One may find it difficult to ever leave a city as vivid and alive as Naples. But the truth is, there is a wealth of beauty and culture to be experienced just beyond the city, which makes Naples an excellent base for exploring other areas of Campania. Many hotels in Naples will make arrangements for guests to visit the surrounding areas, so here are five ideas for day trips from Naples to get you started.
Possibly the most obvious and most popular day trip from Naples, Pompeii is also a must-see. The ruins have been so well-preserved that it’s easy to get an idea of how residents lived before that fateful eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Pompeii is a quick and easy train trip from the Naples city center via the Napoli-Sorrento line of Circumvesuviana.
If excavations aren’t your thing, stay on the Circumvesuviana until it reaches the end of the line in Sorrento. The seaside, hilltop town is a popular stop for cruise ships and tourists on their way to the Amalfi Coast. It’s worth spending an afternoon wandering the shop-lined streets and sampling as much of the famous Limoncello as possible.
The main attraction here is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Palace of Caserta. Dubbed “the Versailles of Italy”, the royal palace dates back to the 18th century, covers 11 acres, and has more than 1,200 rooms. Another grandiose development in Caserta is the Complesso Monumentale Belvedere di San Leucio. Originally built as a hunting lodge, Ferdinand IV began building upon it in 1773 to include a spinning mill dedicated to the manufacture of silk. Today, visitors can view the royal apartments and spend time at the on-site Silk Museum, or enjoy the terrace and the stunning views of the Bay of Naples.
This port city is probably best known as Sophia Loren’s hometown but that’s not all there is to it. Pozzuoli has historic and religious significance, playing host to the likes of St. Paul before he stood trial in Rome, and its amphitheater serving as the site of the martyrdom of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples. Even before those events, the area was a Greek colony, ruins of which still exists today as part of Cuma Archaeological Park. Pozzuoli is still a working port city, its numerous seafood restaurants supplied by the local fishermen and their bountiful hauls.
Islands in the Bay of Naples
Ferries run regularly from Naples to the islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida. Capri is the most popular of the three, and it has served as a vacation retreat since Ancient Roman times. Modern island hoppers will enjoy the high-end shopping, the endless natural beauty, and the outdoor activities. Ischia is the largest of the islands and is known as a geological wonderland. The thermal spas, mud baths, and hot springs are popular attractions, and so are the island’s wineries, castles, and gardens. Lastly, if an island escape is just what you need from the beautiful chaos that is Naples, Procida is the place to go. Even during peak travel season, Procida is the least-visited island in the Bay of Naples.