Itinerary map here

Along the Coast from Naples to the Amalfi Coast

4 nights: Naples for visiting the National Museum of Archeology, Egg Castle, New Castle and St Elmo Castle, strolling along the seaside, exploring the underground city and taking a 2 day trips to Pompeii archaeological site, Vesuvius volcano and Phlegraean Fields (Pozzuoli, Cuma and Baia).
1 night: Ischia for hiking Trails of Lizard, enjoy a spa treatment and experience the relaxing effects of Poseidon hot springs.
2 nights: Capri for exploring the “Emperors' Island” (Garden of Augustus and Villa of Jupiter) and indulge in its charms, including a boat trip to the astonishing Blue Grotto.
3 nights: The Amalfi Coast for sunbathing on its beaches, wandering through picturesque villages (Positano, Ravello, Vietri sul Mare) scattered along the steep cliffs, drinking a limoncello in the main square of Amalfi, and take the stupendous Path of the Gods (Sentieri degli Dei).

" This itinerary encompasses the Western coast of Italy around Naples packed with surprises, from the narrow streets of the most vibrant and colorful city in the South of Italy to the streets frozen in the time of ancient Pompeii, and from the lost mysteries of Cumae and stinking but intriguing ”fumarole” of Solfatara to the wonders of Amalfi Coast, one of the most beautiful places in the world, and the secrets of Capri island, whose glamor is beyond description. "

Some general information:

Don't shorten your stay in Naples (as many tourists do) just because of rumors about local mafia (or Camorra) or the menace of thieves: as a tourist you have nothing to be afraid of if bear minimal precautions, as in any other big city.

Avoid crowds of tourists in high season (July and August), especially in Capri and the Amalfi Coast. Do keep in mind that this stretch of Italy coast is so popular that it is always busy and filled with visitors.



4 nights


Noisy, unpredictable and chaotic, Naples is for adventurers with an open mind. You will love it or you will hate it, but you'll have to admit that it is the most iconic city for Southern Italy. Pizza was invented here and Vergil wrote Eneid in this city. You can drink delicious coffee (try nocciola!) that you will crave it when you return home. In the middle of the histrionic Napoletani, you will feel most of the time as if you were on a stage and soon you will be convinced that life is an endless show.

Give Naples a chance! At the end you will have to admit that the Italian phrase Vedi Napoli, poi muori (See Naples and Die) is not senseless.

What to do:

First of all you should go to National Archaeological Museum, the highlight of Naples and one of the most important museums of its kind in the world. Spend at least half a day here, admiring the impressive Greek and Roman antiquities, part of the famous Farnese Collection. Don't miss the marble sculptures (Farnese Hercules, Farnese Atlas, Farnese Bull, Aphrodite Kallipygos or Aphrodite of the beautiful buttocks), the mosaics from Pompeii (The Battle between Alexander the Great and Darius and Cave Canem/Beware of the Dog being the most famous), the Secret Cabinet (full of pieces with erotic subject), the papyri and Roman bronzes excavated in Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum and the delicately engraved gems exposed in the basement.

Finish your day with a relaxing stroll along Lungomare, the 3km long seafront promenade, from Mergellina harbour to the Egg Castle (Castel del Ovo), rising on the Megaride peninsula, packed with many restaurants and cafés. You will pass by Villa Comunale Park, with an Aquarium and a Zoological Station, perfect for children. If it's summer, taste a refreshing gelato or a tonic lemon granita.

The next day, familiarize yourself with the city and discover the real Naples, both praised and despised by those who don't understand its hectic spirit. Try to find your way in the maze of narrow bustling streets of the old city, best to be explored on foot. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the picturesque centre of Naples boasts numerous architectural landmarks including Cathedral (Duomo), Santa Clara (Santa Chiara) Monastery, medieval Castel Nuovo, Palazzo Reale and so on.

Nearby, on the other side of Teatro San Carlo, Galleria Umberto I, a stunning commercial arcade with glass roof, invites you to a therapeutic shopping session. You can extend it on Via Toledo, the main shopping street in city, a long pedestrian street lined with small shops and department stores. To the left, at the foot of Vomero Hill you can explore the Spanish Quarter (Quartieri Spagnoli), with its dark alleys, we recommend you avoiding it at night.

