I hate pizza!
– said no one ever. Especially not me!
Did you know Naples is the birthplace of PIZZA? I stepped in this pizza territory anticipating high-end pizza restaurants to hole-in-the-wall pizza joints and even pizza hawkers. Boy was I naive to think it would begin and end with pizza! Napoli is so much more than just food. Although food is my favorite thing about Naples. Ok I’m going to stop confusing you and explain what I mean.
My first stop in Naples had to be at Napoli Centrale Visitor Information Center. That’s the first place I visit in any new city. It’s the best way to get quick recommendations, know about ongoing events in town and local favorites. They also give you maps, walking tour routes and at times discount coupons. Here you could purchase the Artecard for E21 to get into top 3 museums in Naples and 50% off on other attractions.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn close to Napoli Centrale and got a room on the 14th floor with a brilliant view of Mount Vesuvius.
Next stop was at the Napoli Cathedral, place I visit in every European city. This one was a mix of gothic and baroque style architecture. Not to fancy like the other Duomo’s across Italy. Further we hopped into Galleria Principe Di Napoli for some shopping and then next door to the Naples National Archaeological Museum. Entry to the museum is E22 including audio guide.
Like two happy troopers, we strolled almost the entire city, because Naples has some amazing street food. Happy me! We munched on a lot of fried food like fried risotto balls, fried veggies, fried squid, fried polenta, Taralli etc. All for E4. At one point, we were so engrossed in chomping down all the street food, we actually got lost. Glad we had offline Google Maps downloaded to help us navigate our way out. But ofcourse, Google Maps took us through the very core, non-touristy part of Naples where people hung clothes to dry on strings attached between 2 buildings. I think two strings for every floor. It reminded me a lot about India.
Early next day we drove to Vesuvius volcano. Vesuvius last erupted in 1944 and is known to be the only active volcano in Campania. Paid a parking fee and hiked up for 20 minutes in fog to see no crater visible. Worth visiting for the panoramic view of Naples. There was a E10 entry fee to the crater. But so glad we didn’t wait until morning to go up there, the hike would’ve been draining under that strong sun. Lunch at the Ristorante Douce Atmosphere was a quick affair, also a forgettable one apart from the views.
Naples has easy access to the gulf islands of Ischia, Capri and Procida. We picked Capri and made a day trip to the famous island that Enrique Iglesias so fondly sang about.
Curious about our day trip to Capri? Read it here : Escape to Capri
On our last day in Naples, we rented a car and drove along the Amalfi coast. I was stunned by the coastline and the cutest fishing villages all around it.
You will love Amalfi Coast! I’ve written all about our Roadtrip along the Amalfi Coast.
Other things to do in Naples
Gesù Nuovo Square
Royal Palace of Naples
Galleria Umberto I