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If you’re heading to southern Italy to experience Naples in all its fresco glory, you should also consider exploring the secret islands off the coast as well as important archaeological sites and rural towns just outside the city’s borders. Our local insiders recommend their favourite day trips from Naples, all of which can be done in less than 24 hours.
Sorrento is a coastal town that faces the Bay of Naples and winds up into steep white cliffs where lemon trees and umbrella pines grow sporadically. It’s home to the Piazza Tasso, a cafe-lined square that offers Neapolitans and visitors a respite from the heat (in the shape of iced grappa, no less). Walk down the narrow alleyways and winding tunnels into the quiet cloister of San Francesco – a courtyard used for art exhibitions and concerts during the summer. It’s the perfect day trip, too, only an hour’s drive from Naples. The Marina Grande, or main harbour, affords luscious views of a dazzling ocean and picturesque cottages painted in pastel hues. Recommended by local insider Matt Barker
If you’re after a day trip that will test your hardy hiking skills, Mount Somma – an integral part of the Somma-Vesuvius volcano – is a great option. Higher than Vesuvius, its top peaks clock in at 1,132m (3,714ft). It’s also much older, as Mount Somma’s caldera collapse 25,000 years ago actually led to the formation of Vesuvius and its eventual eruption. Unlike Vesuvius’s dry, arid rocks, Mount Somma is layered with lush green forests of chestnut trees, oaks, alders and maples, and, reaching the top, offers panoramic views across the Bay of Naples. Recommended by local insider Debbie Oakes