessions for children, school teachers and students.
Once back in Naples spend what’s left of the afternoon taking a seaside stroll. Once busy streets, Via Caracciolo and Via Partenope have recently been transformed into pedestrian promenades, offering breathtaking views out of the Bay of Naples of Mount Vesuvius and the island of Capri.
Make a dinner reservation at a leading Pizzeria. Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo is one of the best in Naples and serves mouth-watering traditional pies.
Wake up early and take a day trip to the Island of Capri. Capri is on the south side of the Gulf of Naples and the island is one of the most famous Italian islands in the world due to its extraordinary natural beauty.
|source: flickr CC Luca Di Ciaccio|
While I hate it when people return from vacation and say “the water was so blue!” (face it – ALL water is blue!!!), the water is so spectacularly blue! The Blue Grotto is one of the main features of the island – a stunning sea cave which is flooded with brilliant blue light. Visitors can pass through the cave in row boats and witness the dazzling effect light from small openings has on the water in this cave! I have never seen a more spectacular sight in my life!
You may wish to stay longer and book accommodation on the island itself, however we found that a day was plenty of time to explore and take in all the location had to offer. Boats operate between Naples and Capri daily from two ports: Molo Beverello and Calata di Massa. You’re looking at about 18 Euros for transportation.
48 hours is now up and you can carry out the rest of your itinerary in Rome, Venice, Florence or maybe even Milan!
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY:
Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure! Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.
Meg has recently launched “Where in the World is Megan Claire?!”, an up and coming travel blog which aims to give you the best tips and advice on travelling, volunteering, living, working and holidaying abroad. She hasn’t been everywhere, but it’s on her list!