Not just a gateway to the Amalfi Coast, Naples is a holiday destination in its own right. It’s an ancient city that will dazzle you with its outstanding position on the coast affording commanding views over Mount Vesuvius and Capri – making it the lucky subject of unforgettable fiery sunsets. Then there’s the food – from family-run trattorias to world-famous pizzerias – served with a rich side of history and culture, proving there’s far more to this Italian city than meets the eye. Here, Culture Trip rounds up the best restaurants, places to stay and things to do in the home of modern pizza.
Keen to visit? You can enjoy a street food tour of Naples in the company of a Local Insider as part of Culture Trip’s exclusive 10-day Southern Italy adventure, which also includes visits to the Amalfi Coast, Matera and Polignano a Mare.
This Renaissance-style hotel has a distinct historical flair. Wainscoting lines the dining room – while some suites come with vaulted ceilings – giving the impression of sleeping in a cave. Chromotherapy showers will add a touch of luxury to your morning routine and air-conditioning makes sure you stay cool even in the most humid of Italian summers. Don’t stay in that shower too long though – you wouldn’t want to miss the fresh fruit and flaky pastries served every morning for breakfast.
A slick and ultra-modern bolthole in the heart of Naples, the Romeo Hotel is the perfect place for a romantic getaway. Moodily lit spaces and deep-stained wood create a gorgeous setting, while the views across the ocean to Mount Vesuvius and Capri are sensational. Be sure to take a dip in the rooftop pool during the day and book an early-evening table at the Michelin-star Il Comandante rooftop restaurant for one of the best sunsets you’re ever likely to witness.
Naples gave the world pizza, so it’s the perfect place to dabble in learning how to make this doughy delight. Luckily, there are numerous chefs around the city willing to give up their secret recipes and teach you how to knead, roll and bake your pizza to perfection – Neapolitan style. Whether you like it hot and spicy, extra cheesy or prefer a classic pizza margarita, an experience like this will enable you to whip up your favourite pizza like a pro in no time.
Hop on a boat and cruise over to the island of Capri for a relaxing day spent swimming in the crystalline waters, taking in the awe-inspiring Blue Grotto and soaking up the Mediterranean sun. Hotels on the island can be expensive, so this is a budget-friendly way to explore it while keeping pennies in your pocket. From day-long excursions to half-day trips, there’s a whole range of journeys that you can choose to best cater to your needs.
Prepare to be amazed and take a day tour from Naples to explore the world-famous ruins of Pompeii. A Unesco World Heritage site, the ancient city was simultaneously ruined and preserved by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. Many features of the buried city – including buildings, monuments and even people – have been frozen in time by the heavy layers of ash that overwhelmed them. By opting for a tour, you’ll hear from an expert about what life was like at the time of the eruption and get insider knowledge on all the main sites.
Renowned for having service that is as boisterous as its food is delicious, Trattoria da Nennella is a Naples institution. On any given night, you can expect to find waiters dancing on the tables and a raucous mix of locals and out-of-towners watching. The menu changes daily but offers classic Neapolitan dishes, such as patate alla Napoletana and intense, meaty ragu. Don’t be surprised if, at the end of the meal, your fruit platter arrives in a ceramic toilet seat – it’s all part of the fun.
Overlooking the port of Naples, this small restaurant only has a few tables – so if you see an open one, grab it quickly. It serves up some of the best seafood in the city and is particularly known for its spaghetti alle vongole and salty marinated anchovies. With magical views of the boats bobbing in the port, eating out in Naples doesn’t get much better than this.