It has always been a dream of mine to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum and so in May 2015 on a trip to Europe I stopped off in Naples for 7 days so that I could explore the area.
I arrived at the airport and got the Naples Alibus Airport Shuttle bus to the Napoli Centrale train station, it runs every 20 minutes and costs 3 Euro one way, much cheaper than a taxi.
I based myself in Hostel Macini near the Napoli Centrale train station so that I could get out of the city to easily visit Mt Vesuvius, Pompeii, Herculaneum & The Amalfi Coast. It’s a great little hostel, the staff were super friendly, breakfast included, free wifi and very clean. They helped me with what to do in the city & how to get to places outside of the city that I wanted to visit.
I arrived early afternoon, got a map and was given some great ideas on where to go. So I got the metro and walked along Via Caracciolo, this is a street alongside the sea, that is partly pedestrianised with amazing views of Mt Vesuvius (it is ranked number 4 out of 353 things to do in Naples on tripadvisor).
As you walk along the sea front, you reach Castel dell’Ovo, it’s a 15 century castle, with a walkway out to it as it sits in the sea. There is no entrance fee as you are unable to get into many of the interior rooms but it is worth a visit and a walk to the top of the castle to see the amazing views.
I then walked up to Piazza del Plebiscito, a large public square in the centre of Naples and visited the church of San Francesco di Paola. It’s an impressive square with some beautiful buildings in the streets around it.
When looking for things to do in Naples, I heard that there was a walking tour of the aqueduct below the city. The aqueduct was originally built by the romans and then a new aqueduct was built in 1629. It was shut in 1884 due to the cholera epidemic but now part of it is open for you to walk through, you can see the botanical experiments done there, a Roman Cistern , Greek Cistern and an air raid shelter. There is also a Roman Theatre in this area, that over time the walls have been incorporated within local houses, in the basement of one of these houses you can see some of the ruins and part of the corridors of the theatre. This is run by Napoli Sotterranea. Well worth a visit on a hot or rainy day.
I finished my trip in Naples with a walk up to Certosa di San Martino, it’s a former monastery complex on top of the Vomero hill, with amazing views of the city and Mt Vesuvius.
There is so much to do in Naples, I could easily have stayed longer and the region is beautiful. I am sure I will be back in the future for another visit.
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