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A Day Trip To Naples From Rome Is Easy And Worth It

If a day trip to Naples from Rome is possible and this is your first time planning a visit for the most delicious pizza in the world then this guide will help.

day trip to Naples from Rome - Travel

Mount Vesuvius at Dawn

OK, saying that Naples is a possible day trip from Rome might be a bit of a stretch. You can easily get to Naples quickly enough, but the depths of all that the city has to offer can not be fully consumed in a single day. I was able to enjoy making this journey because I love pizza that much, but beware that it may also cause you to obsessively plan your return and eventual vacation in Naples.

A Day Trip To Naples From Rome

In addition to the beauty of Naples (Napoli), it is also a jumping off point for other attractions that are close by, like the Amalfi Coast, the volcano Vesuvius and the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum and the islands of Ischia, Procida and Capri. One day is definitely not long enough to enjoy these other neighboring sites because of the travel time, so you should check out the city, eat the best pizza in the World and plan your eventual return.

Because of the colorful nature of southern Italy, the Campania region, specifically Naples and its people there are many cultural references that you should be aware of so that you can get a feel for the city and the area around it. My three favorite movies and TV shows are:

  • Eat, Pray, Love – This Julia Roberts classic was a movie I enjoyed, but if I’m being honest, the Eat section was truly my favorite. Much of it takes place in Rome, but the restaurant in which she is eating pizza is in Naples and something not to be missed. It is described below.

  • The Hand of God –  This is a 2021 Italian dramatic film written, directed, and produced by Paolo Sorrentino of La Grande Bellezza fame. It’s a beautiful movie with an almost confusing amount of Neapolitan dialect and a challenging scene with a hairbrush. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

  • Generation 56K – This TV show is about 30-something relationships in Naples and flashbacks to growing up in Procida. We are only a couple episodes into it, but we are really enjoying it so far.

day trip to Naples from Rome - Wood-Fired Pizzeria

Pizzeria in Naples, Italy

The High Speed Day Trip To Naples From Rome

With the train, you have a few options:

  • You can book with Trenitalia, the national rail network of Italy. The fastest and most expensive train option is on the Frecciarossa, which should take you around 1hr 15min with prices starting at 35.90€ each way when booking on their site.

  • The Intercity train takes a little longer at about 2 hours and costs a more reasonable 27€ each way. 

  • And the slowest and least expensive way to get to Naples is by taking the regional train, which varies but can take from 2hr 45min to more than 3 hours and costs from 12.65€ to 14.80€ depending on the number of stops.

  • You can book with Italo, Italy’s private rail network. It looks like all the options here are equivalent to the Frecciarossa described above and around the same price, depending on if it’s peak time (i.e. during rush hour). The train is also around 1hr 15min and the price starts at 33.90€.

Is Naples a Safe City?

The quick answer to this question is Yes! Like any big cities, you will need to be aware of your surroundings and like the rest of Italy, violent crime is very rare but petty theft is more common. Be aware of the risks of pickpockets as you would in any major city.

day trip to Naples from Rome - Castel dell'Ovo

Rosa Forever!

The first time I went to Naples my first impressions were that on a safety and cleanliness scale it was comparable to Rome, although at the time I found more dog droppings on the sidewalks. Since now living in a more residential area in Rome (i.e. away from the well maintained tourist sites) I find both Rome and Naples to be at the same level of cleanliness.

One thing I did find strangely endearing was while I was walking down Corso Umberto I on my way from the Napoli Centrale train station. I came upon what certainly looked like a 3-Card Monte game on the sidewalk. I was so taken by what I had only previously seen in black-and-white movies and on the streets of Manhattan that I stopped to take a picture. As you might guess, I was immediately told to stop. They then tried to bring me into the game by suggesting that one of the players needed my help to put money in the pot. After realizing I was in over my head, I smiled, said No and made a quick exit. To paraphrase some sage wisdom: If You Can’t Spot The Sucker, It’s You!

What are The Naples Must See Sites?

There are interesting sites around every corner of Naples. You simply need to walk around the historical center and take a peek in every open door you find. Obviously not literally any open door, but there are churches, museums and street markets all over the city that are fantastic. If you are looking for some suggestions, check out:

day trip to Naples from Rome - Subway

Graffiti on Subway Car in Naples

  • The Catacombs of Naples: These make for an unforgettable monument to Neapolitan religiosity that spans a thousand years. Of these, the Catacombs of San Gennaro cover approximately 60,278 sq ft within the excavations on Capodimonte Hill. There are around 2,000 burial recesses, along with 500 sarcophagi dug into wall niches.

