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Naples and the Amalfi Coast

Photo by Bonnie Alberts

Naples and the Amalfi Coast Itineraries

Naples in 48 Hours

Naples Island Hopping: a Spa Day on Ischia

Naples Netherworld

Pompeii Sites

Walking Tour of Historic Naples

If you're looking for the real Italy, head south to Naples!

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Gateway to the Mezzogiorno

Naples and the Amalfi Coast. It’s not just another pretty Italian face. This is the gateway to the Mezzogiorno – the Italian south.

One of the oldest cities in the Western world, Naples is known for its contradictions and larger-than-life characters. Daily routines play out as theater-in-the-street and the melodic notes of a Neapolitan song are always within earshot. Naples is the BIRTHPLACE of pizza; its “calcified” water, or so they say, produces some of the best coffee – caffè Napoletano – in the universe. Naples is the bustling capital of Italy’s Campania region and its historic center has borne witness to some 2500 years of history. Here, chaotic, cobbled alleys secrete serene cloisters; the sacred co-habits with the profane and ancient, old and new live in clashing harmony.

The city lives in the shadow, or so they say, of not one, but TWO volcanoes. Vesuvius to the east, buried Pompeii in 79AD. A hike to its summit is obligatory. West of the city are the Campi Flegrei, Burning Fields, one super volcano that belches up its steam at Vulcano Solfatara where rocks burn so hot they glow copper and gold. This, they say was Virgil’s entrance to Hades. Just off Naples coast, the Phlegraean Islands bobble in the Tyrrhenian Sea: swanky Capri, thermal Ischia and pleasing Procida.


The Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast, by contrast, is a playful and oft peaceful respite. It’s home to one of the most dramatic natural landscapes in the world, miles of rugged coastline that stretch along the southern edge of the Sorrentine peninsula. Capri, the sleeping crocodile lies in wait at its tip. The coast’s jagged, yellow volcanic tuff cliffs climb up out of the sea and give way to pastel-colored towns like Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Crystal clear waters sparkle in blues and greens and sun kissed beach umbrellas speckle the coast’s pebbled beaches. Further south, Greek temples linger still at Paestum and Velia.


Campania

Between Naples and the Amalfi Coast lies the rest of Italy’s Campania region, an area that is rich in natural and cultural heritage, underrated wines and the steward of some of Italy’s finest treasures. Campania counts five UNESCO World Heritage sites among its riches. In the Caserta province, Roman gladiators trained and fought to the death at Italy’s 2nd largest amphitheater and a Bourbon king built a palace to rival that of Versailles. Eighteenth-century silk weavers became part of a utopian social experiment nearby and today, Caserta produces much of Naples famed milky white balls of Mozzarella di Bufala.

White balls of another kind (and red ones too) grow plentiful in the fertile, mineral rich soils of the Avellino and Benevento provinces. The region’s entrepreneurial spirit is quietly fermenting Italy’s up and coming wine country, gaining quickly on their Tuscan counterparts with blends made from ancient varietals: whites like Greco and Fiano and reds like Aglianico and Piedirosso. Sample Campania in a bottle!


Naples Itineraries

Naples in 48 hours…a weekend of art, food and leisurely city strolls.
Naples Island Hopping: a Spa Day on Ischia…soak up the thermal waters of a volcanic island.
Naples Netherworld…if Hades existed, its entrance was surely here.
Pompeii Sites…ancient cities lost and found.
Walking Tour of Historic Naples...a timeless stroll for the Naples neophyte or devotee.


When To Go

Winter, spring, summer or fall… Naples is a year round destination!

The SUMMERS in Naples are hazy, lazy, hot and humid! If you’re a beach lover with visions of basking by day, sipping spritzes by night and you don’t mind paying a premium, this is your time to come. The prices and crowds are at their peak and so are the temperatures. Average daytime temperatures are in the high 80s to mid 90s and the chance of rain is slim to none.

What to see: anything near the water! Head to Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Ischia or Procida. Downtown Naples can be stifling and many businesses still close for much of August. If you can handle the heat, however, you’ll find you have most downtown attractions to yourself. As for Pompeii, try to AVOID it. Not only is the heat oppressive but the crowds show up by the busload.

