Naples is a big city on the western coast of Italy, on the Tyrrhenian Sea. With 975,000 people and a greater metropolitan population of over 3.1 million, it is one of the most populated cities in the United States.
After Rome and Milan, this huge metropolis is Italy’s third-largest city. Naples and the surrounding area have been inhabited since the Neolithic period. From ancient Greece to the Roman Empire and beyond, it has been constant human activity.
Terrible wars have raged in Naples throughout history, and several civilizations have vied for supremacy. Naples’ port is one of the most important in the Mediterranean, and the city has one of the most robust economies in Italy.
Because of the region’s rich history, Naples is filled with antique structures, squares, and churches, as well as a deluge of modern comforts and fantastic nightlife alternatives. This is a wonderful tourist destination, looming in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius.
Best Things to do in Naples Italy
Let’s have a look at the Best Things to do in Naples Italy:
Climb Mount Vesuvius
Mount Vesuvius, a Stratovolcano, dominates the skyline and terrain surrounding Naples. It is a renowned volcano that notoriously erupted in 79 AD, destroying Pompeii and Herculaneum and burying them.
Vesuvius is the only volcano on mainland Europe to erupt in the last 100 years. It is regarded as very dangerous due to the large number of human settlements in its danger zone.
Today, you may take a bus excursion from Naples to see this beautiful natural wonder and trek up the crater’s slopes to peek inside.
The trek takes 20-30 minutes and is rated somewhat difficult. On a clear day, the views from the top are spectacular, and the caldera and crater are fascinating.
Visit the ruins of Pompeii
Pompeii was an ancient city under the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, the most famous volcano in the world.
This settlement was very sophisticated and extensive, and it was destroyed when the volcano erupted in 79 AD. Despite the damage caused by the lava and the amount of lava that spilled over the city, Pompeii is in excellent shape today — because a massive layer of ash was placed over the fragmentary ruins and thus worked as a preserver.
Today, you may visit Pompeii and walk among the huge ruins – the Amphitheatre, the Casa del Fauno, the Temple of Apollo, and the Temple of Jupiter are among the most noteworthy attractions.
Additionally, plaster castings of several of the unfortunate victims buried beneath the ash and remained trapped in their death stance for all eternity can be found.
Recommended tour: 15 Best Things to Do in Torre del Greco, Italy
Naples National Archaeological Museum
The museum, housed in an elaborate tower built in the 1750s, used to be a military and cavalry barracks before being converted into a museum.
Although the museum is located north of the Harbor, it is adjacent to a Metro stop.
Inside, you’ll find a large collection of Roman and Greek relics, as well as pieces from Pompeii and Herculaneum.
This collection contains marble statues showing scenes from Greek mythology, exquisite mosaics from the Pompeii ruins, and a large collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts such as mummified corpses and death masks.
This museum is an endlessly fascinating site to see for anyone interested in ancient history and archaeology.
San Gennaro Catacombs
Have you ever wished to discover a hidden underground realm filled with intricate details and passageways? The San Gennaro Catacombs give just that, and the entrance to this surreal site may be found near the Basilica dell’Incoronata in the northern section of Naples.
Once down, you’ll discover a maze of tunnels and corridors packed with old cemeteries and crypts.
The lower floor, divided into two levels, includes stunning 3000+ tombs and poorly illuminates the eerie underground atmosphere.
The top floor is larger but no less intriguing, with many detailed frescos and artwork.
A guided tour into the catacombs will provide a remarkable experience and a comprehensive understanding of Naples’ history.
Visit the ruins of Herculaneum
Herculaneum, a lesser-known counterpart to Pompeii, was also devastated by Vesuvius’ eruption in 79 AD. This city is equally as interesting and a great site to view as Pompeii.
Despite being farther removed from Vesuvius than Pompeii, the city was still utterly devastated.
Herculaneum is a better-preserved example than Pompeii, with parts of its wooden constructions, frames, and roofing still standing.
The Villa of the Papyri and the House of Argus, including exquisite frescoes and wall paintings, are two of the most interesting sights inside the complex.
Many bone remains demonstrate how this tragic group of people died. If you go to Pompeii, be sure to go to Herculaneum for a more in-depth look at an ancient era.
The Castel Nuovo is a prominent component of Naples’ skyline, and one of the first views visitors arriving by cruise ship will see.
The castle, located to the famed Piazza del Plebiscito, is easily accessible and is one of Naples’ most important historical attractions.
The fortress, built in 1282, has five circular crenulated towers and a spectacular triumphal arch constructed later.
Take a tour of the castle to see the gorgeous towers, stand within the central courtyard to see the painted ceiling of the Baron’s Hall, and climb the castle ramparts for spectacular views of Naples and the harbor.
There are various chapels and churches in Naples, including the Sansevero Chapel, which is one of the nicest.
Built in 1590 as a private home for the Duke of Torremaggoire, the church was later used as a family burial chapel beginning in 1613. The chapel sits near the harbor and the Castel Nuovo, in the center of Naples.
