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Help me plan a Naples stopover trip!

I'm going to be transiting between Rome and Sorrento, and since I can't check into my Sorrento hotel right away, I thought it would be great opportunity to visit Naples enroute (I wanted to visit Naples anyway, and this way I can avoid backtracking). I may not have enough time to see what I want in one day, and that's ok. I can come back pretty easily from Sorrento to fill in the gaps.

Note: on the day of this stopover the Egyptian section and possibly the Epigraphic collection of the Archeological museum will be closed. I could come back and do the museum a different day if these collections are essential to the experience.

Plan so far:
740am train from Roma Termini arriving 854am Napoli Centrale
9am - store luggage at Napoli Centrale
~910am - walk to Porta Capuana for food tour meeting point
930am-c.230pm: Culinary Backstreets Food Tour (ending point is Sanita Quarter)

Annnnd this is where I start struggling to organize my time. Big challenge is coordinating the stuff that requires booking. Here are the things I would like to do:
1. Rick Steves Walk (2+ hours. Starts from Archeological museum, ends Piazzo Vincenzo Calenda)
2. Veiled Christ/Sansevera (requires prebooking - it's integrated into the RS walk but hard to coordinate with required booking)
3. Archeological museum - requires prebooking, I would just do the RS guidebook/audiotour. See note above regarding exhibit closure.
4. Galleria Barbonica (looks very interesting but it is out of the way, closer to the harbour; requires prebooking)

Need to pick luggage up at Napoli Centre before 8pm closure (I'd prefer 1930h to be safe), and then will splurge on a taxi to Sorrento.

Any tips on organizing the above? Or other logical things to integrate onto my stopover day, and save others for a second day?

Thank you!

Posted by
2908 posts

Wow! I think you’re trying to fit too much into the 5 hours after your food tour. The Archeological Museum is a must see, especially if you’re visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum. I wouldn’t worry about the Egyptian section being closed. Visit the Egyptian Museum in Turin if you’re interested in Egyptology. One thing not on your wishlist, I would recommend taking one of the funiculars to visit Castel Sant’Elmo for a sweeping view of Capri, Vesuvius and the city and Bay of Naples. If you’re concerned about your luggage, google “left luggage Naples “ you’ll find places near Centrale that have longer opening hours.

Posted by
521 posts

There are only so many hours in a day - or an afternoon. You are expecting to squeeze a lot of sightseeing into those hours. What time of the year are you going? I was in Naples last month and walked into both the Archeological museum and the Veiled Christ - no pre booking necessary. I would perhaps drop the RS walk to have time for the rest. You will see a lot of the walk going to the other places on your itinerary anyway. I’ve been to Naples probably 10 times and haven’t done the official walk.

Posted by
23087 posts

I walked all the way up to the Capodimonte Museum (beyond the upper limit of your food tour, I'm quite sure). It was a real workout. I don't know how the work effort required for the food tour compares. You need to find out more specifically where that tour will end. Sanita (an area I didn't explore) looks like it's about 1/2 mile x 1/2 mile, and the streets are hardly laid out on a grid, so you could conceivably have a considerable walk from the ending point to the Archaeological Museum, though I think the tour's likely to end up near the lower part of Sanita, at or near either the Museo Metro or the Piazza Cavour Metro. The former would be most convenient for you; the latter, not bad.

I think you should hit the Archaeological Museum next. Epigraphic exhibitions are not especially visually compelling--they're basically just words carved on stones, etc.; I wouldn't mind missing one. I can't speak to the importance of the Egyptian collection because it was closed at the time of my recent visit, too. There's plenty of other good stuff at the museum--many hours' worth. Since I did walk through the entire museum, pausing to read some of the descriptions and photographing a bunch of mosaics, I have no clue how long you'll need if you just focus on Rick's tour of the museum--but it's a large place, so getting from one of his highlights to another may take a bit of time.

The Capella Sansevero is, according to Google, about a 10-minute walk from the Archaeological Museum. It's fairly noticeably downhill, as I recall, so you will prefer not to have to run from the museum to the chapel and then walk back up to the museum to begin Rick's walking tour. However, it would certainly be possible to do so.

Although I think you've got your sights organized very logically, I really don't see the Galleria Barbonica as a practical stop on this very busy day. As you know, it's a slog from the ending point of Rick's walking tour. In Naples, I needed time to orient myself anytime I was doing something other than aimless walking, because there are meandering streets and places where a circuitous route is required. Also, the city doesn't have a lot of traffic signals, and there are intersections without marked crosswalks, so it can take longer than expected to walk a certain distance. I also found myself doing what seemed to be a lot of probably-unnecessary walking between the Metro and the Piazza Garibaldi Station, where I think some additional signage would be helpful. So rather than trying to squeeze in another sight, I'd instead plan to spend any spare time doing something more informal, like walking along Spaccanapoli.

Don't forget that you'll need to stop and buy transit tickets somewhere along the way. If you happen to buy them from a newsstand or tobacco stand rather than from the transit company (e.g., from a vending machine in a Metro station), expect to pay in cash rather than via credit card. That means you'll also need to hit a bancomat if you don't already have euros.

Posted by
9198 posts

I would chose either the food tour or the Archeological Museum. Your day seems overloaded to me.

Posted by
1988 posts

I agree with Racele’s advice about the RS walk being integrated into the rest of your itinerary and you could always return and do that if you feel like you’ve missed things. I’d also go with acraven’s order of how to fit it in logically. San Severo is a small museum, so while you may want to linger to really appreciate the carving, it won’t take a substantial amount of time.

Posted by
625 posts

I get the feeling your food tour will have a fair amount of overlap with RS walking tour. So, while this all sounds like a lot, it may not be. I think prebooking Capella Sanservo is as easy thing to do. It only takes a few minutes to see, but is on Spaccanapoli which is a great area to explore (though at this point you might need a break!) It’s also not far from the Archeological Museum. Honestly, being limited to the Farnese marbles and the Pompeii exhibit probably works in your favor. You can see these within an hour or two.

Galleria Barbonica is the thing that should probably drop. It’s out of the way for you, and I don’t think it makes the cut for “Naples highlights.”

I like that you’re already set to splurge on a taxi at the end of this. You’ll have earned some peace of mind and comfort.