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Post your Naples trip reports here

New South Wales...
Destination Expert
for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples
Level Contributor
9,379 posts
166 reviews
Post your Naples trip reports here

Please post your Trip Reports here - mine from 2013 will get the ball rolling:

NAPLES TRIP REPORT –

Naples reminds me of your mad aunty at a wedding. Everyone avoids her but boy does she have some stories to tell. This city should be at the top of everyone’s list but judging by many, many comments on TA and elsewhere, it is often at their top of the list to avoid. What a waste that is. This time around I saw more and although I am the DE for Naples, I have hardly scratched the surface. Here is a run-down of my seven days.

DAY ONE

We checked into ORSINI B&B, run by live-in hosts Manuela and Gabriele in the Santa Lucia district. I love staying in this location as it is by the water, very quiet and yet convenient to all the major sights. The B&B was exquisite (see my review) and only cost 90 euros per night. My son and I went for a walk from Santa Lucia to Mergellina – about 4km return – along the sea front and had a gelato at the famous Chalet Ciro. Neapolitan ‘chalets’ are like little beach huts that sell coffee, cake, gelato, a drink etc. Mergellina reminds me of Cannes – gorgeous people sipping aperitifs in the afternoon sun surrounded by palm trees and million dollar yachts. It’s a beautiful spot.

We had dinner at Nenella up in the Spanish Quarter which was like being an extra in a movie – all the Neapolitan street life was buzzing – I saw a motor bike pull up and on hopped a 10 year old girl, behind her sister and dad, and they blasted up the narrow street all laughing – and all without helmets. I loved it.

DAY TWO – POMPEII and POPPAEA’S VILLA AT OPLONTIS

I decided that it would be quicker to take the metro to Napoli Centrale to connect with the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii, rather than take the bus which could be stuck in traffic. Well, I hadn’t factored in Naples’ complex metro system due to the construction of a new Line. We hopped on at the brand new Toledo stop, had to get off at the next stop, Cavour, had to change again at the next stop, Museo and then take another train to Garibaldi. Four trains and over an hour for a 3km journey. Not to mention the long, long moving walkway to get to the platform for Garibaldi at the Museo stop. The Neapolitans are really frustrated with this as well as I laughed about it later with a local.

Anyway, Pompeii. The heavens decided to open and pour buckets of water on us so I had to buy emergency raincoats from one of those sellers that pop up when there is rain. 5 euros for what was essentially two plastic bags with buttons. Serve me right. The forecast did say rain. Entry to Pompeii still costs 11 euros and guides are still 10 euros. The Circumvesuviana is still cheap. We got a day ticket for 7.80 euros as we planned to go to Oplontis as well so that suited us.

TIPS FOR FUTURE TRAVELLERS – The Circumvesuviana may appear a little like a 1970s NYC Subway ‘A’ train – covered in graffiti, assorted freaks and weirdos and the odd thief. Just be mindful of your belongings. The trains are old, ugly and covered in graffiti but they get you from A to B. If beggars approach you on the train just wave them away, they are harmless. When I was on it that day, it came complete with roving musicians/buskers. Someone at Pompeii told me a four piece band got on their train, complete with double bass. She said ‘I just had to give them money for sheer effort’. Lol!

At Pompeii, the House of the Vetti is still closed and looks like it will be so for some time. The whole interior is covered in rusty scaffold and there is no sign of work going on. Also closed is the House of Octavius Quarto and the House of Julia Felix. The Forum Baths were open as was the Temple of Venus – I’ve never seen this Temple open before. The amphitheatre was a swimming pool due to the rain and we had to edge our way around the outside to avoid going under water. The sun came out later and turned the whole of Pompeii into a steam bath. It was seriously uncomfortable.

I did use the on-site café twice for a coffee fuel stop and lunch. Their salads were great and their prices really decent considering they have a captive audience. I would suggest eating here – nothing at all wrong with it. Bathrooms in the café had a few stalls out of order but that may have been just the day I was there as it was PACKED to the gills with cruise groups.

The Villa of Mysteries is under renovation but the room with the life size frescoes was open (closed last time I was there). That is an absolute MUST SEE in Pompeii. I can’t see it remaining on site forever – they will probably be removed and moved to the NAM eventually. No one was in the Villa when we were there but it was late in the day by this stage.

