Special shout-out to my husband and favourite travel partner who has taken most of our travel photos.

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Naples itinerary in 3 days

Where to go in Naples - Piazza Dante
Hotel

Naples:

Hotel Piazza Bellini

♥♥♥♥

This hotel is in a perfect location just outside the historical centre. The old building has been renovated nicely with modern rooms and amenities, but still retains some of its old charm, particularly in the beautiful courtyard. 

The rooms are spacious and clean. The breakfast is plentiful and the staff are very friendly and helpful.

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Many people discouraged us from going to Naples - it seems to have a bad reputation for being rough and filled with pick pocketers. We did not find this at all and were so happy we spent a few days in this lively and authentic Italian city. It was one of the unexpected highlights of our visits to Italy.

Naples is the third largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan. It has one of the largest historic centres in Europe - made up of narrow streets and alleys, filled with churches and monuments. There is so much history, the locals are lively, warm and proud of their city and the food... best Neapolitan pizza and ragu sauce I've ever had!

Day 1

 
Where to go in Naples - Naples historic centre
Noteworthy Restaurants
  • Nam 43. Located close to our hotel, this small restaurant serves homemade food and light lunches.

  • Scarturchio Pastry Shop.  This well-known patisserie serves a couple of Neapolitan specialties: Sphogliatelle, crispy dough filled with sweet cheese, and chocolate Ministeriali. Both delicious.

  • La Figlia Del Presidente Pizzeria. This casual restaurant serves delicious fresh salads and Neapolitan pizza. 

  • Vesi Pizzeria.  Located in the centre of the historic district. This casual restaurant serves the best pizza we had in Naples.  

  • Tandem Ragu. Located in the historical centre. This small restaurant specializes in both meat and vegetarian Neapolitan ragu which they cook for over 8 hours. Definitely the best ragu I've ever eaten!

  • Bosco de Medici Winery Located outside of Pompeii, this winery produces its wine from vineyards located on the base of Mt. Veuvius. They offer wine tasting and a delicious lunch with spectacular views of the vineyards and Mt. Vesuvius.

Favourite Museums

There are several museums in Naples. We didn't go to many on this trip as we spent most of our time exploring the city. 

  • National Museum of Archeology. If you have time, I would recommend going to the National Museum of Archeology. It is supposed to be one the best in the world and has many pieces from Pompeii in its collection.

  • Galleria d'Italia Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano - a Baroque Palace which was built as the home of a rich Spanish merchant, eventually became a bank and more recently converted into a small museum. It now houses a collection of  paintings, sculptures and drawings.

  • Naples Underground. On this tour of the tunnels below Naples, we learnt about the archaeological, anthropological and geological history of the city. Descending steps to about 40 metres below ground, we visited cavities excavated in the Greek era (fourth century BC) as well as the air red shelters used during World War ll. We also saw the remains of a Roman theatre.

Including Pompeii

Afternoon

We arrived in Naples in the early afternoon and checked into our hotel, Hotel Piazza Bellini, located perfectly just outside the historical centre. The old building has been renovated nicely with modern rooms and amenities, but still retains some of its old charm, particularly in the beautiful courtyard. 

We went for a quick, light lunch across the street from our hotel at Nam 43, a quiet and small restaurant.

After lunch we met with our animated and informative guide, Raffaele, of Naples Grand Tour.  Raffaele took us on a three-hour walk through the historical centre of Naples - considered one of the largest in all of Europe. 

He led us through the alleys and streets explaining some of the history, origins, superstitions and legends that make this city and its people so special. We visited several churches and heard stories about the unique traditions of each church. 

Along the way, we stopped for some traditional snacks at Scarturchio Pastry Shop where we tried a couple of Neapolitan specialties such as the Sphogliatelle, crispy dough filled with sweet cheese, and chocolate Ministeriali. Both delicious.

We also made a stop for coffee in Bar Nilo, where they have a shrine in honour of their beloved soccer player, Maradona. They even have locks of his holy hair on display!

