What to do in Naples!!!!!
Coordinated Chaos is how to describe Naples. Most never really expect to fall in love with Naples – but that’s what happens to most who visit this chaotic city. Whether you are visiting for one day or a few, here’s our list of our favorite things to do in Naples:
1. Eat pizza!! you must eat pizza in Naples. It may sound weird that the first thing to do or see in a city is actually something to eat, but this is, after all, the birthplace of pizza and the locals take their signature dish very seriously. Make sure you go to a pizzeria that’s serving “pizza vera napoletana,” true Neapolitan pizza, and you’ll be good to go. Wherever you go, savor the experience, and know that you may very well be spoiled for pizza for the rest of your life.
2. Wander Aimlessly in the Historic Center
The best way to enjoy the historic center of Naples is to wander without a plan. The storico antico is at once ancient and modern – the street plan is older than the hills and the buildings have contained shops and apartments for centuries. But unlike some kind of preserved museum piece, the old center is very much alive. What’s spilling out of those shops may have changed over the last several hundred years, but the fact that it’s a storefront hasn’t. It’s a densely populated area and the locals don’t slow down for tourists. It’s frenetic, it’s not advisable to wander alone at night, and there are parts of even the small historic center you probably don’t want to visit without a guide. But this is easily one of the most exciting ways I can think of to see history as a living thing. (Plus, these streets are eye-candy for photographers.)
3. Take a Day-Trip to Pompeii & Herculaneum
Many people who choose to spend a night in Naples do so only because it’s a great base from which to explore two of Italy’s most popular tourist sights – the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Either combined into one long day-trip or split into two, this look into ancient Roman life is unforgettable and well worth the effort it takes to get there and back. Pompeii is the more famous of the two archaeological sites, although some say Herculaneum is the more interesting one due to its smaller size and the fact that more of the artifacts remain in situ. But even if you only make it to Pompeii, you’ll still get a feel for what the city looked like. The important thing is that you see both in order to put the puzzle together. And if you want help with the puzzle, there are great guided tours of Pompeii & Herculaneum that you can book from Naples or before you leave home.
5. Eat Sfogliatelle
Yes, another food thing is making an appearance on this, but any good meal has to include something sweet, so we can’t make this list without talking about Naples’ signature sweet pastry, the sfogliatella. It’s a study in contradictions – light layers of flaky pastry dough on the outside hide a dense filling of sweetened ricotta cheese on the inside. You’ll usually find two varieties – called riccia and frolla The former has the flaky exterior (and is more difficult to make), the latter has a smooth outer crust (and is no less delicious). They’re often eaten for breakfast, but enjoy them as a snack any time of the day.
6. Tour Naples Underground
If you’re reading the words “Naples” and “underground” and thinking I’m referring to the city’s “seedy underbelly,” then think again. We are talking about the area literally underneath your feet as you’re walking around the historic center. Rome isn’t the only city that’s a honeycomb of ruins below street level – Naples also has trouble building Metro lines! There’s a tour in Naples that’s just about what lies underfoot, called Napoli Sotteranea, which includes ruins from Greek and Roman times and can be worth a stop. But our favorite glimpse at centuries past is underneath the San Lorenzo Maggiore church where you’ll find the remains of a Roman market.
7. Take a Day-Trip to the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, or the Islands
Even if you end up falling in love with Naples, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the city’s proximity to the stunning Amalfi Coast or nearby islands – especially if you’re staying for a few days. You’ve got a few choices when it comes to soaking in the coastal sun, and a few ways of getting to your chosen destination. Sorrento isn’t on the Amalfi Coast proper, but it’s quite Amalfi-like and only 40 minutes from Naples by boat. If you want to see the actual Amalfi Coast, then towns like Amalfi or Positano are also pretty easy to get to (if a bit further away). And the islands of Ischia, Capri, and Procida are great options as well. Some of these spots are more touristy than others, and you may feel like the town’s been invaded by incoming cruise ships (and often, it has) – but the bright colors, stunning views, and excellent seafood make it worth the trip. Oh, and don’t forget to sample some of the local dessert liqueur, limoncello!
There are many other things to add to this list, like castles and museums…..just go and fall in love with Naples!!