TIPS FOR FUTURE TRAVELLERS – If you have luggage, there is storage at the Circumvesuviana train station down the stairs to the underpass to Platform 1 – it’s right where the toilets are. While you’re there, use the toilets as the lineup for them at the Pompeii ticket office is out the door, around the block and probably back to Naples. Also, download and print your own map – every time I’ve been to Pompeii (and that’s frequently) the ticket office have no maps. Not that the maps are very helpful if you’re planning a route as there are so many closures, but they help you orient yourself and locate places you want to see.

OPLONTIS – Despite my fatigue, my son and I pushed on to Oplontis to see The Villa of Poppaea. This is a single residence owned (apparently) by Emperor Nero’s second wife as her holiday home. To get there you go one stop on from Pompeii Scavi back towards Naples and get off at Torres Annuziata. Exit the station, turn left, turn right and walk two blocks down the hill. You can’t miss the site, despite it being surrounded by surburbia and ugly apartments. It costs 5.50 euros to visit and you’ll probably have it to yourself as it is very much off the tourist radar. Its wall frescoes are in much better shape than Pompeii’s and it gives you an idea of just how grand and palatial this place was. It even has its own enormous marble swimming pool. It is really worth your time and you won’t bump into large groups here as no one knows about it.

NOTE FOR FUTURE TRAVELLERS – The Torres Annuziata station and surrounds are not attractive. Don’t be worried, it is still a safe place and a quick walk to the site and back.

After a LONG day we still persevered with the four train changes back to Toledo but were much more efficient this time as we knew what platforms and stairs to take so it only took half an hour as opposed to our morning 1.10 time.

DAY TWO – DAY TRIP WITH WORLD TOURS CAR AND DRIVER TO POZZUOLI, SOLFATARA, PISCINA MIRABILIS, THE FLAVIAN AMPHITHEATRE, BAIA AND BACOLI

Many people on TA ask for ‘off the beaten path’ ideas for their travels. Well, this whole area to the north-west of Naples fits the bill perfectly. No one goes here and I have no idea why. It has beaches, ancient ruins, a volcano with boiling mud pools, a castle and an atmosphere that reminds me a lot of California in the 1960s (I wasn’t there – I’m not that old, lol! But think blue sky, palm trees, relaxed vibe and lots of coloured buildings).

As it’s tricky to get around on public transport, I used a car and driver service. First stop was the Solfatara, or ‘Burning Fields’. It is essentially the crater of a Volcano but looks like the set from the first Star Wars movie. It’s a white desolate landscape with steam rising from the ground and mud boiling merrily away in fenced off areas. No one was there. Put your hand on the ground – it’s warm! It also doesn’t smell bad considering the gas is sulphurous. Don’t go expecting Yellowstone or New Zealand – it’s a very small thermal field but really interesting nonetheless.

Second stop was Piscina Mirabilis which was a huge underground water storage tank built by Augustus to apparently service his naval fleet, so it’s 2000 plus years old. It’s a killer of a place to find – in a suburban street surrounded by very pretty homes – plus you need to call ahead and an elderly lady will toddle up the street, jingling a huge set of keys. She then unbolts a gate and lets you into this underground cavern. Helloooo Indiana Jones film set! It had shafts of light falling across these enormous columns, mossy foliage hanging creepily down, slippery paths and an other worldly atmosphere that belied the suburban landscape outside. My son instantly started playing hide and seek so we ran around like a couple of kids, ducking behind the columns also enjoying the echo of our voices in the vast chamber. Goodness knows what the lady upstairs thought. We stayed inside for about 15 minutes as she was waiting to lock it up. I gave her 5 euros for her trouble but the site is technically free. It is one of those experiences you tell people about later and they say ‘’what? A 2000 year old cistern under houses and an old lady with a key lets you in?’…… Yep….I know….no I wasn’t drinking it actually IS like that. You MUST go there.

We had lunch at a place called Da Giona – see my review – found in my Lonely Planet guide book tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g107812…

Loved it. I thought I was seeing things when I saw a surfer out riding the waves. I told people here at home and again they questioned my drinking habits – but it’s true. A surfer. See what I mean, this place is California for Italians.

The rest of this day was a mad run-around the Temple of Serapis – an ancient macellum (marketplace) which has been submerged and lifted due to the seismology of the area and the effects of ‘bradeyism’ – which means the location is so unstable the ground moves up and down. I have National Geographic photos of this macellum half-submerged by water in 1983 but we saw it completely dry. Amazing. We also went to Lake Aveno, and then to the Flavian Amphitheatre.