What to wear: as little as possible! Beachwear is totally acceptable for the coastal towns, although you should wear a cover-up when you’re not actually on the beach or at the pool. In downtown Naples however, you should dress more modestly (i.e. light trousers, polo shirts, etc.), especially if you plan to visit any churches. You may be asked to leave if you enter a Naples church in shorts or sleeveless shirts. Pack light. You’ll want to take home floral tunics and custom made sandals.

The FALL in Naples, what’s not to love. It’s the best of all seasons. Most coastal hotels and restaurants remain open until the end of October and the days are usually warm enough to take a dip in the sea or dine alfresco. The prices and the crowds are starting to abate and it’s a great time for outdoor hiking and exploring.

What to see: Capri and the Amalfi Coast! They are far less crowded and expensive this time of year. It’s also a great time to experience Ischia’s thermal spas. The city is the perfect blend of warm but not stifling allowing for pleasant strolls through its characteristic neighborhoods and alleys. Get out and explore the Campania: trek to Vesuvius and the Pompeii Sites; explore the Campi Flegrei; hike Amalfi’s Path of the Gods; visit Paestum and Velia.

What to wear: layers. Naples and the Amalfi Coast is temperate in the shade this time of year but the Mediterranean sun can still be scorching.

Naples in the WINTER, it doesn’t seem the obvious choice, but it’s this author’s favorite time of year. If you love crisp air and moody skies – the lighting makes it a photographer’s dream – the winter is the time for you. Expect rain, pray for rain, because as soon as it clears, the vistas will take your breath away.

What to see: Pompeii and Herculaneum! If you want to experience these world-famous, archaeological marvels without the heat and the crowds, the winter is the time to visit. The coastal areas can be beautiful, though a bit deserted and difficult to get to. Find your way to Porta Nolana and Via San Gregorio Armeno during the Christmas season and visit the many Christmas creches that are on display throughout the entire region. Sorrento is also very charming during the Christmas season, decking the halls with a huge Christmas tree in the main square, Piazza Tasso.

What to wear: No snow boots required! A medium weight jacket and scarf is usually more than enough to keep you warm in Naples during the winter. And don’t forget an umbrella.

The SPRING in Naples brings re-birth of a religious, spiritual and cultural nature. In fact, for most Neapolitans, Easter, Pasqua, is more significant than Christmas. The weather, though not without some rainy days is beautiful and the bougainvillea and wisteria are starting to bloom.

What to see: downtown Naples! The city springs to life with its annual month long celebration of its cultural heritage, Maggio dei Monumenti – May of the Monuments. It’s a unique opportunity to discover Naples many treasures, some of which are inaccessible during the year; visit the museums (often at a special price or for free); and explore the city through guided tours led by experts in Neapolitan history. May also brings two important wine events to Naples: Wine in the City and Vitigno Italia. For the Easter holidays, head to Procida, Sorrento or Acerra to see their Good Friday processions.

What to wear: same as the fall, dress in layers. Naples and the Amalfi Coast is temperate in the shade this time of year but the Mediterranean sun can still be scorching.

How Much Time To Spend

One could easily spend a lifetime exploring Naples and its surrounds, but of course, most visitors will only have a few days or perhaps a week to explore the area. Cruisers might only have one day or a part of a day which means choosing between downtown Naples, trekking to Vesuvius and one of the Pompeii sites or doing an excursion to Sorrento or one of the islands. If you hire a private driver, the Amalfi Coast can also be done in one day.

A long weekend is perfect for exploring downtown Naples at a slow and comfortable pace. You could also fit in a visit to Pompeii and Vesuvius or take a day trip to one of the islands: Capri, Ischia or Procida. A week or more you would give you enough time to explore much more of the area. Sorrento makes a great base for this type of visit, giving you easy access to Vesuvius and the Pompeii Sites and downtown Naples by train and the Amalfi Coast by bus or boat. There are plenty of boats from Sorrento to the islands too.