Evening

For dinner we knew we had to try Neapolitan pizza. We went to La Figlia Del Presidente Pizzeria. This casual restaurant serves delicious fresh salads and pizza.

Day 2

Where to go in Naples - Royal Palace, Palazzo Reale

Morning

Below the historic centre of Naples is a whole underground city made up of tunnels filled with history, and deeply connected with the world above. These tunnels, some of which are 2,400 years old, go back to the ancient greeks. 

This morning we booked a tour of this fascinating archeological site through Naples Underground. We learnt about the archaeological, anthropological and geological history of this maze of tunnels. Descending steps to about 40 metres below ground, we visited cavities excavated in the Greek era (fourth century BC) as well as the air raid shelters used during World War ll. We also saw the remains of a Roman theatre.

After the tour we wandered around the historical centre and stopped for lunch at Vesi Pizzeria in the centre of the historic district. This casual restaurant serves the best pizza we had in Naples.  

Afternoon

After lunch we went for a stroll in the newer part of the city outside of the historical centre. We started at the Archeological Museum on the north end and walked south along the Via Toledo. Naples has many monuments throughout the city, so we wandered in and out of the streets lining Via Toledo. 

On the west side is the Spanish Quarter, with its many restaurants and lively atmosphere. 

We stopped in the Galleria d'Italia Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano - a Baroque Palace which was originally built as the home of a rich Spanish merchant, eventually became a bank and more recently converted into a museum. It now houses a large collection of art, including paintings, sculptures and drawings.

After the museum we continued down Via Toledo to Galleria Umberto 1 - a public shopping gallery built in 1887 and recently renovated after years of decay. It houses shops and cafès. It is a beautiful, high and spacious, cross-shaped structure with a glass atrium ceiling.

We then continued to the Royal Palace and then to the Piazza del Plebiscito, the main square in Naples which celebrates the 1861 vote in which Naples chose to join Italy. From there we walked down to the waterfront and port.

On our walk back to the hotel we stopped for a coffee and baba - a famous Neapolitan pastry soaked in rum. What could be better for an afternoon snack?

Evening

This evening we went to Tandem Ragu in the historical centre. This small restaurant specializes in both meat and vegetarian Neapolitan ragu which cooks for over 8 hours. Definitely the best ragu I've ever eaten!

Guides and Tours

Naples:

  • Naples Grand Tour. Our animated and informative guide, Raffaele took us on a three-hour walk through the historical centre of Naples - considered one of the largest centres in all of Europe. 

Pompeii:

  • Tours Pompeii Guide. Antonio Somma provided us with our driver for the day, our tour guide in Pompeii and arranged our lunch at a beautiful vineyard. The tour company was easy to work with and organized a wonderful day.

Itinerary Add-ons

This itinerary can be combined with:

Day 3

Pompeii

Where to go in Pompeii - ancient ruins

Day trip

After breakfast today we checked out of our hotel and met our driver who took us to Pompeii.

We booked our tour of Pompeii with Tours Pompeii Guide who provided us with our driver for the day, our tour guide in Pompeii, arranged our lunch at a beautiful winery and then drove us to Positano for the next leg of our trip.

Pompeii is an ancient Roman city at the base of Mt. Vesuvius. It was buried under 4 to 6 metres of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 and was rediscovered by a surveying engineer in 1748. Largely preserved under the ash, it provides an idea of what life was like during that period. 

Our guide, Lucca, provided an interesting commentary and pointed out the details of the homes, theatres, shops and roads used in this ancient city. It was fascinating and much larger than we had expected.

Following our tour in Pompeii (which lasted around 2.5 hours) our driver took us to a lovely winery for lunch. Bosco de Medici Winery produces its wine from vineyards located on the base of Mt. Veuvius. The soil is mixed with volcanic ash which produces wines with a unique flavour. The restaurant and wine tastings were a highlight. We also took a short tour of the winery and were given a description of the history of the land and families who owned the winery over the years.

Following lunch we began our drive to Positano in the Amalfi Coast. See Amalfi Coast itinerary in 4 Days.

Where to go in Pompeii - Bosco de Medici winery