FLAVIAN AMPHITHEATRE – Okay I’m going to again be controversial and say give the Colosseum Underground Tour in Rome the flick and come here instead. There was myself, my son and two other visitors from England in this enormous place. That’s it. The underground passages were open and we had it all to ourselves. I could not believe it. Why no one was there just astounds me. We explored the depths of this place – it was truly eerie. Broken columns, inky blackness into tunnels, just the sound of our breathing and the odd drop of water plinking onto marble. It’s out of this world. It cost about 5 euros and there were a couple of guides at the gate having a snooze so we didn’t trouble them. You HAVE to go there.

On the way back to Naples we stopped at the iconic view in Posillipo for the iconic photo of the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius. Us and a billion other tourists. We were back to reality.

Part Two coming up – the Capidomonte Museum, biking along the seafront, so much pizza I turned into one, a guided walk around the Historic Centre, so much gelato I swear I gained ten pounds, an overnight trip to Procida, the Capella Sansevero, Pio Monte Della Misericordia, the cloisters of Santa Chiara, Castel dell Ovo at sunset and the ever-present exquisite menacing beauty of Vesuvius.

100 replies to this topic
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
73 posts
31 reviews
91. Re: Post your Naples trip reports here

What I did:

Trip was solo - last few days of October/ first few days of November:

Day 1: Arrived at Naples airport – travelled to Sorrento by Curreri bus. This is so easy and comfortable. Just have your 10 euros cash. I couldn't book through the website in advance.

Day 2: Day trip to Capri on ferry – glad I took advice to go straight to Anacapri by bus, loved the chairlift to Monte Solaro, walked to Grotto Azzurro with a little of coastal fort walk and returned to Anacapri by bus, Villa San Michele, loop walk from Capri town to Arco Naturale.

Day 3: day trip to Amalfi town, bus to Bomerano, walked Sentiero degli Dei, prosecco at sunset in Positano. Bus back to Sorrento.

Day 4: train to Pompei, full day in archaeological site

Day 5: train to Ercolano, Vesuvius by tour bus, train to Naples, Duomo and centro storico looking at streets with the Christmas cribs

Day 6: looked around Naples – opera house tour, funicular to castel, many churches of centro storico, capella sansevero,

Day 7: archaeological museum for a few hours ( have a good breakfast and coffee before you go in– just seems to be vending machines at the moment), travel to airport

What I would do differently:

Stay in 2 places only - Sorrento and Naples even if planning to go to Paestum as I originally did for day 5. Could also do Capri trip or go to Ischia or Procido from Naples. For those who like to get as much into a trip as possible perhaps go to Ercolano from airport on day 1 and then continue onto Sorrento that evening. Sorrento has very pretty views and while there are plenty of tourists it is not overwhelmed by them. I would not say the same for Amalfi town. As the days went by I was glad I based myself in Sorrento for 3 nights. I entirely recommend Antica gelataria for the lovely lady who owns it and greets you like family having met you the day before. I had planned to go to Paestum on day 5 so moved to Pompeii for night of day 4 in order to catch early train but was too tired to get up early again for this extra travel on the day.

Day 2 – take a bus to the stop for the walk of the forts on the way to Grotto Azzurro instead of walking to give more time for the loop walk from Capri – especially when days are shorter.

Day 3 – spent even less time in Amalfi town – way too touristed. It is good for bus connections, ferry trips etc. but not all running everyday off season.

Day 4 – look up more about Pompeii in advance. Bring another camera – my battery ran out.

Day 5 – go to Ercolano even if feeling all historied out after full day in Pompeii- forget about Vesuvius. Wished I had looked up and book to attend an event at opera house in Naples in advance – not always something on.

Day 6 - Having looked at so many spectacular churches during the day the Capella Sansevero was underwhelming. It has a queue all day long and I would not think it is a must see – and I like museums and art galleries.

Overall impression – even at the end of season Naples and the Amalfi coast have many tourists. It is definitely worth going to once but Pompeii is the biggest draw for a return visit to the area. Naples is not ‘scary’ anymore I think. There are young boys playing football in the squares and very young people on motorbikes and some of them race each other. The centro storico has tall, dark coloured buildings and narrow cobbled streets but there are so many tourists now that it feels quite safe. There are plenty of places to stop for snacks, coffee and cakes. There are many police and army in the larger squares. The variety of decoration in the churches is amazing. The archaeological museum was fantastic and great to see having had a break from archaeology for 2 days. This would be a good reason to stay in Naples and do an Island trip on in between days. The metro system is being extended but what is there is useful and easy to get around on.

Happy travelling.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,016 posts
17 reviews
92. Re: Post your Naples trip reports here

After getting a short taste of Naples last year, we were lucky enough to come back at Easter week. Yet again, it did not disappoint, and we cannot wait to return again, as we barely chipped away at our to-do list.