  • The Archaeology Museum: Also known as MANN, it is one of the oldest and most important cultural institutions in the world known for the richness and uniqueness of its heritage and for its contribution to the European cultural scene. On a personal level, I found The Secret Room (Gabinetto Segreto) endlessly entertaining. The Secret Room is a one-of-a-kind collection of 250 sexually themed artifacts unearthed during Pompeii and Herculaneum excavations. 

  • The Capodimonte Museum:  It is one of the largest museums in Italy and is located in the Palace of Capodimonte. It is home to several important works from other Italian schools of painting and important ancient Roman sculptures.

  • The Fontanelle Cemetery: If you really liked the Catacombs, you will love this place! This is an ossuary which, if you are unaware, is a room in which the bones of dead people are placed. Certainly not for the faint of heart!

  • The Sotterraneo: More than 130 feet below the Historic Center of Naples, you find a different world, unexplored, isolated by time, but deeply connected with the world above. If you are slightly claustrophobic, please proceed with caution. If your condition is more severe, maybe hold off on this one.

  • The Metro Stations: While not really a site and typically not something one recommends seeing, the designs on the walls and ceilings of some of the metro stations in Line 1 are beautiful. The Toledo, Dante and Vanvitelli stations are particularly notable.

Are There Other Places To See In Naples?

There is a lot more to see than the sites I mentioned above. Some of my favorites are:

  • Stroll along the Lungomare, which is the waterfront promenade along the Bay of Naples. It is an opportunity to relax in such a frenetic city and enjoy the vistas.
  • The main shopping and tourist streets in Naples is Via Toledo. You haven’t seen Naples as a tourist if you don’t find this street.
  • On Via Toledo, you will find Spaccanapoli, which “splits Naples” in two. There are famous places of interest to be found exploring Spaccanapoli, as well as many souvenir and gift shops, bakeries and restaurants.
  • Piazza Dante: This large square in the middle of Naples is worth a visit for people-watching, the large number of bookstores and getting a delicious granita or some gelato on a hot summer day.
  • Galleria Umberto I: This is a public shopping gallery not far from the Piazza del Plebiscito at the bottom of Via Toledo. It is reminiscent of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, but with limited shopping. Come for the architecture and the Babà.
  • Via dei Presepi: This street is full of shops dedicated to the traditional Neapolitan presepe, the Christian nativity scene. You can keep an eye out for some less religious figures like Maradonna, Totti and Pulcinella.

What is the Best Food In Naples?

It’s always a bit tricky to recommend food to someone you haven’t met. I have my tastes and you have yours, but with the ubiquity of Italian food around the world, I feel confident that I’m on solid ground with these suggestions. If you go to Naples, you will have an opportunity to experience some of the greatest gifts to mankind if you try:

day trip to Naples from Rome - Pizza Is A Naples Must

The Greatest Gift to Humanity!

  • Of course Pizza. You may have your favorite types like New York, Chicago or Detroit style, but if you love pizza it’s important to experience Neapolitan. There are any number of delicious pizzerias around the city, but my two favorites are L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, which I mentioned above as being in Eat, Pray, Love and Gino Sorbillo Antica Pizzeria a.k.a. Sorbillo. Don’t ask which one you should go to because both are fantastic in their representations but also different enough that trying both is a necessity. I hit two pizzerias in the same lunch, so I know it is possible. Yes, Fried Pizza is a thing in Naples, although admittedly it might be a cheat item if you’re trying to manage what you eat. Try one from Starita and you will thank me later.
  • Because the traditional pizza in Naples is individually sized, the idea of grabbing a slice on the go doesn’t really fit. If you only want to grab something while you walk around, consider a Portafoglio pizza, which is a simple pizza marinara or margherita folded into a portable feast.
  • Ragù in Naples is a thing of beauty. Forget the sickeningly sweet industrial sauce from the US, this is a slow cooked meat sauce for pasta, but can also be eaten by itself with a hunk of bread and a glass of red wine. Our favorite experience was at Tandem Ragù.
  • If you are looking for something to go with your very strong Neapolitan espresso, consider a traditional sfogliatella, which comes in two styles: riccia (in layers) and frolla (without layers). Sometimes called lobster tails, these are a great breakfast treat.
  • Of all the coffees roasted in Italy, my favorite for the past few years has been by KimboYou will find bars selling Kimbo all over the city and nothing will start your day of exploring better than a quick espresso.
  • When in Naples, I love going to Gran Caffè Gambrinus! This historic coffeehouse founded in 1860 near la Piazza del Plebiscito brings you back to an earlier time. There is a great video from Conan when he went to Italy and visited Gambrinus. It always gives me a chuckle.

Is Naples a Day trip From Rome?

As I review this post, it’s obvious that Naples can (and should) be more than a daytrip. I’ve given you more than a long weekend’s worth of food suggestions alone. You can zip into town, get one or two meals, walk around and then plan your return for when you can really commit to the experiences available to you!

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