At the end, enjoy a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the city and its sweeping bay from the ramparts of St Elmo Castle, at the top of Vomero Hill. The vistas are breathtaking, so worth the effort to get there. If you don't feel like climbing the hill, you can take one of the 3 cable cars lines: Funicolare di Montesanto (from Montesanto), Funicolare Centrale (from Piazza Augusteo, next to Galleria Umberto I), and Funicolare Chiaia (from Corso Vittorio Emanuele or Regina Margherita Station). The six-pointed star shaped fortress became a ''castle of arts'': now houses Novecento Museum, with a collection of local modern art, and its courtyard (Piazza d'Armi) is used as stage for concerts and other cultural events.

A few steps below is Certosa di San Martino, a venerable carthusian monastery dating back to 1368, now transformed in a museum. It has one of the largest collections of presepi (nativity scenes) in the world. When you want to go back to the city I recommend you to take the stairs instead of the funicular: as you descend the views will change every step and every curve.

For those who like to explore the cities off the beaten path we recommend the Underground Naples (Napoli Sotterranea), a fabulous network of caves, passageways, Roman tunnels, cisterns and aqueducts dug into the tuff rock and used as shelter during World War II. Sections of this underground city spanning over 120km, 40m below the soil, are accessible to visitors. There are many tours, but we highly recommend the one meet at Piazza San Gaetano, next to Basilica di San Paolo Maggiore, in Via dei Tribunali, which includes a surprise at the end (a hidden Greco-Roman theater). Another option are the catacombs below Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore, on the other part of the street, or the amazing Catacombs of San Gennaro, in Via Tondo di Capodimonte 13, north of the city, whose entrance ticket gives access to San Gaudioso Catacombs in Sanità neighborhood.

25km south-east of Naples is Pompeii, buried under lava and ash after the catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius. Wandering its streets is like a journey back in time. You will see well-preserved villas, temples, public buildings and impressive wall frescoes, painted in the famous intense Pompeian red. Take a map at the entrance and search the highlights: the Forum, the Amphitheatre, Great Palestra, the Stabian Baths, House of the Faun, House of the Small Fountain, the brothel, the Villa of the Mysteries etc.

The archaeological site (Pompei Scavi) is served by the Circumvesuviana railway line (starting point: the main train station at Piazza Garibaldi in Naples). This is useful too if you want to see Herculaneum (today, Ercolano), Villa Poppaea, Stabiae, Torre Annunziata – other great archaeological sites, unfortunately shadowed by the more touristic Pompeii. Avoid weekends, when traffic jams are frequent.

The menacing silhouette of Mount Vesuvius (1182m), the only active volcano in Europe, dominates the skyline of the Bay of Naples. Take a shuttle bus from Pompeii, which leaves you at 1000m altitude. From the car park, take the trail number 5 to the crater (Gran Cono). The volcano has been asleep since 1944 and nobody knows when will erupt again, but take the risk if you like adventures!

The second day trip from Naples will give you the occasion to explore the volcanic area known as Phlegraean Fields (Campi Flegrei), covered by the 20km long Cumana train line (starting point: Montesanto station in Naples). This valley west of Naples has more than 20 craters, most of them underwater. First stop: Pozzuoli (ancient Puteoli), a small harbour 12 km west of Naples, where you can visit Anfiteatro Flavio, one of the best preserved amphitheatres in all Italy. A few kilometres away, the dormant crater Solfatara, who exhales jets of sulphurous steam, is famed as the mythological residence of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.

5km to the north of Pozzuoli is Cuma (ancient Cumae), the first Greek colony in Italy, founded on the coast of Tyrrhenian Sea in the 8th century BC. The archeological site includes Cave of the Sibyl (Antro della Sibilla) and the acropolis with two temples dedicated to Zeus and Apollo.
In Baia (ancient Baiae), 4 km to the south, you can see the ruins of an imperial villa and the spa complex (terme di Baia) of this fancy resort, once very popular among rich Romans. Aragonese Castle is now home to Museum of the Campi Flegrei. Most of the archaeological site of Baiae is underwater, but you can take a tour if you are a diver. Quite eccentric, isn't it?

Eat & drink:

Eat a real Napolitano pizza margherita (tomatoes, basil and mozzarella) from Di Matteo (Via dei Tribunali 94), Pizzeria Brandi (Salita Sant'Anna di Palazzo 1-2) or Da Michele (Via Cesare Sersale 1-3), where allegedly the recipe was first created.