High and Low Season

Be it winter, spring, summer or fall, Naples is a year round destination! That said, if you want to visit Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast or Capri, Ischia or Procida, keep in mind that the summer (June – August) is high season. Temperatures are at the peak and so are the crowds and the prices which swell with both foreign tourists and Italians who vacation for 2 to 3 weeks every August. Tourists also show up by the busload at the Pompeii Sites during the summer. Ferries and hydrofoils run year round to Sorrento and the islands, though they can be suspended in inclement weather; the Amalfi Coast boats run only seasonally (April – October).

Weather and Climate

Naples is hot and humid in the summer with very little rain while the winters are mild and wet. July and August are the hottest months with scorching temperatures by day and very humid nights. The spring and fall are quite temperate but they can sometimes be quite rainy. Thunderstorms in the spring and fall, especially in April and October, are not uncommon and can produce amazing lightning shows over the bay.

Events and Holidays

Italian Holidays

January 1st New Year’s Day
January 6th Epiphany
Good Friday, Easter (Pasqua), Easter Monday (Pasquetta)
April 25th Liberation Day
May 1st Labor Day (International Workers’ Day)
June 2nd Republic Day
August 15th Ferragosto/Assumption Day
September 19th Feast of Saint Januarius
November 1st All Saints’ Day
December 8th Immaculate Conception
December 25th Christmas Day
December 26th St. Stephen’s Day
December 31st New Year’s Eve

Time Zone

Naples, Italy is located in the CET – Central European Time zone. To check the local time in Naples, click here.

What To Pack and Wear

The SUMMERS in Naples are hazy, lazy, hot and humid.You’ll want to wear as little as possible! Beachwear is totally acceptable for the coastal towns, but you should wear a cover-up when you’re not actually on the beach or at the pool. In downtown Naples, however, you should dress more modestly (i.e. light trousers, polo shirts, etc.), especially if you plan to visit any churches. Shorts or sleeveless shirts are frowned upon in Naples churches and you may be asked to leave if you’re not dressed appropriately. Pack light. You’ll want to take home floral tunics and custom made sandals.

For the SPRING and FALL in Naples and the Amalfi Coast, you’ll want to dress in layers. The area is temperate in the shade this time of year but the Mediterranean sun can still be scorching.

Naples WINTERS can be quite unpredictable, but no snow boots are required! A medium weight jacket and scarf is usually more than enough to keep you warm in Naples during the winter. And don’t forget an umbrella.

What it Costs

Depending on your travel style, Naples and the Amalfi Coast can be done on the cheap or in 5* luxury. Downtown Naples, Ischia and Procida tend to be much more economical than Capri, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, especially in the high season. Those on a budget, however, can still experience the area’s hot spots by day and stay in the less expensive areas of the region by night.

Budget conscious travelers could do Naples for less than €100.00 a day, especially if they opt for a hostel or B&B accommodation which are plentiful in Naples. Eating at a pizzeria or trattoria – a pizza can go for as little as €3,50 – will keep food costs down. Unless soda is included in a fixed price, opt for bottled water instead. A small can of coke can cost as much, or more, than the pizza. Take your coffee at the bar and it will cost you €.90 vice around €2.50 at the table. As for alcoholic drinks, expect to pay €5,00 or €6,00 for a glass of wine and €7,00 or more for a spritz or mixed drink, but pick the right bar, and the assortment of snacks they put out can easily be enough for dinner. There are plenty of free attractions in Naples and purchasing an ArteCard will further reduce entrance fees. As for transport, you don’t need a car to see most of the area and public transport is relatively inexpensive.

Mid-range visitors might spend €100.00 a day or more on a hotel alone and eating in restaurants or any establishment on the Lungomare could cost that much or more for two people. Plan at least €300.00 a day, €400.00 or more if you like to shop, go to the theater or splurge on spas. Expect to pay quite a bit more in the coastal areas during high season. A 4* hotel might run as much as €250.00 to €300.00 a night, but if you shop around, there are deals to be had.

Luxury travelers will find a wide range of 5* (€1000.00 euro a night or more) hotels in the area, where the sky is the limit, especially in Capri and along the Amalfi Coast.

