Guide: Naples, Italy

by Carrinicole

TRAVEL BACK TO THE ROMAN EMPIRE

When you consider your life’s ‘great loves’, pizza is at the top of that list for me. I could — and tend to — eat pizza every day when I’m in Italy. Amazing food… wine… history… art… beaches… Italy is always a good idea.

A wedding brought us to Italy; I’ve been to Italy five times, so for this trip I wanted a less urban and more of a beach vacation. Its no surprise that the Mediterranean is my favorite beach destination, so I jumped at the opportunity to try out Italian beaches. I also wanted to see Pompeii and eat true Neapolitan pizza.

Since every location that we wanted to see involved transportation in some way, we decided to make a beachfront resort our “Naples home base” for five days. That way we could spend the first half of the day lounging by the water and swimming in the ocean — then hop in our rental car to our activity for the day in the late afternoon, after the heat subsided.

  • Currency: Euro

  • Getting here: Airplane, Train, Rental Car

  • Where to Stay: Capo La Gala (Vico Equense)

  • Getting Around: Rental Car, Bus, Train, Taxi

    • NOTE: This is itinerary used a rental car, which I will warn is for confident drivers only.

  • Itinerary:

    • Key Sights: Heraculaneum, Pompeii, Naples Archeological Museum, Amalfi Coast

    • Restaurants: L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

GETTING HERE

We drove from Northern Italy, but you can fly into Naples or Rome. If you fly into Rome, you can take the train to Naples.

Getting Around

We got a rental car with AVIS and drove to each of our destinations. 

PRO TIP:

If you are not expert at driving a manual car, be sure to specify an automatic transmission for your rental car. Roads are narrow and steep with aggressive drivers, so unless you have an expert driver in your group, I would rethink this mode of transportation, and opt for the bus and trains.

WHERE TO STAY

Capo La Gala

Location: Vico Equense

Rare beachside Amalfi Coast resort

Vico Equense is the first town as you approach the Amalfi Coast from the north. The location of the hotel made for a great home base, as its right off the main road, for easy access. This is one of the many things that makes Capo la Gala a rare hotel in the Amalfi region. The other is that its right on the water, since most hotels in the Amalfi region are on a hilltop / cliff / in town.

ITINERARY

We balanced our days with beach time the first half of the day, and an activity late afternoon. This allowed for us to slowly wake up, enjoy breakfast and the water during peak heat. Once the sun lowered in late afternoon, we were out seeing the sights.

PRO TIP: If you are going in the summer, look at the weather forecast during your stay and pick the most cloudy / coolest day to go to Pompeii. The city is bigger than you think, you will be there longer than you anticipated without a break, and the heat can be unbearable.

DAY 1 – Travel Day

Arrive at Capo La Gala & Dinner at Hotel Restaurant

DAY 2 – Heraculaneum

Breakfast at Hotel & Beach Time

Heraculaneum

There are places to visit beyond Pompeii to see the preserved artifacts from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Located closer to Mount Vesuvius, the town of Heraculaneum is a smaller, but more preserved town that you can visit. It is a must-see if you plan to visit Pompeii.

Dinner: Vico Equense

The hotel has a free shuttle service to Vico Equense, where every evening for dinner, we walk the town, watch the sunset, and enjoy dinner.

DAY 3 – Pompeii

Breakfast at Hotel & Beach Time

Pompeii

Rain was forecasted during our trip, so we chose that day to go to Pompeii. What an experience! We packed raincoats and umbrellas, and were prepared. We were the only ones prepared. When the rain started, the city emptied out, and it was like we had all of Pompeii to ourselves. It was unforgettable.

DAY 4 – Naples

Breakfast at Hotel & Beach Time

Naples Archeological Museum

Warning: Naples driving was intense. Finding a place to park and driving through the streets with aggressive drivers will be a bit stressful for the driver.

This museum houses the artifacts found in Herculaneum and Pompeii. We liked seeing the museum after both sites – it really brought the cities to life.

One of our favorite areas of the museum is the secret section where they keep the artifacts found from the brothels.

Famous from “Eat Pray Love” – L’Antica delivers on authentic Neapolitan pizza, with a Michelin Star win this year. The small restaurant, sitting elbow to elbow with fellow diners each with a cold Italian beer and an entire pizza in front of them was heaven to me.

DAY 5 – Sorrento

Breakfast at Hotel & Beach Time

Sorrento

We determined that the Amalfi Coast was not a part of this trip, it was for a different, future trip. We did have a free afternoon and the closest famous Amalfi town is Sorrento, so we decided to go there.

Getting there: I would recommend taking the train or the bus, but both were on strike when we were there, so we drove. Its easy to see why you shouldn’t drive – steep narrow windy roads, with aggressive drivers, and little parking.

DAY 6 – Travel Day

We dropped our rental car off in Naples, and hopped on the train to Rome!

OTHER THINGS TO SEE...

  • Explore the rest of the Amalfi Coast

MAPS

MORE PHOTOS

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