Now it's time to escape the overcrowded Naples to more secluded places. To get to Ischia Island, 30km from Naples, you can take a high speed ferry (Aliscafi) from Molo Beverello harbour, opposite the New Castle, or a slower (but cheaper) one from Calata Porto di Massa; another option is the small Mergellina harbour. You can reach Ischia by hydrofoil also from Pozzuoli and Sorrento.


Ischia island

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Ischia, a volcanic island, the largest in the Gulf of Naples, is surprisingly green, so it's perfect for nature lovers and hiking aficionados, but also for those who want to enjoy some peace.

What to do:

The Ischia's thermal hot springs, used for wellness and therapeutic treatments since Roman times, are a must-see; we recommend Bay of Sorgento and Poseidon Spa Gardens. Sunbathe on Maronti beach spanning over 2km in the Bay of Barano, east of the car-free Sant'Angelo village, and on Citara sandy beach. Aragonese Castle, built in the 5th century on the top of a rock soaring above the sea, is connected to the island by a stone bridge. Stroll the peaceful Gardens of Villa Ravino, Gardens of La Mortella and the park of Villa La Colombaia. Hike up the slopes of Mount Epomeo (787m), the highest summit on the island. Choose one of the 4 Lizard Trails, which go through vineyards and chestnut forests to an extinct volcano crater, old churches and cellars, and beautiful bays: Path of the Great Crater (red lizard: 2.15hours), the most popular, Path of the old cellars (yellow lizard: 2 hours), Path of the sanctuary (purple lizard; 2 hours), and Path of the Baie (blue lizard: 1.15 hours).

In the end you could give a chance to Ischia's little sister, the charming Procida, the smallest and less touristy island in the Gulf of Naples. Its secluded bays, the fishermen's colorful houses in Marina Corricella and two beautiful beaches (Chiaiolella and Pozzo Vecchio) worth the effort to take the ferry from Ischia to get here in half an hour.


Back to the harbour to take the ferry to Capri island, 30km away. You can reach there too by boat or hydrofoil from Naples, Pozzuoli or Sorrento. The ferries stop in Capri Porto di Marina Grande, from where a funicular carries you to the Piazzetta (Little Square) in Capri town. If want to go to Anacapri town, board on a bus from the station opposite of the ferry terminal.


Capri island

2 nights


Capri, the gem of Naples Bay, is simply magnetic. The dreamy combination of scenic landscapes, cobalt sea, steep cliffs, luxuriant vegetation, marine grottoes, architectural heritage, mild climate and bright light is irresistible. Add a large slice of imperial history and another one of art and culture and you'll have a glimpse of Capri. Since centuries this little magic island lured emperors, poets, painters and musicians who found inspiration here.

What to do:

Rising from the azure waters of Tyrrhenian Sea, Capri is often called Blue Island. Take a boat to the awe-inspiring Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra) and you will understand why. The picturesque hairpin path called Via Krupp links Gardens of Augustus (Giardini di Augusto), a terraced botanical garden, with lovely Little Harbour (Marina Piccola), where you can find two beaches and many fish restaurants. For fantastic vistas over the sea stroll along the Tragara Belvedere, a narrow path lined with villas and hotels, starting from Piazzetta. Villa of Jupiter (Villa Jovis), the residence of Tiberius emperor, who spent the last 10 years of his life here, sits on a cliff edge, on the north-east coast of the island.

From Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri town a chairlift takes you in only 12 minutes to the top of Monte Solaro (589m), the highest peak of island, from where you can admire 360-degree views of both Bay of Naples and Amalfi Coast, spanning in full glory. The three massive rocks soaring from the sea are called Faraglioni. Another must-see is Villa San Michele, built on roman ruins by the Axel Munthe, a physician who wrote here The Story of San Michele.


From Capri take the ferry to Sorrento, a very popular resort at the end of Circumvesuviana train line from Naples. In Sorrento you can get on a SITA bus, rent a car or board on the ferry to the Amalfi Coast. I chose the bus ride, which proved to be more than thrilling and dramatic: at the end of the 2-hour long journey all the passengers clapped their hands applauding the "show" and, of course, the skilled driver who perfectly coped with the narrowed road. At least twice I was convinced we would plunge off the cliff directly into the gorgeous sea, but he managed to avoid it. Quite memorable!


Spending 10 days on the coast around Naples makes the perfect memorable holiday. You can choose between a city full of life, dreamy islands with beaches and hiking trails, archaeological sites and a marvelous coast who seems to be a paradise on earth. A little bit of something for everyone's taste!