Naples, Italy: Underrated Big City

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Naples is a beautiful city, located close to the base of Mount Vesuvius, the still active Volcano that is famous for obliterating Pompeii. Naples is also one of the oldest and largest cities in Europe, commonly known in Italy as the Grande Dame. It’s a stunning place where modern urban life and historical architecture collide on every street that you find. Of course, Naples is perhaps best known internationally for Naples pizza, but there’s so much more to this incredible place. However, before we explore some of the must-see sights and things to do, let’s first think about getting to Naples.

Getting To Naples


Naples airport is just 5km from the main city, however, unfortunately, the metro line doesn’t extend to the airport itself. As such, tourists have a choice between the bus, a taxi and a hire car. If you opt for the bus, you’ll find a small station just outside the airport. There, you’ll be able to catch a ride into the centre of the city. However, it’s worth pointing out that busses can appear intermittently and if you have unlucky timing, you might be waiting for a while for one to appear.


The alternate choice would be to arrange private transport which can be found for prices between thirty and fifty euros. It depends on the size of car you need and how many people are travelling. Naples airport transfers via a private car are fantastic because they can drop you off right outside your hotel.


Of course, if you’re travelling outside of Naples, you’ll be pleased to hear that these services can take you beyond Naples, with Naples airport to Sorrento transfers readily available as well as rides to Pompeii and Amalfi.


Once you have found your way to your hotel from the Airport, you might be feeling a little peckish, and that means one thing: it’s time for pizza!


Discover The Birthplace Of Pizza


Yes, that’s right, Naples invented Pizza, and you’ll find there’s plenty of places to choose from where pizza is at the top of the menu in Naples. You can even discover some classic restaurants that use wood-fired ovens to took the pizza to perfection! Whether you’re a fan of plain tomato and cheese or a mixture of other delicious delicacies, we promise, you’ve never had pizza quite like this before, and that’s the truth.


If you’re looking for the most famous pizzeria in Naples, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is the place to be. It’s actually been featured in a few well-received Hollywood movies so you can certainly expect to wait in line here. On the plus side, the pizza is only six euros, so it’s not going to eat into your spending budget.


Before You Visit Pompeii…


You probably think that Pompeii is one of the major reasons to visit Naples, and you’d be right, but you shouldn’t forget about Herculaneum. This small town is an impressive archaeological site, and many historians argue it’s far better preserved compared to it’s more popular sister town. If you’re planning on taking a taxi to visit Pompeii, be sure to ask about Herculaneum. You might find that you can take in both as part of one journey, cutting your time and your spend in half.


Be warned that many people find Herculaneum is a true testament to what the powers of nature can do and the threat that they impose on us all. Ask around Naples, and you’ll find that many locals do fear that they will one day face the wrath of Vesuvius once more.


Live Like A Local


You’ll find that there are plenty of recommendations online for places to eat in Naples, but most are intent on sending you to expensive restaurants that aren’t even owned by local Italians. The exceptions to this rule are Mimi’s and La Stanza del Gusto. Both are local restaurants popular with the people of Naples, not just the tourists or the critics. It’s here that you’ll find simple yet delicious dishes including the fish of the day. Have you ever had pasta served with oysters? You will here, and we bet you love it.


The other big benefit of eating in locally owned and run restaurants are the staff. They’ll happily talk with you all day, sharing some of the secrets of Naples and places to visit that you won’t find in any tourist guides.


Visit The Fontanelle Cemetery


Speaking of which, you may want to take a trip to the Fontanelle Cemetery. It’s a rather eerie place where the remains of unknown dead people are taken care of. In return, people bring these skull and bones gifts, asking for favours and their wishes to be granted. It’s an odd place and one that stands out as a unique local in Naples that you shouldn’t avoid.


Explore Outside Of The City


There are a few places around the outside of Naples that must be seen to be believed. One example of a place like this would be Capri. Capri is a beautiful little island dotted with multicoloured houses and buildings that give it a truly unique aesthetic. You’ll also find a beautiful grotto here with beautiful blue waters that just dare you to take a dip. If you want a journey that will take you away from the famous hustle and bustle of Naples this is the place to start. But it definitely won’t be the end of your journey.

After exploring Capri, you can then head to Sorrento. Remember, we mentioned there is Naples airport to Sorrento travel options. Well, you’ll find the town just on the other side of Vesuvius, the infamous location where it’s told Odysseus was lured to be sirens. Possanto clings to the cliff face and travelling to the top of the town will give you a breathtaking view of the bright blue bay. Of course, if you head towards the line where the ocean laps gently against the sand, you’ll find a golden slice of a paradise, perfect for a bathe in the sun.


To get back to Naples, you’re looking at an hour and a half long ferry ride or a slightly terrifying journey along winding roads across the side of the mountain. But regardless, it’s certainly worth taking the trip to this mystical location, encased in legend.


Make A Few New Friends


If you’re travelling alone to Naples, you might be on the market for some new friends and the city won’t disappoint…if you know where to look. The first trick is knowing when to head out on the town. Unlike some locations, the parties in Naples don’t start until around 10pm. It’s at this time that you can head to Piazza Bellini and see various people spilling out of the bars and clubs and of course back into them. Do they head home immediately? Of course not, they hang around in the Piazza for hours. Don’t forget in Italy, a Piazza is a great place to socialise and enjoy the company of others. You won’t be able to resist making a few new friends if you head here around this time.


Take A Trip Down To The Harbor


You can finish off any exploration of Naples with a trip down to the harbour. If you think there’s nothing to see or do here, you are completely mistaken. You’ll find incredible views across the bay, and if you walk along the harbour, there are great little cafes and ice cream shops to visit. It’s a lively place where you’ll once again find it impossible to resist meeting a new face or two.


We hope you find this guide helpful when you book your own trip to Naples and don’t miss out some of the incredible places to visit.


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About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.