Even though it appears to be fairly modest and humble from the outside, the interior of this church is incredibly stunning and serves as the focal point.
A huge collection of artwork and numerous well-known sculptures may be found in the church. A detailed and magnificent painting adorns the ceiling, and many marble figurines guard each pillar.
This magnificent display is centered on Giuseppe Sanmartino’s stunning sculpture of the Veiled Christ.
This magnificent sea-bound palace will greet you as you enter the port of Naples.
The area on which the castle stands was once an island, but it is now connected to the mainland by a walkway and a road.
The Castel dell Ovo, Naples’ oldest surviving fortification, was built in the early 6th century BC and has remained in some defensive structure ever since.
The castle is open to the public and is a great tower to visit — stroll around the passages and arches while looking out over the Mediterranean Sea.
There are also various art exhibits and displays regarding the castle’s history.
The port of Naples is extremely active, and maritime trade is the city’s primary source of revenue. The port network is separated into various docks and is a hive of activity at all-day hours.
You might easily spend hours roaming through the docks and ports that stretch from the Castel Nuovo to the Piazza San Giovanni Battista, watching the fascinating activity that takes place here.
Additionally, if you travel west, you will come across the Porto di Mergellina, full of contemporary restaurants and cafes and has a lively ambiance.
Come here to get a taste of local life while admiring the various yachts that anchor at the harbor.
Piazza del Plebiscito
The Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples’ principal square, is home to the Royal Palace and the Royal Basilica and is a beautiful destination to explore.
Apart from the structures above, the Palazzo Salerno, the Prefecture Palace, and a statue dedicated to Charles III of Spain are also located inside this huge open space.
The Basilica Royal’s semi-circular colonnades spread out and wonderfully frame the square.
Make this your starting point for a tour of Naples, and don’t miss the beautiful ancient structures that line the streets.
San Domenico Maggiore
The Sam Domenico Maggiore was erected by Dominican Friars in 1324 and is another of Naples’ wonderfully ornamented churches. The church lies near the university, and the Dante Metro stops in the heart of Naples’ old town.
While the structure’s outside isn’t particularly stunning, the interior is a true delight.
The church is lavish, with renaissance artwork, sculptures, and decorating — the paneled ceiling is coated with gold, and the high altar is likewise a gorgeous masterpiece.
In addition, there is a “treasure room” with a variety of religious relics, apparel, accessories, and other items.
The Duomo Cathedral, which dates from the 13th century, is a majestic monument that serves as the principal cathedral in Naples and southern Italy.
The cathedral, which is located on the By Duomo, is accessible via the Museo metro station and a regular bus service that passes by the front façade.
Due to restorations and adjustments made since its construction, this ecclesiastical structure blends various styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque.
The front façade has a massive central tower as well as numerous decorative sculptures and stonework.
Massive columns enclose the main knave on the inside, and the ornamentation is truly stunning.
Remember to pay a visit to San Gennaro’s wonderfully decorated chapel, which has a magnificently decorated altar and two vessels carrying the saint’s blood.
Explore the district of Santa Lucia
To get a true experience of Naples from a local’s perspective and soak up some culture, head to the Santa Lucia district.
This area is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets that snake down to the sea and are dotted with craft shops, restaurants, cafes, and shops. It is located west of the Piazza del Plebiscito.
Locals will be walking around the streets going about their daily routines, clothes hanging on laundry lines, and children playing carelessly.
The majestic Royal Palace, which stands opposite the Basilica Reale on the Piazza del Plebiscito, is the Piazza del Plebiscito’s focal point.
To give it an official and imposing aspect, this building’s front face features a symmetrical pattern of black framing, brown render, and numerous windows.
At the palace’s base, 12 realistic statues of previous Kings of Naples, ranging from Roger of Sicily to Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, stand.
The throne chamber and state theatre, as well as the first hallway and stairway, are lavish. You must take a tour of the interior and rooms to complete your visit to this amazing ancient structure.
Take a boat to explore the island of Capri
Capri is a small populated island in the Mediterranean Sea noted for its spectacular scenery, rough coastline filled with stunning caves, and attractive Italian settlements.
A boat ride from Naples takes little under two hours, and ferries frequently run between the island and the mainland and Sorrento.
Take a stroll through the beautiful Marina Grande, view the boats in the harbor, and then embark on an island exploration.
Don’t miss a visit to the famous Blue Grotto Sea Cave or the vista from Monte Solaro’s summit.
We appreciate you taking the time to read our post about Best Things to do in Naples Italy. Kindly notify us if you have any additional comments or questions in the section below. We’d be delighted to hear from you.
Best Things to do in Naples Italy
- Climb Mount Vesuvius
- Visit the ruins of Pompeii
- Naples National Archaeological Museum
- San Gennaro Catacombs
- Visit the ruins of Herculaneum
- Castel Nuovo
- Cappella Sansevero
- Castel dell’Ovo
- Naples Harbour
- Piazza del Plebiscito
- San Domenico Maggiore
- Naples Cathedral
- Explore the district of Santa Lucia
- Palazzo Reale
- Take a boat to explore the island of Capri