Abstract Pricing at a Glance

Prices often fluctuate dynamically depending on capacity, seasonality and deals. We don’t want to lead you astray by quoting exact prices that quickly become wrong. To give you a rough idea for budgetary planning purposes, though, we have indicated general price ranges for all points of interest.

Price ranges are quoted in €.

See & Do
N/A => Not applicable
Free
€ => Tickets less than €15 per person
€€ => Tickets €15- €30 per person
€€€ => Tickets €30 per person

Sleep — Out of town/rural
€ => Rooms less than €60 for a double
€€ => Rooms €60 – €100 for a double
€€€ => Rooms €100 for a double

Sleep — Large Cities
€ => Rooms less than €100 for a double
€€ => Rooms €100 – €150 for a double
€€€ => Rooms €150 for a double

Eat
€=> €5- €10 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
€€ => €10 – €25 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
€€€ => €25 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)

Shop
N/A => Not applicable

Tours
€ => Tickets less than €25 per person
€€ => Tickets €25 – €50 per person
€€€ => Tickets €50 per person

Currency Converter

The currency in Italy is the euro (EUR). Find the latest currency rates at XE Currency Converter.

Airfare and Car Rental Prices

Airfare

During the tourist season (May to October), Meridiana flies direct between NY’s JFK Airport and Naples. Book in advance and fly earlier or later in the season and you can get great deals, sometimes as low as €500.00 round trip. Meridian also offers budget flights between Naples and other cities in Italy and Europe as do several other European budget carriers including easyJet, WizzAir and Blue Air. You can also get flights on Ryan Air in/out of Rome. Budget airline prices vary widely but there are always great deals to be had if you book ahead. Prices tend to be higher on Alitalia, British Airways and Lufthansa.

Car Rental Prices

You don’t need a car in downtown Naples. The city is very walkable, public transportation is plentiful and Naples is well connected to the rest of Italy by bus, rail, air and sea. In fact, you don’t need a car to get around most of Naples and the Amalfi Coast. If you do opt to rent a car (or a scooter), prices will vary considerably depending on where you rent the car, who you rent from and what you rent. Keep in mind, cars in Italy tend to be manual transmission. You will likely pay a premium for an automatic transmission. You will also need to figure in insurance, it’s a must, parking and gas, which is also very expensive in Italy. The cost of gas in Italy is about $7.00 a gallon.

Exchange Rates and Currency

The currency in Italy is the euro (EUR). Find the latest currency rates at XE Currency Converter.

Tipping and Costs That Add Up

Tipping for table service in Italy is not generally expected, although in recent years it has become more common place, thanks in part to tourists. This is the subject of great debate and there are many who believe you absolutely shouldn’t tip because in general, servers are paid a good wage. If one does leave a tip, it should just be a small bonus for exceptional service. It’s also helpful to note that many restaurants, especially in high tourist areas, are now adding a service charge (servizio) of 10% – 15% to the bill (the restaurant is supposed to note this charge on the menu). Although this is technically not a tip, check your bill before you leave anything. If no service has been added and you had an exceptionally good server, leaving a euro or two for each person in the party will be appreciated. When taking your coffee at the bar, it is customary to leave a €0.10 or €0.20 coin for the barista.

Tipping taxi drivers is not expected, although rounding up is always a nice gesture, especially if a driver has been extra helpful. For hotel porters, €1.00 to €2.00 per bag would be appropriate. Tipping tour guides is another thorny issue. While they don’t expect tips, if you had an exceptionally good guide, a small gesture of perhaps 10% is appreciated. At the same time, a rave review online might be worth even more.

Transportation

Naples and the Amalfi Coast boasts a robust public transport system that includes air, rail, metro, funicular, bus, taxi and sea transportation services. The area is served by an international airport and it is well connected to Italy’s northern cities by rail and regional buses. The main transportation hubs are all situated in downtown Naples.

Public transportation in and around Naples and the Amalfi Coast is, for the most part, plentiful and economical and there is no need for a vehicle, especially downtown where parking is limited and driving requires nerves of steel. For hard to get to areas, we recommend hiring a driver. The best way to get around downtown Naples is by foot, but you can also avail yourself of the Naples metro or bus systems and taxis are widely available.

