The city of Naples, located in the southern region of Italy, does not appeal to tourists like the other popular destinations in Italy – Rome, Venice and Florence, simply because it is a poor city and there aren’t many tourist attractions in Naples itself.
However, I believe that your travel experience is whatever you choose to make it. I visited Naples and I am happy to tell you that it was a memorable experience. I had accompanied my sister who was attending a conference in Naples – I’ll take any opportunity to explore a new location.
On arrival in Naples, we were welcomed by unkempt streets and buildings as we drove to the hotel from the airport. As a tourist, that didn’t give a good first impression of my “new home”. Regardless, I decided that I was going to make the best of this new habitat.
Neapolitans are friendly people. They tell you where to find good food, where to go, where not to go and how to avoid tourist crowds. You get lots of perks from talking to them. The staff at my hotel were locals and were extremely helpful with tourist information.
There are quite a number of activities and attractions around the city of Naples. Naples itself does not have many attractions but it’s a central location to the remarkable attractions around it. It is also cheaper to stay in Naples and then visit the attractions around it – plus the food in Naples is great!
The most memorable moments from my visit to Napoli:
Beach Day at Ischia
Ischia is a small island at the north end of the Gulf of Naples. Although the Island of Capri is more popular among tourists, the locals advised us to visit Ischia to avoid the crowded beaches at Capri. The Island is approximately one hour from the port of Naples by ferry - the only way to visit any of the Islands of Naples Bay. We spent the day on San Montano beach at Negombo Thermal Park in Lacco Ameno.
It was perfect – tranquil atmosphere, warm sea and great restaurants on the beach. At the time, I hadn’t learned to swim so I loved that the beach was enclosed on both sides by tree-lined hills and had a low bottom for a long stretch, which meant I could wade out into the turquoise sea, half body immersed in water without sinking into the sand.
Visiting the Ruins of Pompeii
Before I visited Pompeii, I didn’t know the history behind the archeological site. I sure knew the song “Pompeii” by Bastille but I never bothered to find out the meaning of the lyrics.
Pompeii was an ancient Roman town near the Bay of Naples. The town was destroyed and covered in volcanic ash after an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD.
The ruins of the town have now become a major archeological site and tourist attraction. I took the metro from Naples city to the station in Pompeii, Pompeii Scavi Villa de Misteri.
We joined a group with other tourists and a tour guide. Entry tickets were €11. Our tour guide was very cheerful, knowledgeable and dramatic as she told us about the history of the site – she made the tour extra fun and interesting. I love when travel intersects history or science. For me, it’s like killing two birds with one stone when I acquire new, useful knowledge on holiday.
Bay of Naples: Italian Food, Mount Vesuvius
Naples is known for the best pizzerias and the finest seafood dishes. I found many great, affordable restaurants on the bay of Naples. My favorite seafood dish in Naples was Spaghetti Frutti di Mare – a pasta dish bursting with flavors from different types of seafood. I had a seafood dish everyday during my stay in Naples – yes, it was that great!
The Gulf of Naples is one of the most picturesque areas in Naples. The view of Mount Vesuvius from the bay is absolutely breathtaking, especially when accompanied by great Napoli food. It was beautiful, sitting out on the bay in the evenings, watching the sunset over Mount Vesuvius.