Best Day Trips from Naples, Italy
If you’re looking for a slightly off-the-beaten-track day trip from Naples, then consider visiting the lovely island of Procida. Procida is the smallest of the three islands in the bay of Naples, and the least-visited by a large margin, but it’s so gorgeous that it surely can’t be long until it hits the tourism big-time.
Procida’s total area is less than 2 square miles so it’s a perfect place to explore on foot. Start at the Marina Grande, where your ferry from Naples will dock; most carry on to Ischia, just 20 minutes further on. Marina Grande is pretty, but the best of Procida is yet to come.
Walk along the waterfront and then head over the hill at the island’s narrowest point to reach Marina di Corricella and the medieval citadel. On the way up to the castle, look over the wall and you’ll see one of the most beautiful views in Europe. The curving bay is lined with fishermen’s houses, painted in a rainbow of pastel colors.
The sea glitters, and brightly-colored boats bob in the harbor, ready to go back out to sea again – Procida is still very much a working island.
If you can tear yourself away from that view, you’ll find there are lots of other things to do in Procida. Exploring the narrow streets is a feast for the eyes, while the medieval citadel (a fortified village) at the island’s highest point is imposing and intriguing. You can also enjoy time on one of the many beaches on Procida.
By Helen of Helen on her Holidays.
For many people, the Herculaneum Archeological site is more interesting than visit Pompeii ruins. The Roman city of Herculaneum, actual Ercolano, was at the foot of the Volcano Vesuvius that erupted in the 79 AD.
The lava covered the whole territory for 1700 years, creating an airtight seal that has given us a well-preserved building. Inside those structures have been found frescos and mosaics that narrate incredible stories from the past.
Herculaneum is a World Heritage Site by Unesco, together with the Archeological areas of Pompeii and Oplonti. For many, the ruins of Herculaneum are worth a visit more than Pompeii. This is because in Herculaneum you can get more in deep in the history of the ancient Roman Empire. But not only that. From the ruins, you can hike the active Volcano Vesuvius, for an amazing experience.
Another attraction to visit near Herculaneum Ruins is the museum dedicated to the eruption and the Vesuvius. The MAV is the Virtual Archeological Museum, with an interactive area and a 3D video on the eruption that changed the morphology of the area.
Despite Pompeii is a more touristic site, recently Herculaneum has attracted travelers from everywhere and is becoming a popular spot near Naples. This is because in Herculaneum you can get a clear idea of how ancient Romans lived, religious cults, standing houses of rich families, poor spots and common spaces.
You can reach Herculaneum from Naples by Train. From the main station of Naples, Piazza Garibaldi, taking the Vesuviana a Train going through the surrounding towns, you can reach Ercolano Scavi in about 20 minutes.
By Alessia & Toti of Italian Trip Abroad.
Sitting at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, the ruins of Pompeii is one of the most visited ruins in Italy, receiving over 2.5 million visitors annually. This amazing UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-visit if you want to learn more about the history of Italy.
Pompeii was one of the many cities that were completely destroyed and covered in vulcano ashes in 79 CE due to a violet eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The circustances of the event, preserved the city of Pompeii in a unique way.
Not only buildings, but also the colorful frescos on the walls, are completely preserves. Walking around the city is like walking back in time. While some construction are very damaged, others are almost intact. Villa of the Mysteries is one of the examples, and definitely one of the highlights of your visit. Walking inside this villa, you will find well decorated walls, including one of the biggest frescos in Pompeii, depecting in vibrant colors, what is believed to be the initiation of a woman into the Dionysian Mysteries, a mystery cult, hence the name of the villa.
Among other preserve archeological findings in Pompeii, are its own habitants. As the eruption caught some of its citzens while sleeping, and covered their bodies in layers of fine ashes, that calcified over the centuries, forming a kind of shell around their bodies.
Are you thinking of adding a bit of adventure to your trip? Then going to the crater of Mount Vesuvius is the activity for you! Even though this is an active volcano and it’s among the most dangerous in the world, going to the summit is perfectly safe.
If there’s any sign of volcanic activity, the National Park where the mount is located gets closed, so there’s no risk.