Connections between Naples and Sorrento and the islands are easy, however, there are no direct routes between Naples and the Amalfi Coast, so you will need to plan ahead.

Getting There

By Air

Naples Capodichino (International) Airport is situated just 6km north-east of the city center. The airport connects Naples with 12 national and 59 international destinations including New York’s JFK, London, Paris, Madrid and Frankfurt. An additional 50 charter routes fly in/out of Naples Capodichino Airport.

By Rail

Trenitalia operates Italy’s national railway system. Naples is well connected by Regional and InterCity (IC) train lines which are an inexpensive way to get in and out of the area. High-speed rail services include Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Frecciabianca trains and the Italotreno trains. Travel between Rome and Naples in just 1 hour 10 minutes, Florence in just under 3 hours and Milan in 4 hours, 40 minutes.

By Sea

Overnight ferries connect Naples with Catania and Palermo in Sicily and Cagliari in Sardinia. Cruise ships pull into the Molo Angioino port (just behind Naples Molo Beverello Port) and into the port of Salerno.

Getting Around

Downtown Naples

Taxis are plentiful at the airport, train station, the port and at over 100 taxi ranks through the city (hailing one on the street is frowned upon). The city has established fixed tariff rates to/from Naples main transportation hubs and tourist areas which are displayed on cards on the back of the passenger seat. You must notify the driver you want the fixed rate prior to setting off or you will be charged the meter rate.

– Naples Alibus Airport Shuttle connects Naples 3 main transportation hubs. The bus runs daily from about 6:00 am to midnight, every 20 to 30 minutes.

– A FREE port shuttle runs between the Porto Molo Beverello passenger port and the Porta di Massa ferry port.

– Three metro lines serve downtown Naples: M1 connects Piazza Municipio to Piscinola; M2 transverses the city connecting Pozzuoli on the west to Gianturco on the east; M6 connects Fuorigrotta to Mergellina (temporarily closed). Because M1 and M6 are operated by ANM and M2 is operated by Trenitalia, you may see maps that don’t include all three lines. See the consolidated metro map here.

4 funicular railway lines connect the city to its hill districts: the Centrale, Chiaia and Montesanto funiculars connect the city center to the Vomero and the Mergellina line connects to Posillipo.

3 streetelevators connect the levels of this hilly city: the Acton Elevator connects Via Acton to Piazza del Plebiscito above; the Chiaia Elevator connects Via Chiaia with Pizzofalcone hill and the Rione Sanità Elevator connects Ponte della Sanità with Rione Sanità.

ANM operates the city’s extensive bus system. Here are a few key buse routes that will help you get around the city:

#1 Tram – catch it at Porto Molo Beverello or Piazza Garlibaldi to go to the Poggioreale Market.
140 – catch it at Piazza Vittoria to go to Posillipo along Via Posillipo: the Posillipo Bagnos, Parco Virgiliano a Posillipo and the Posillipo Market and Marechiaro.
151 – transport between Piazza Vittoria (Lungomare) and Piazza Garibaldi.
C21 – panoramic route from Mergellina to Capo Posillipo along Via Petrarca.
E1 – around Centro Storico from Piazza del Gesù to Piazza Cavour.
R2 – transport between Piazza Garibaldi and Piazza Municipio and Piazza Trieste Trento.
V1 – pick up the V1 at Piazza Vanvitelli (M1 & Chiaia Funicular) or Via Morghen (Montesanto Funicolar) in the Vomero for transport to Castel Sant’Elmo & the San Martino Charterhouse.

Shuttle Museo di Capodimonte operated by City Sightseeing Napoli stops at Piazza Trieste e Trento at Teatro San Carlo, Piazza Municipio, Piazza Dante, the Archaeological Museum and Capodimonte.

Getting to Vesuvius, the Pompeii Sites and Sorrento

– The Campania Express tourist train (runs seasonally April through October) offers service between Naples and Sorrento, with stops only at Herculaneum and Pompeii.

– The Circumvesuviana commuter trains serve Naples eastern suburbs around Mt. Vesuvius. Among the many stops on the Naples – Sorrento line are Herculaneum (Ercolano Scavi), Oplontis and Pompeii (Pompeii Scavi Villa Misteri).