DAY 1: Arrived on the fast train from Rome. Grabbed a cab to our hotel in Centro Storico. For lunch, we had awesome burgers at a Salumeria Upnea -- a hipster little place with a cool, deconstructed-industrial vibe. I know, sacrilege not to go for the Neapolitan standards, but seriously that was one of the best meals of our trip. A little shopping (Hamsik jersey for our son) and then we strolled down Via Toledo to Palazzo Reale. Entry fee was a bargain, and that grand staircase takes your breath away, though we zipped through quickly to make it to our destination for the evening -- Pizza Making class in Mergellina. While we initially thought we could walk along the Lungomare to get there, we chickened out and hopped in a taxi. And boy, were we glad we did, as it was further than we imagined. We LOVED the 3 1/2 hour pizza making class with Eat in Italy Food Tours. We were met at the train station, walked around the neighborhood, stopping for a coffee, and ended up at our pizzaiolo's restaurant where we rolled up our sleeves and got busy. We ended up being the only people to sign up for the class, so our family got a private lesson. It was quite in-depth for a casual class of amateurs and while I thought my son might get bored and distracted, he loved every minute of it. Tomasso the pizzaiolo was great with him, and we got to eat the fruits of our labor. Review with photos here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-…

DAY 2: I booked an all-day tour with A&R Tours, a company I found on TA and that we used last year with great success. Adrienne is from Portland, OR and Renato is from Naples and they now live in Rome and run a tour company that gives custom private tours. They picked us up at our hotel and whisked us off to the outskirts of town, where our first stop was the Grotta di Seiano. A 700-meter tunnel goes through the mountain, built in 1 AD and "modernized" in the 1800's, which takes to you the Pausilypon Archeological site -- the grounds and villa belonging to the cruel Publius Vedio Pollione with breathtaking views over the bay. Next, it was the Flavian Amphitheater. A smaller version of the Colosseum in Rome, long ago people chucked the old pillars down into the underground area while they were building their houses above. As a result, you have an underground -- totally accessible -- where you can freely wander through massive pillars and pieces of antiquity piled up willy-nilly and see the imprints of where cages sat to haul up the animals through the trap-doors for shows above. I couldn't help thinking that, for all of the people clambering to get into the underground Colosseum tour in Rome, this underground was a hundred times better and we were practically the only ones there. Awesome pizza and seafood at Pizzalló rounded out our time in Pozzuoli. We took the scenic route back into town, stopping for gelato and some gorgeous views from Posillipo. Review with photos here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-… A light dinner sitting outside at Jamon in Piazza San Domenico Maggiore capped off the evening.

DAY 3: Ercolano-bound. We caught the Campania Express, which was easy to buy tickets for and -- for convoluted reasons involving the train time printed on our ticket (for the start of the CE line, not our stop on the CE line) and a different train appearing at our station for that exact time -- pretty stressful to get on the right train. Inquiring to fellow travelers got us on track and we rode the practically empty train car to our stop. Whew! In a nod to our son's preference, we wandered Herculaneum without any guide - just taking in the sights and enjoying it at our own pace, and playing a little hide and seek when the mood struck us. Though there were many guides at the gate had we chosen to use one. It was interesting and much more compact and relaxing than our Pompeii visit last year. Took the Circumvesuviana back to the city, ate the one disappointing meal of our trip -- La Campagnola on Via Fuore -- the only place TA reviews did not at all match our experience. Then to the Archeological Museum, where we hit our first long line of the journey. The Pompeii mosaic room was my favorite. Thanks to this forum, we downloaded the Father and Son game app for our son to use in the museum and that made the visit more enjoyable for him. We stumbled upon what was my favorite restaurant of our trip for dinner -- Monastero Ristovino. Rustic and cozy, with friendly staff and great local food. The Capri cake (chocolate with almonds) was to die for!

DAY 4: Buona Pasqua! Started to walk towards Pio Monte della Misericordia to see the Caravaggio, but the rain and hail persuaded us to hop in a taxi and do the Capodimonte museum first. While it was the "first free Sunday" of the month, we had to pay to see the second floor collections, which was completely worth it. This is a world-class art museum that exceeded our expectations. The porcelain room was stunning, let alone all the other treasures there. We had a hard time getting back to Centro Storico -- waited at a taxi stand for 45 minutes for a taxi. Also, no busses passed by the bus stop next to the taxi rank. Just as I was seriously considering flagging down unsuspecting cars to ask in broken Italian/english/gestures if they could help us, a taxi dropped off passengers at the museum and we finally got our cab (jumping and waving as he made the u-turn to pick us up). While we promptly got stuck in terrible traffic and traffic alerts blared on the car radio (heading towards old historic churches on Easter Sunday isn't the easiest thing to do, it turns out), we were just happy to be in the hands of a local and not on our own. And as our cabbie cut through the back streets to try to shorten the ride, we got an impromptu tour of a colorful new neighborhood. He got us as close as he could to Pio Monte della Misericordia, I wished him "buona fortuna" and we scrambled down the street to see the Caravaggio before closing time. Except . . . it was closed all along. For Easter Sunday, I presume. Ah, well. We were happy to be in walking distance of our hotel, and grabbed some pizza fritta on the walk back. OMG -- so delicious! Who knew? Grandma and grandson rested in the hotel while my husband and I got some coffee and bought one of those giant chocolate Easter eggs. We don't have them in the States, so it was fun to unwrap and see what it was all about. I am guessing that a prize always comes inside, like a toy, but I was highly amused at our prize inside -- a mini-flashlight. Did some shopping and walked over to Piazza Dante where there was a food fair for Easter. Ended up eating dinner at Al 53, which we would have liked much better had they not had a fixed-price Easter menu. Just too much food for us and not what we would have ordered had we been left to our own devices. All in all, I chalk this up as the "live and learn" day of the trip.

We left first thing the next morning on the train. We were sad to leave, as we love the pulsating vivacity of the city. I ate the sweet ricotta Pasqua torte at every opportunity, fell in love with baba, and the coffee was excellent in every bar we stopped by. I found that starting every interaction in Italian -- no matter how limited and/or incorrectly we used it -- opened the door to friendly helpfulness of the locals. And, of course, there is so much I would still like to explore. We didn't make it to any castles, underground tours, strolls along the lungomare, or even famous pizza places in the historic center! So many of the archeological sights of Pozzuoli are untapped for us. So, hopefully, someday, we will return . . .

brisbane
Level Contributor
417 posts
170 reviews
93. Re: Post your Naples trip reports here

Naples is certainly an experience for any traveller. I am so glad we made the effort to seek it out, as our 5 week stay in Italy was certainly much richer given the 8 days we gave to Naples, toward the start of our trip. Pompeii & Herculaneum were a priority for us, hence the decision to stay in Naples. We have three children, aged 13, 12 & 11, so are aware of safety concerns.

Let’s deal with the common reaction first up. My father-in-law’s comment was “everybody gets robbed in Naples, you’ll see” (no, he has never been there). No, we weren’t, we never felt unsafe and personally I found the touts and hawkers to be much more aggressive and annoying in Rome compared to Naples. So don’t let anyone spook you out of going. Yes, all of the travelling cautions apply and the Circumvesuviana was uncomfortable and crowded and I don’t know why people like backpacks so much (you really can’t tell what is going on back there in a crowded train). We had people begging on the train (playing their loud music as a distraction at the same time), but that is not unique to Naples or Italy.

I found Naples to be a rewarding destination and one I would highly recommend. I will talk here about what we included during our stay and overall reviews.

Day 1: Arrival by train from Rome, had no problems using the Metro to get to our apartment near the University. First impressions of the city were a surprise – there are so many wonderful buildings in Naples. Yes, many look tired, but wow, you can see the splendour under the surface. The graffiti is everywhere, but I kept in mind a line I read on the forums here (to paraphrase) “a wall without graffiti has lost its voice and has nothing to say”. The walls have a lot to say in Naples and is part of its fascination.

We headed straight off for a walk and visited the Capella Sansevero. I saw a lot of sculpture over the next 5 weeks and the veiled Christ is my second favourite sculpture from the trip. It is an absolute marvel. My husband balked at the entry fee, for me, I would have paid twice over to see it. The whole chapel was interesting, and the Anatomical Machines were mindblowing. My only disappointment was that photography was not allowed at all inside.

We wandered around the markets around the streets and these are fantastic – a wonderful atmosphere, so many tasty morsels to try and my daughter was absolutely besotted with the presepe shops.

Day 2: Pompeii

Caught the Circumvesuviana from Porta Nolana which meant we had seats on the busy train so a bonus. We were initially quoted a fairly high fee for a guide, but he kindly dropped this price to us when others joined the group, due to the age of our kids. Absolutely recommend a full day.

This was my daughter’s birthday and we headed to Da Michele for dinner and quickly realised that we were too hungry for dinner on Italian time, with well over an hours wait! We went to a place across the road Pizzeria D’Angeli, with which we were very happy with our quick service and first experience of Naples pizza. We did have to promise my pizza loving son another chance at Da Michele!

Day 3: Oplontis Villa, Herculaneum

I am so glad we took the time to go to the Villa, it was splendid. We had planned to go to Mount Vesuvius, but it was obviously clouded and we thought our time might be better spent – it was the right decision! Herculaneum was more enjoyable than Pompeii, with the sight of the boat sheds quite chilling (even if recreated).

Day 4: Pignasecca Mercata, Castel Nuovo, Teatro San Carlo

Loved this day, highly recommend the tour of the theatre – how magnificent! Due to the timing available, we fit in a tour of Castel Nuovo, although only one part of the tour was available and I felt like I missed some of what else was on offer by taking a tour over the general admission. If you do a tour, you are not able to wander around the castle yourself afterward without paying the separate ticket entry.

We decided to get to Da Michele at 4.30 – still no luck! The crowd was just as big! My husband doesn’t do well waiting for food, so we headed back home to cook some of the delicious food bought at the markets that morning.

Day 5: Capri – Day Trip. Beautiful, but expensive. Ferry tickets for 5 really add up. No Blue Grotto today, but we loved the chairlift and the views anyway and the sights around Anacapri (especially Cheisa San Michelle) made for a very pleasant day.

Day 6: That’s Amore Walking Tour, National Archaeological Museum, Sorbillo’s Pizza

We did a free walking tour in every large city we went to in Italy and this one was pretty good – I would recommend it. I was really looking forward to the Museum, but found an overall problem with my experience in Italian museums. There is very little background information, even on the audioguides. They talk about the art and the expression, but not the history. This is why I go to a museum – I want the story, not just the collection. The space itself is great and the collection stunning, but not enough history.

We knew we were just a short distance from Sorbillos, and were determined to wait it out. One hour and we were in! And it was so worth it.

Day 7: Naples Underground Tour, Palazzo Reale, Walk along waterfront to Via Chiaia

Easter Sunday and the Naples Underground Tour line was huge. We were lucky that they called out for extra English tour takers and we got in for the first tour of the day. Being the free Sunday, we next went to Palazzo Reale, which was not overwhelmingly busy and it was a pleasant visit. Via Chiaia was packed though, but still fun to be out in it.

Day 8: Castel Dell’Uovo, Castel Sant’Elmo

Given the public holidays and differing closing hours, we made sure to get to Castel Dell’Uovo in the morning. I absolutely loved the views from Castel Sant’Elmo and it was a perfect ending to the week, to look down over all the areas we had visited.

We did a lot of walking in Naples – we only took the train once or twice once we were at our apartment and took a funicular up to Castel Sant’Elmo. We went on to Positano for a couple of days and stopped into Sorrento for a few hours. I would absolutely recommend Naples over Sorrento. It is full of things to see, with wonderful markets and shopfronts on the streets, so even in early Spring it was a great city if you like walking. When we went on to Positano with our luggage, we were glad to use the Campagnia Express rather than the crowded Circumvesuviana. And a word on the food – the bread overall was best in Naples over all of Italy, there were so many amazing sweets on offer I didn’t even want much gelato (it was still cold at that point though) and I didn’t know about the existence of taralli before I went and probably ate my (not unsubstantial) weight in them!

So, thank you for all the great advice on the forums, it was invaluable and I absolutely loved exploring this wonderful city.

Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
94. Re: Post your Naples trip reports here

THANK YOU ! really well written helpful advise :)

Level Contributor
1,255 posts
34 reviews
95. Re: Post your Naples trip reports here

This isn't an organised trip report, which seems apt for Naples, somehow.

We arrived on Sunday afternoon, and by the time we were settled in to our hastily-arranged one night stay (due to a a cancelled overnight ferry service), we just wanted a shower and sleep. Monday we walked through the POURING rain to get to our 4 night airbnb, then after a shower and change headed off to Herculaneum on the Campania Express. Both the ruins and the train were fascinating. We both really enjoyed wandering around Herculaneum, and found it amusing that on the return trip, the Campania Express carried more staff (for keeping circumvesuvania passengers off) than it did paying passengers.

Tuesday was lost to fatigue (after all the exertions of Monday) and packing, but Wednesday we had a great day trip to Pompeii and Vesuvius lined up. We were very happy with the 2 .5 hour tour of Pompeii, and enjoyed the lovely lunch included in the trip. Vesuvius was closed because of weather, which turned out to be a real boon, because the busload was dropped off at the Archaelogical Museum instead, and it was AWESOME. A real highlight of our stay and one of my favourite museums of those we saw in our month-long trip. After that, a walk to Sorbillo's where we arrived 45 minutes before opening, and were third in line. The elderly Italian couple who were first assured us it was "merita", and we both agreed afterwards that it really was.

Thursday morning we did the Napoli Sotteranea tour - very worthwhile, especially for a better perspective on why Napoli feels a bit rough around the edges. Thursday evening we dcided tyo walk to Casa Infante for gelato, ended up getting some from the nearby Mennella's instead, and had a lovely walk back to our airbnb taking in the Piazza del Plebiscito and then along the waterfront. We never got a chance to try the Metro, but didn't need it, since everywhere we went was an easy walk.

We arrived in Naples at the very end of a month-long trip. We were low on money, which restricted our options for doing things (couldn't get out to Capri). Also, I was already tired and looking forward to going home, and our first 24 hours in Naples reinforced that. But the city grew on me, A LOT. We stayed close to Napoli Centrale, and it didn't bother us at all. By the time we left, I knew for a fact that Naples is high on my "want to go back" list, a list that Venice did not make. I really want to visit Naples again, in winter, and spend a few days just walking around the place a bit more. From "get me out of this place" on Sunday to "I really want to come back" on Friday, well-played, Napoli!

Auckland Central...
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34 posts
21 reviews
96. Re: Post your Naples trip reports here

What tour did you take to Pompeii.....what company and was it expensive?

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97. Re: Post your Naples trip reports here

This was the tour we took, and we REALLY enjoyed it.

https:/…pompeii-tours-from-naples

It's kind of the orthodoxy on these forums that Pompeii is a must-do on your own, spend 6 hours walking around it, frying and dying. That makes me (and my wife) a heretic for saying that we LOVED the 2.5 hour highlights tour we had with a Pompeii guide. She was informative and helpful, and we found the time ample to get a taste of Pompeii - especially as we'd already visited Herculaneum.

The lunch afterwards was lovely, and the winery restaurant did a much better job of accommodating my unusual food intolerance (an inability to ingest alcohol, including being too near any strong alcohol smells) than did Le Calife in Paris.

In short, I would say it was money very well spent, one of only two day tours we took as part of an organised group, and a highlight of our last week in Italy

Moreton, United...
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98. Re: Post your Naples trip reports here

Just wanted to post my experience of Naples. After reading these forums and on line reviews, my wife and I were a little nervous about going and even considered cancelling. The talks of dirt, pick pockets, teenage scooter gangs, graffiti, we thought what are we doing. We arrived got into a taxi which drove at break neck speed to our hotel. We stayed at the Caracciolo Palazzo Napoli. The staff were wonderful on check in and our room was fantastic. Overlooking the inner courtyard, were you have breakfast. Our own terrace. we swiftly got dressed and went for a walk. Our initial thoughts when we walked down Via Carbonnara were that maybe our fears were right. Bins overflowing with rubbish, mattresses on the floor, groups of mens hanging around. We cut down a side street and found a cafe restaurant for a beer on Via Tribunali, Trattoria Caravaggio. We sat had a beer then ordered our first Pizza. Wow, fantastic pizza. As we sat there, we looked around and said, what were we worried about. Over the next 6 days, we fell more and more in love with this city. Please, please, to anyone that is nervous about going or reads bad reviews, IGNORE them. This city has everything. After the first half hour, we didn't even notice the graffiti and just saw the beautiful buildings. The history in this city is overwhelming. The people are so nice and friendly and helpful. Yes, the scooters up and down the alley ways are crazy, but you get the flow very quickly and they become quite funny. We never saw one bit of aggression from anyone, nor angry drivers or any form of crime and we walked everywhere. over the week, we clocked up that we had walked over 60 miles in total around the city. Here is what we did, we had planned to go to Sorrento and Capri but Naples deserved more of our time, so maybe next visit.

Day one, after our Pizza we walked throughout to Via Toledo were my wife had her first gelato, we meandered throughout the shops (it was Sunday, by the way and most were open), in and out of shops and the prices we feel are very cheap. Yes you have expensive shops were you can buy shoes for hundreds of pounds or cheap shops were you can spend £10 on them. Depends on your budget. We walked down to the front for a look at Vesuvius and then to Piazza Plebiscito. Then around Via Chiaia. We walked back up Toledo and back to our hotel. We only arrived at 2pm and thought we would relax on our Balcony. I sat with a cigar and enjoyed the peace.

Day 2 we had breakfast and walked back to Toledo were we sat and enjoyed our first Aperol Spritz in a cafe just by Gambrinus. We ere hooked. They are amazing. By the way, with each drink you get a plethora of snacks, so much so that you are not really hungry for lunch after them. We walked down to the front again and got talking to a guy from Senegal. He was trying to sell his jewellery but we weren't interested. He was such a nice guy, we introduced ourselves to each other and had a chat about were we were from and he shook hands and gave us 2 lucky charms of an elephant and tortoise as a gift. He wanted nothing in return. I think people are so rude to these sellers, all they want to do is make some money. I think the fact that we chatted to him made him feel happy, rather than tell him to go away. A really nice guy. We walked on and visited the Castle Dell'Ovo. Got caught in a crazy Thunderstorm and hid for cover. Finished out look around and then back around Via Morelli for a few beers. Back up to Via Benedetto Croce to visit San Domenico Maggiore, what a church. There are churches on almost every street corner and all are beautiful. We are not religious in the slightest but appreciated these churches none the less.

Day 3 Pompeii. we walked to the train stain and took the circus vesuviana for the princely sum of 2 euros each way. 20 stops for 2 euros !! 45 mins max length. By the way, we never seen anything suspicious on the train. The train goes on to Sorrento and it was packed. but, no more packed than my commuter train to work every day. The train had air con, so no problem. when you get off its a very short walk to pompeii, The tickets cost 15 euro each and we did our own thing. we spent about 6 hours there. It was hot, but nothing too uncomfortable. take good shoes, its uneven with cobbles and cart grooves in the roads. We seen people in heels, in flip flops and with prams struggling. Crazy. just wear trainers or boat shoes. pompeii was amazing. we stopped after the visit for a beer and a sandwich and took our train back. Very easy. When we got off the train we noticed a Pharmacy with the temperature 39 c !!Back to our hotel to get changed then out for a lovely evening meal of roast lamb with wine, somewhere around Via San Biaglo del Librai. Cant remember we just fell upon it.

Day 4 we spent the morning sunbathing on the roof terrace. All the loungers to ourselves and the jacuzzi. My wife loved it. Afternoon walk then to the archeological museum. Fantastic and well worth a visit. It had started raining heavy by then so we were in the best spot. After a few hours in there we meandered again through all the back streets and stopped for a meal. Our second pizza in a really nice trattoria and a few beers. Then back to our Hotel exhausted.

Day 5 we took the bus tour around the city and enjoyed it so much we stayed on and did it again. then switched to the other route and went up to Posillipo. We had a lovely afternoon and then jumped off the bus on the way back and stopped at Mammina on the front and enjoyed a fabulous meal with Aperol spritz of course. slowly walking back and enjoying the sights and a trip to the castle. After this we stopped by Gambrinus which was on my to do list and sat down in the big room for coffee and cake and enjoyed the beautiful decor. The prices were cheap we thought. 2 cakes and 2 large coffees for around 20 euros. If you went to London you would pay £ 60 each for afternoon tea in a hotel. After this we went Piazza Plebscito to visit the the church the slowly back up by our hotel.

Day 6 we took the underground tour Neapolis Sotterata which was excellent. 1 euro extra for a guide..... so cheap. Then a thorough look up and down Via San Gregorio Armeno at the Christmas staues. Superb but how you would get them home I don't know. It was our last day, so we had lunch and some last Spritz's and a final walk about the shops for some retail therapy. My wife bought some lovely linen dresses and jumpsuits for half the price they would be here and I stocked up on some shirts in Chiaia. Slowly back to our hotel to collect our luggage and then taxi to the airport.

We were very sad to go and we would go back in a heartbeat. It such a fabulous city. No its not a touristy english oriented city with the Red Lion pub and sunday roast, which is exactly what we don't want. Its a living working city which is full of life and incredible history. Yes parts are a little run down, but thats part of its charm. Its not trying to be something its not.The people of Naples quite rightly should be proud to be from Naples and proud of their city. We absolutely loved it. Please don't be scared (be aware, but not scared) and go and visit and fall in love.

By the way, we are both in our 50's so not a young couple, but a young outlook and we couldn't recommend it enough.

Sorry for the long post, I was excited to write a review. I am sure I have missed lots, but go see for yourself.

Naples, Italy
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107 reviews
99. Re: Post your Naples trip reports here

Lovely report, karlkh. Thank you for sharing your experience.

As you could see, Naples' bad reputation is mostly based on prejudices and stereotypes.

Naples, Italy
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2,101 posts
102 reviews
100. Re: Post your Naples trip reports here

Thank you so much for your shared experience!

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