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3 Full Days in Naples

Heading to Naples with my family for 3 full days this weekend (travel days not included). We've been to Italy more times than I can count, but never to Naples.

Curious how others would spend their 3 full days.

Day 1 - Above ground guided tour followed by an underground guided tour of Naples
Day 2 - Pompeii with a guide
Day 3 - Capri (I know it is winter but we want to go on a hike and breathe in some salty air. It will be in the mid-60's and sunny)

Lots of pizza and Carnevale in between. We are staying in an AirBnB on the Via Pasquale Scura.

Eager to hear your ideas. Thanks.

Posted by
4073 posts

alluring - thanks for your opinions. With only 3 days, I don't think that visiting Pugila is very logical for this trip. Maybe next visit.

Posted by
1082 posts

We went on the underground tour and really enjoyed it. We were there in July and our main motive quite frankly was the cooler air. So make sure you dress appropriately.

You also might go to the Archeological Museum to see artifacts from Pompeii.

Posted by
4677 posts

Good plan for three days. Be careful to download correct timetables for winter ferry service. Be prepared for wind and chop. I personally don't need a guide for Pompeii. Consider sunrise and sunset times. Are you interested in the Palace of Caserta? That's a possible bad-weather choice, too. (I haven't been there, but it sounds great.)

Posted by
2 posts

We will be there slightly longer, but our plan is to take a guided walking tour the day we arrive, a tour of Pompeii one day, a tour of Herculaneum the next day, the archeological museum another day, and then go to Sorrento for two nights during which time we have booked a bus tour of the coast.

Posted by
13925 posts

I took an underground tour that was just so-so. Afterward I realized that there were two possibilities, more or less across the street from each other, and I'd mistakenly gone to the one with that didn't have great reviews. Sorry, I can't find the names.

Consider Ischia instead of Capri.

I had such a great lunch at Antica Trattoria da Carmine that I went back a second time, recommended to me by dear departed Zoe. Locals eat there, limited menu, homey atmosphere, cheap (even by Naples standards) and in the heart of the old town on the main street - via dei Tribunali 330. I was there in February too - they weren't open every day inspite of what their website said, but there was a sign in the window with current hours.

For pizza, the RS book says: the two most famous pizzerie are Antica Pizzeria da Michele (corner of Via Pietro Colletta and Via Cesare Sersale) and "the less exceptional" Pizzeria Trianon just a few doors down, at Via Pietro Colletta 42. I went to da Michele and the line was really long, so I went across the street to Trianon, and was underwhelmed. I got to da Michele a day or two later before the dinner crowd (in Naples they eat earlier than most of Italy) and the pizza was definitely good. There are 2 choices (marinara or marherita), no wine, bottled beer, water, coke and Fanta orange. Service is fast (and they're impatient if you can't decide) - their profits come from turnover. They are really crowded at lunch time too.

Near your B&B is the Church of Santa Chiara - don't miss the cloisters.

Pompeii - I thought it worthwhile to walk out to the Villa dei Misteri for the in situ murals (most of the artworks are in the Naples Museum). I skipped the walk to the amphitheatre on advice from friends (we've all been to better ones).

Crossing the street is more difficult in Naples than Rome. Cross with others. It's often safer to cross in the middle of the street than at corners (motorcycles ignore traffic laws completely, most drivers seem to consider them a suggestion at best). Plan to walk or use the metro, street traffic is usually miserable.

Last thought - 3 days isn't enough!! As Harold likes to say: the only subtle thing about Naples is its charm. I hope you and your family find it.

Posted by
1604 posts

Chani gives great recommendations. We spent a week in Naples and did most of the same things. We enjoyed Naples very much.

Posted by
46 posts

On Day 1, I would recommend carving out some time to visit the Museo Archeologico Nazionale.

As for your plans for lots of pizza, everybody talks about a couple places, one in particular. They're perfectly decent, but packed with tourists. I'd suggest riding the Linea 2 out to Bagnoli and visiting Antica Pizzeria da Gennaro on Via Ascanio. It still has a bit of a cult following in the US Navy, but it's typically very much a locals place, and excellent.

Posted by
11 posts

If you're looking for other suggestions on the mainland if Capri doesn't work out weather wise, I'll throw out the Oplontis ruins. Most of it is covered in order to protect the artwork. We ended up there instead of Herculaneum after it rained on us at Pompeii. Our tour guide suggested it. The villa and the artwork is fantastic. It was also empty - we had the place to ourselves and this was mid-September. It helped having a tour guide who could show us the artwork and the historical significance. But it was one of the best excursions we had on our trip, and totally unplanned!

Posted by
4108 posts

I recommend staying in Sorrento. From there you can visit Capri and Pompeii. There are guides at the entrance for tours.

Posted by
8 posts

I must agree that staying in Sorento makes more sense that Naples if you want to do day trips to visit Pompei and Capri or the Amalfi Coast. If you can change hotels at this late a date consider doing just that.

However, Naples is a very rich destination that deserves your full three days.

Posted by
173 posts

I think staying in Napoli is fine...but I think Ischia might be a better choice than Capri. Make sure you see the national Archaeological Museum and the ruins in Herculaneum. Naples is a great city...but the traffic is crazy. If you have been to NY will be fine.

Posted by
245 posts

I really enjoyed Naples and think there's a lot to see and do in Naples for a couple of days, at least. Whether you do a tour or on your own is up to you, but I suggest you make sure to include the National Archaeological Museum and Museum Capodimonte. I visited the Catacombs of San Gennaro on my own and I enjoyed it, but I wasn't so impressed that I wanted to visit the other catacombs.

How long you spend in Pompeii is a personal choice; I was happy with a half day, but others spend full days at each site. YMMV. I hated Sorrento and don't recommend it to anyone, but I've not been to Capri.

My favourite pizza was in the old town on Via Mezzocannone: San Gennaro Pizzerie. I was in Naples for 5 days, and it was the only pizza place I went to twice.

I also recommend a brief stop in the beautiful tiled cloisters of Santa Chiara monastery.