– Mount Vesuvius can be reached by car or bus. EAV operates the Pompeii – Vesuvio bus which stops in Pompeii and Herculaneum and the Napoli – Vesuvio bus from downtown Naples. Other excursions, such as Busvia del Vesuvio, run from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

– The Curreri Viaggi bus runs between Capodichino Airport and Sorrento (€10.00) with ten departures daily. It stops at Castellammare, Pompeii and several other towns along the Sorrento coast. The Curreri Viaggi bus is your best option for reaching Sorrento from the airport.

– Sorrento can also be reached by ferry/hydrofoil from Porto Molo Beverello.

– The Marozzi Bus offers direct service between Rome and Sorrento that continues on to Positano and beyond to Amalfi.

The Islands: Capri, Ischia and Procida

– Passenger only, high-speed hydrofoils (aliscafi) to the islands arrive/depart from Naples Molo Beverello and Mergellina ports. Car/passenger ferries (traghetti) arrive/depart from the Porta di Massa and Pozzuoli ports. Find up-to-date schedules here.

– Vehicles can be brought to Ischia but non-resident vehicles are prohibited on Capri for most of the year (March to November).

– Getting around the islands by bus is easy, although in high season they can get very crowded and the buses on Capri and Procida are quite small. EAV operates the buses on Ischia and Procida. Taxis are also widely available on the islands but expect to pay quite a bit more than on the mainland.

– On Capri, a funicular connects Marina Grande with the center of Capri.

The Amalfi Coast

– By car: take the Amalfi Coast Drive, the SS163 or enjoy your time and the views and hire a driver.

– By sea: there are no direct sea connections between Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Visitors wishing to travel by sea will need to go to Sorrento or Capri first and connect there for points along the Amalfi Coast. Alternatively, one can take a train to Salerno and connect to the Salerno port to reach points along the Amalfi Coast.

– By bus: the Marozzi Bus offers direct service between Rome and Positano with a stop in Sorrento. The SITASud buses serve the Amalfi Coast. There are several routes, among which, is the 5070 bus that connects Sorrento with Positano and Amalfi.

Transportation Hubs

The three main gateways into Naples are by air, rail and sea: Naples International Airport, Capodichino; Naples central train station, Stazione Centrale; and Naples main passenger port, Porto Molo Beverello.

Naples Capodichino (International) Airport is situated just 6km north-east of the city center. The airport connects Naples with 12 national and 59 international destinations including New York’s JFK, London, Paris, Madrid and Frankfurt. An additional 50 charter routes fly in/out of Naples Capodichino Airport.

Stazione Centrale is located in Piazza Garibaldi. The station is the main departure point for regional trains, intercity rail services to southern and northern Italy and the Trenitalia Freccia and Italotreno high-speed trains. Connections include Naples metro lines M1 and M2 and the Circumvesuviana station at Piazza Garibaldi which can all be reached via an underground walkway. A taxi rank sits just outside the station and the Alibus Airport Shuttle as well as city and suburban buses are located in Piazza Garibaldi. Left luggage is located on the main level near Track 1.

Porto Molo Beverello is located on Via Acton, across the street from Castel Nuovo . The port connects passengers to Sorrento, Capri, Procida and Ischia’s three ports, Ischia Porto, Casamicciola and Forio. Just behind the port is the Stazione Marittima and the Molo Angioino port where the cruise ships dock. Left luggage is located in the parking lot in front of the Stazione Marittima. The port is served by a taxi rank, the Alibus Airport Shuttle and the Municipio (M1) metro station. A city bus stop is located across the street and the #1 Tram stop is just a few meters away.

Discounts and Passes

Children under 6 years old do not need a ticket on the buses and metro if they are not occupying a seat and are accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket. Only 1 child can ride free per adult.

The Campania ArtCard, Naples museum discount pass, offers two cards with transportation included: the Napoli 3 Day Card and the Tutta la Regione 3 Day Card.

Tickets

All riders need a ticket to use public transportation around Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Children under 6 years old do not need a ticket if they are not occupying a seat and are accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket. Only 1 child can ride free per adult. Unico Campania is the ticketing agency for the entire Campania region and there are a wide rage of ticket options available.

Buying Tickets

Tickets CANNOT be purchased on board public transport except for the Alibus. Tickets can be purchased at most tobacco shops (tabaccheria), at many newspaper stands, at ticket booths and machines inside the metro stations and at some select bus stops.

Validating Tickets

All tickets MUST BE VALIDATED or you could face a fine! There are electronic validation machines on the buses and inside of the train and metro stations. If you can’t validate your ticket for some reason, you must write in the day, month and time on the back of the ticket. Weekly, monthly and annual tickets are not transferable so you must fill out your name and date of birth on the back of the ticket and be prepared to show identification upon request.

Types of Tickets

Alibus Tickets: are valid for 90 minutes and cost €3.00 if purchased at an authorized agent or €4.00 if purchased on board the bus. Once validated on the Alibus, the tickets can be used on other modes of transport within the confines of the city, however, they CANNOT be used for a round trip to/from the airport.

Urbano Napoli TIC (Ticket Integrato Campania) Tickets: are used for travel within the urban area of Naples. TIC Napoli tickets are good on city buses, Metro Lines 1, 2 and 6, the four funicular lines and the Circumvesuviana, Cumana and Circumflegrei within the confines of the city. Most visitors will purchase the orario ticket which is good for 90 minutes, but daily, weekly,  monthly and annual tickets are also available.

TIC NA Tickets: are used for travel between downtown Naples and the towns within the Campania Region, divided into 16 fare bands, NA1 – NA16. NA1 orario tickets are valid for 90 minutes and the time of validity increases with each band, i.e. NA9 tickets are valid for 220 minutes. Monthly and annual tickets are also available.

TIC AC Tickets: are used for travel between the towns within Campania (without connecting to Naples), divided into 16 fare bands, AC1 – AC16 and work like the NA tickets. Monthly and annual tickets are also available.

Agency issued tickets: these tickets are issued by the individual transport agencies and are valid for a single journey on that agency’s mode of transport only. These tickets were instituted in 2015 with the primary goal of lower costs for local commuters. While they may save you a few euro cents, unless you are very familiar with the Naples public transport system, we do not recommend using them.

Background

Culture

Naples and the Amalfi Coast is the steward of an enormous wealth of archaeological, artistic, natural and intangible cultural heritage. The region counts five UNESCO World Heritage sites among its riches: the Historic Center of Naples; the Archaeological Areas of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata; the Amalfi Coast; Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia and the Certosa di Padula; the 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Vanvitelli Aqueduct and the San Leucio Complex.

Archaeology: The area is home to the remains of ancient Roman cities, expansive villas, mammoth cisterns and a plethora of thermal bath complexes, not to mention, the 2nd and third largest amphitheaters in Italy. There is a vast archaeological heritage sitting just below the surface of downtown Naples that few people know about: Greek cisterns and hypogea, Roman catacombs, WWII air raid shelters and the remains of the original city of Neapolis. Also downtown is Naples National Archaeological Museum where you’ll find the Elisabetta Farnese collection of Roman art and antiquities; Roman frescos and mosaics from the Pompeii sites; and a collection of Roman Erotic Art that is kept in “Secret Cabinet”.

Architecture: Around Naples and the Amalfi Coast you’ll find Medieval castles; Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance churches; four Bourbon Palaces; the first Opera House of its kind, in Europe – the San Carlo Theater and the last remaining 19th-Century aquarium.

Art: Naples is one of the foremost centers of Baroque art. During your visit you’ll surely wander into a Baroque church or two; happen upon works by Caravaggio, Battistello Caracciolo, Luca Giordano, Jusepe de Ribera and Artemisia Gentileschi to name a few; and of course you’ll see the famous Christmas cribs and figurines, the presepi. There are the works of Giuseppe Sanmartino – his famous Veiled Christ and just as beautiful, his angels at the Girolamini. But its not all Baroque! Capodimonte’s vast collections span the 13th to 20th centuries while the San Martino Charterhouse maintains a huge inventory of Neapolitan art spanning the ages. Nearby is a museum dedicated entirely to Neapolitan modern art of the 20th century, the Novecento Museum at Castel Sant’Elmo. Naples contemporary art scene surprises a lot of first time visitors; Naples is home to two major contemporary art centers – MADRE and PAN and there are over 200 works of contemporary art open to the general public for the price of a metro ticket as part of Naples Metro Art Project.