The only way to get there is by car or bus (don’t even think of climbing from the foot of the mountain –you’ll end up walking in the car road, which is really dangerous and boring). The parking is at about 1000 meters of altitude.
Then you walk for about 2 km, with a bit over 220 meters of elevation gain. The path is clearly marked, and it’s not steep, so even if you’re not too fit, you can get give it a try.
Once you get to the crater, you can do half a loop around it. Even though the volcano is active, you don’t see lava, only a big hole with a bit of steam going out, which means you don’t need any technical equipment.
From the top, the views of the Bay of Naples are stunning, and you get to understand the devastation of Pompeii much better visiting Vesuvius first.
When going up, do remember you’re in a mountain (regardless of how touristy it looks), so wear layers in case the temperature changes and bring water with you.
By Coni of Experiencing the Globe.
The beautiful city of Sorrento, Italy, located on the Amalfi Coast, is an easy day trip from Naples. There are several ways to arrive from Naples which is less than 50 km from Sorrento. A ferry is a great option because you get some beautiful views of the Italian Coast as you travel. The train is another viable option.
Take a hike to the Bagni della Regina Giovanna, and if it’s hot, take a dip in the water before climbing around the ruins of the old castle. If you like to walk and want to get outdoors, this is a must-do.
If you love churches, head to one of the most rustic and quaint ones, the Chioareo di San Francesco. Many weddings are held there so you might be lucky and see one.
One of the most unique and beautiful day trips from Naples is the island of Capri, located in the Gulf of Naples off the tip of the Sorrentine peninsula. The only way to get to the island is by private boat or by ferry boat from Naples, Sorrento, and in the summer from Positano, Salerno, and Ischia, Capri’s island neighbor. The ferries run throughout the day and arrive loaded with day-tripping tourists.
Positano is only a short train ride and bus transfer from Naples. The train ride is ~1 hour and the bus ride along the Amalfi Highway takes roughly another hour. Positano is one of the thirteen cities that comprise the Amalfi Coast, and it is arguably one of the most beautiful cities.
With a day in Positano there are a lot of sites to see so if, at all possible, you may want to book a hotel for a night. However, with only one day, visiting one of Positano’s world-renowned beaches is a must. Fornillo is the more trafficked beach and Arienzo, while a bit more challenging to get to is the most tranquil.
In addition to the beautiful beaches in Positano, there is a hiking trail named the Path of the Gods. If you do not mind sweating a little bit the hike is well worth it to overlook Positano and the Tyrrhenian Sea. If you are not interested in hiking, there is a cute shopping area with glass, clothing, and knick-knack shops; as well as restaurants and gelaterias that you can walk around and grab snacks throughout your day.
The Amalfi Coast is known for lemons so you should definitely try some limoncello or lemon gelato while you are visiting. On your way back to Naples a ferry from Positano to Sorrento is a great option to see the beautiful Amalfi Coast from another angle.
By Allie of WOC Travel.
Italy is not only full of archaeological treasures from the ancient Roman Empire. There are some sites, like Paestum, that date back even further and were built by the Greeks!
The original Greek name for Paestum was Poseidonia, after the god of the seas. Long before the Roman Empire was founded, Greek colonists crossed the sea to colonize this part of Italy. The main buildings of the city that survive today include the outer stone wall, an amphitheater, and three Doric temples dedicated to the gods Athena, Hera, and Neptune.
All of these structures are remarkably well preserved, considering that they have been standing for about 2,500 years! The ancient city has been turned into an archeological park and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There’s a lot to see here, including an on-site museum with some world-class exhibits, so allow yourself a few hours to take it all in. Inside the museum, don’t miss the fresco of a naked man executing an acrobatic dive into a pool of water.
Trains between Napoli Centrale station to Paestum are fairly frequent. Regionale trains offer the best value, taking about 1 hour and 15 minutes and costing 6.50 euros each way. The Intercity trains cost almost twice as much and don’t save you much time.
Eating options around Paestum are pretty limited, so you may want to bring takeout from one of the many great restaurants in Naples.
By Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan.