Every time someone tells me they are going to Rome I always tell them the same thing:
“you have to go to Naples and Pompeii.” Besides the Vatican, Naples and Pompeii have
things that are specific to their respective cities that are better than anything you will
get in Rome. That might sound blasphemies, but it is how I feel. Naples has better pizza
than Rome and Pompeii is the best preserved city of Roman times on the planet. If you
do not spend a day of your Italian tour visiting these two cities you are doing yourself a
disservice and depriving yourself an experience of a lifetime.
Naples airport is the Naples International Airport (NAP). You can access the city center
by bus for cheap. It will be about a 40 minute ride to most tourist destinations.
Most travelers will be coming in by train, probably from Rome. It takes only about 1.2
hours to travel from Roma Termini to Napoli Centrale by train for about $30 USD.
Depending on what you want to do you can head out on foot or take a bus or taxi to
your desired destination. Attractions like the Piazzo del Plebiscito are about 3 miles from
the train station.
You can also take a bus from Rome to Naples for around $20 but it will take closer to 3
Pompeii is very similar as train will be the most the efficient form of entry. From Rome
you will leave Roma Termini and connect in Naples to continue to Pompeii for another
35 minutes. This trip could cost around $60 to $70 USD.
A Bus is also possible from Rome, which will be cheaper at $25 but takes over three
hours to get from Rome to Pompeii.
When you arrive at the Pompeii train station the Ancient City of Pompeii is a 10 minute
walk down a road straight from the train statin to the ancient city entrance.
Best Things to Do in Naples and Pompeii
- Visit the Ancient City of Pompeii
The city that was flash frozen in time when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD
covering the city in ash preserving it intact. Pompeii is not only one of the top
things to do in Italy it is one of the must see sight in the entire world. Entrance
Fee: $16 USD
- Eat at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
Naples is the birthplace of the pizza and da Michele is considered the best
pizzeria in the world. This is a tiny, simply pizzeria with the authentic Naples feel
because it is truly authentic. Price: $5 / Per Pizza
- Pay Your Respects to the Preserved Dead
A walk through the city of Pompeii is fascinating yet haunting. The most obvious
reminder of this are the plaster cast preserving the bodies of those who fell
victim to the volcanic eruption 2,000 years ago. Price: Included in Pompeii
- Take a Walk Through the Homes of Pompeii
What separate Pompeii from other ancient Roman sites is that nearly all of them
are ruins, but Pompeii is preserved so well that the homes of the citizens feel as
if they left only months ago. Check out the House of Vettii and the House of
Mystery for bright and vibrant walk art. Price: Included in Pompeii Entrance Fee
- Enter The Amphitheater of Pompeii
This Roman amphitheater was once the sight of gladiator battles and held
thousands of spectators. Today you can actually walk onto the battlefield of this
miniature Colosseum and feel just like a real roman gladiator. Price: Included in
Pompeii Entrance Fee
- Walk The Pompeii Forum
This main social quarter of Pompeii is a great example of how advanced this
civilization was 2,000 years ago. The Forum still has the city stage and
picturesque archways. Price: Included in Pompeii Entrance Fee
- Take a Naples Pizza Cooking Class
What better place to learn to make pizza than the place that invented it?
Regardless of your skill level, these chefs will turn you into Naples pizza experts.
Price: $50 and up.
- Hike Mt. Vesuvius
Lace up your hiking boots and make the roughly hour trek up the ACTIVE volcano
to the crater at the top. If you wish you can take guide but it is not required. It
doesn’t cost anything to hike but the park does have an Entry Fee of $10.
- Burrow through the San Gennaro Catacombs
Naples has a number of catacombs but this one is the most interesting. It is a
two level Christian burial ground carved deep into the ground which is made of
hardened volcanic ash. Price: $11 USD
- Walk Through the Gladiator Barracks The preservation of Pompeii is unprecedented and that is because it leaves us with things you can see only here, like the living quarters of the competing Gladiators. These barracks are so cool you can sense what it felt like to be a real gladiator. Price: Included in Pompeii Entrance Fee
Free (and Cheap) Things To Do in Naples and Pompeii
Do Your Own Pizza Tour
As you may imagine, there are a ton of fantastic pizzerias in Naples. You can go pizzeria
hopping and make a day of trying the best in the world. Do your own research but the
route I recommend is :
First Stop: Pizzeria Oliva
Second Stop: Starita
Third Stop: Gio e Toto Sorbillo
Fourth Stop: L’antica Pizzeria da Michele
Final Stop: Osteria Mttozzi
People Watch at the Piazzo del Plebiscito
The main city square of Naples is quite beautiful and can be crowded. This makes the
free area a perfect place to relax and watch the crowd go by. Price: Free
Catch the View from the Royal Park of Capodimonte
The best view you will get of the city of Naples will be from this large park in front of the
Royal Palace of Capodimonte. The overlook is a wonderful panoramic of the city skyline.
Duomo di Napoli
This opulent gothic-style church is stunning but famous because it houses a vial of blood
of Saint Januarius. The vial is only on display a few times a year when the dried up blood
liquefies, but maybe you will get lucky and catch one of these few times.
Best Sights To See in Naples and Pompeii
- The Forum of Pompeii
As far as sights go, the Pompeii Forum if a breathtaking image. The picturesque
view of the broken pillars, archways, and stage with the towering Mount
Vesuvius in the background is a picture you can’t get wrong.
- Cappella Sansevero
This magnificent church in the heart of Naples historic district is filled with
amazing works of art from bright frescos to morbid yet stunning marble statues.The most famous of which is Giuseppe Sanmartino’s masterpiece, “Veiled Christ.” Entrance Fee is $8
- Ruins of Herculaneum
Don’t let Pompeii take all the glory. This ancient Roman town was also covered
in the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius and preserved in ash. This city also
touts its own murals and homes to explore along with a number of skeletal
- Castel Nuovo
Sitting in the center of Naples, this is a massive medieval castle dating back to
the 15 th century that is well intact today. It is a very complete castle that doesn’t
disappoint like some other castles you may visit throughout Europe.
- San Gennaro Catacombs
These carved out tunes filled with ancient Christian graves is an eerie trek
through the underground world of Naples and a sight to capture in photos.
- Piazzo del Plebiscito
Bound by the Royal Palace on the east side and the Church of San Francesco di
Paola in the west, this sprawling town square of Naples is a sight to see and a
place to take photos for hours.
- House of the Vettii
This ancient home in the middle of Pompeii was once owned by a wealthy family
who left us with vibrant murals that are still stunning to this day.
- Villa of the Mysteries
Another home left to us in Pompeii, the walls are covered in rich depictions of
acts of the day and preserved in a way that is absolutely unprecedented to other
artifacts of the time period.
- Castle of Lettere
This castle placed high on a hilltop overlooking Pompeii is a stunning sight of
- Mt. Vesuvius
Still considered active, this mountain still dominates the skyline of Pompeii as an
unnerving reminder of the past.
Veterans Tips For Naples and Pompeii
Stay in Rome or Amalfi Coast
Naples and Pompeii both are places you don’t really need to say long. They are day trip
spots from Rome or Amalfi Coast. You can get off the train in Naples, walk and be in
front of da Michells’ in less than 10 minutes. It is less than a 10 minute walk from the
train station to the Ancient City of Pompeii as well. Ideally you could hit the cities on
your train stops from Rome to Amalfi. With that said, stopping in these two places is a
must. The pizza in Naples and the Ancient City of Pompeii are two of the highlights of
Naples Has Pickpockets
Naples has a reputation for being a bit seedy. When on holiday you should always keep
your guard up, here that goes double.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele Only Takes Cash
This place is old school and doesn’t feel like changing. Bring cash or you will miss out on
the best pizza of your life. The restaurant is very small and because of this will likely have a long line and does not take reservations so plan your stomach accordingly. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele Only Makes Your Pizza Four WaysThat’s right. They keep it simply and always have. Here are your pizza options:Margherita, Marinara, Cosacca and Marita
You Can Take A Ferry from Naples to Capri
You can very easily take a ferry to Capri from Naples. It is about an hour one-way and
costs around $45 round trip.
Don’t stay here. Stay in Rome or Amalfi Coast.
Once again, the pizza in Naples is everything. There are many world-class pizzerias to try
and you will love them all.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
It has all the hype and the clout as the best in the world. Between the authentic
environment, the skilled pizza chefs, and the quality of the product, I can not disagree.
The Perfect Souvenir from Naples or Pompeii
Naples and the region of Campania have been known for their world class ceramics for
centuries. Today you can still buy handmade art to take home.
By: Ricky S.