Etiquette

La Bella Figura!

It’s more than a way of dressing, it’s a way of life and part of the Italian DNA. It’s unlikely you’ll learn to employ its complicated and oft contradictory tenets on a short vacation, but you can try to dress the part. For visitors to downtown Naples that means blending in, and luckily, Naples is a bit more casual than other parts of Italy. Opt for slacks or jeans vice shorts; skip the athletic wear, t-shirts and anything without sleeves; and gentlemen shouldn’t even think about wandering around shirtless. Though sneakers are more commonplace here now, comfortable walking shoes are still preferable and you can never go wrong with a pair of boots, no matter what time of year. Leave the beachwear for the islands and coastal towns; skip the fanny packs, baseball caps and jeans below the waist; and don’t wear shorts or sleeveless shirts into any church. Shorts and beach garb are fine for the touristy coastal areas, but do put a coverup over your bathing suit when not beach or poolside.

Customary Courtesies!

Remember your Greetings! If you learn no other word in Italian, do learn to use buongiorno – good day. Use it when you enter a store, bar, caffè, restaurant or any public place for that matter. If you can remember, switch to buonasera – good evening, around 3.00 or 4.00 pm. Add grazie, thank you, and you endear yourself to the locals.

Offer your seat! It may not be as commonplace in the north, but when using the bus or metro in Naples, you should always offer your seat to anyone who is elderly, pregnant or disabled.

Don’t touch the fruit! It is a no-no to touch the produce at outdoor markets in Naples. If you can, tell the grocer what you want or just point at it. In most grocery stores, you do bag your own produce, but wear the plastic gloves that are provided.

Recommended Reading

Guide Books

The Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples, Napoli Unplugged
Campi Flegrei: A Guide of Discovery to the Lands of Fire, Massimo D’Antonio.

Fiction

The Bay of Noon, Shirley Hazzard
The Gallery, John Horne Burnes.
God’s Mountain (Montedidio), Erri De Luca
The Neapolitan Novels, Elena Ferrante
Pompeii, Robert Harris
The Volcano Lover, Susan Sontag

Non-Fiction

The Food and Wine Guide to Naples and Campania, Carla Capalbo.
Naples ’44: a World War II Diary of Occupied Italy, Norman Lewis
Naples Declared: A Walk Round the Bay, Benjamin Taylor
The Gulf of Naples: Archeology and History of an Ancient Land, Umberto Pappalardo
Palaces of Naples, Donatella Mazzoleni
Return to Naples: My Italian Bar Mitzvah and Other Discoveries, Robert Zweig

Music

Within just the last decade, two American directors have forayed to Naples: John Turturro and Jonathan Demme. John Turturro’s Passione started as a documentary about Canzone Napoletana – Neapolitan Song – and ended up as musical tribute to the city. His opening quote  “There are places that you go to, and once is enough. And then there is Napoli.”  has become the a Neapolitan mantra.

Jonathan Demme released his Music Life, a documentary that featured one of the city’s favorite musicians, Enzo Avitabilie.

Soundtrack for a Road Trip

The soundtrack for Passione, John Turturro documentary about Canzone Napoletana – Neapolitan Song

Websites and Maps

Tourist Offices

Amalfi Tourist Office
Campania ArteCard
Campania Tourist Board
Capri Tourism
Ischia & Procida Tourist Office
Italian National Tourist Board
Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (Italy)
Naples Tourist Board
Positano Tourist Office
Pozzuoli & the Campi Flegrei Tourist Board
Salerno Tourism Board

Maps

City of Naples Transport Map

Government Offices

Città Metropolitana di Napoli – Province of Naples Official Website
Comune di Napoli – City of Naples Official Website
Regione Campania – Campania Region Official Website

Other Sites

Napoli Unplugged – the author’s English language website and blog

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