When you think about a vacation or a trip in Italy, the locations that first come to your mind are probably the so-called cities of art: Rome, Venice and Florence. If you love fashion and a more international urban culture, you will probably choose Milan. If you are looking for a countryside retirement, Tuscany or Puglia will be your favorite destinations. If you love the sea, you’ll have Sicily or Sardinia, while if you prefer the mountains all the Italian Alpine chain is at your disposal.
With all these options – and many others – on the table, it is possible to forget or purposely avoid many destinations of the Italian peninsula that would deserve much more attention. Among the biggest cities of Italy, for example, Naples is another one to keep an eye on. First of all because, during the last decade it’s one the Italian destinations that improved the most, in terms of reception facilities, security, public transport and infrastructures.
And secondarily because it can boast a number of tourists’ attractions that, though they’re not comparable to Rome or Florence, can fulfill any kind of expectation. Do you want to know what are the best things to do in Naples and the immediate surroundings? If you don’t know how to move in the Naples area, you can get many information just by searching on the Internet, for example, take a look at this page. But if you don’t have the time to do that, here are some smart tips.
- Take a tour to the Amalfi Coast. Amalfi is a small town in the province of Salerno, 60 kilometers South-West of Naples. Its coast – and of course its sea as well – is one of the most renowned in Italy. From 1997, it is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Visit the Islands. Procida, Ischia and obviously Capri, three authentic treasures, bathed by the Gulf of Naples’ sea. The main peculiarity of these three islands is represented by their historic buildings’ architectural styles, each one different from the other two and from the mainland.
- Visit the ancient Roman ruins of Ercolano and – mostly – Pompeii. The two Roman towns have been preserved from the ravages of time, because they have been fully covered by solidified lava. This happened in 79 AD, because of a powerful eruption of the volcano Vesuvius, that destroyed the two cities (along with Oplontis and Stabia). The archaeological sites are constantly open to the public, and reaching them is pretty easy, since they take just 20 (Ercolano) and 45 (Pompeii) minutes by car from Naples to get there.
- Take a brief tour on the funicular. Neapolitans are very proud of their four funicular lines, to the point that they have memorialized them in songs, poems, novels and films. The first line has been inaugurated in 1889, the last one in in 1931. All the funiculars are designed to link the downhill part of Naples with the uphill districts, notably Vomero, Chiaia and Posillipo.
- Enjoy the local food on the historic district. Here, through narrow alleys and ancient buildings, you can find the authentic traditional Neapolitan food. Not only the classic pizza, but also other specialties, both sweet and savory. An advice? Try the omelet pasta, a thick sauce of pasta, strongly garnished with white sauce, vegetables (mostly green peas) and meat, and finally fried.
- Visit the Maschio Angioino. This Medieval castle located on the sea’s shore is one of the most characteristic monuments of Naples. Among the other features, it hosts the Municipal Museum and the Institute for the History of Italian Risorgimento.