Culture Trip’s Guide to Naples, Italy

Putting Naples on your travel bucket list is a must
Putting Naples on your travel bucket list is a must | © Ivan Nesterov / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Molly Codyre
18 September 2020

Not just a gateway to the Amalfi Coast, Naples is a holiday destination in its own right. Here, Culture Trip rounds up the best restaurants, places to stay and things to do in the home of modern pizza.

Naples is an ancient city that will dazzle you. Its outstanding position on the coast affords 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 city than meets the eye.

Where to stay

La Casaforte Art Residency

Budget Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of La Casaforte Art Residency / Expedia
In the heart of Naples, just steps from Piazza del Plebiscito, this art-centric hotel lies inside a refurbished historical building that arty types will adore. The simple, pared-back rooms are centred around an old cloister where you might find other guests lounging or art performances taking place. Here, you’ll get some serious bang for your buck.
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Caruso Place Boutique and Wellness Suites

Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Caruso Place Boutique and Wellness Suites / Expedia

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.

Everything you need to know

Romeo Hotel

Hotel, Luxury
Map View
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Courtesy of Romeo Hotel / Expedia

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.

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  • What to do

    Learn to make pizza with a local chef

    School
    Map View

    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.

    Take a day trip to magical Capri and the Blue Grotto

    Natural Feature
    Map View
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    © Ellena McGuinness / Unsplash

    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 for your needs.

    Explore the historic ruins of Pompeii

    Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
    Map View
    The ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii in Pompei, Italy. This ancient city was preserved under volcanic ash in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
    © SandraC / Alamy Stock Photo

    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 79CE. 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.

    Where to eat

    Trattoria da Nennella

    Restaurant, Italian
    Map View

    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 (Neapolitan potatoes) and intense, meaty ragus. 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.

    Osteria da Antonio

    Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
    Map View

    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 (spaghetti with clams) and salty marinated anchovies. With magical views of the boats bobbing in the port, eating out in Naples doesn’t get much better.

    Gino Sorbillo

    Pizzeria, Restaurant, Vegetarian, Vegan, Fast Food, Street Food, Italian
    Map View
    You might be in for a wait at Gino Sorbillo – grab a few beers from the kiosk next door to help pass the time. As soon as you devour that first bite though, you’ll know that it was worth it. In a city renowned for its pizza, standing out from the crowd is no mean feat, but this place has managed to do it. Go for one of its enormous pies, made with fresh Campanian produce.
    These recommendations were updated on September 18, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.