The Bay of Naples on the southwest coast of Italy offers spectacular scenery with rugged cliffs, picturesque harbours, and jagged volcanic peaks. The seaside city of Naples provides a vibrant backdrop while the nearby islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida beckon with their charm and beauty. Use these essential tips to make the most of your Bay of Naples explorations.
Wander Colourful Naples
Begin your Italian adventures right in the heart of Naples. Despite its grittiness, Naples captivates with its palm tree-lined piazzas, pastel-hued buildings, and elaborate historic palazzos. Don’t miss the fascinating metro stations like Toledo with its soaring arches and shimmering mosaics. The Naples Underground tour takes you through ancient aqueducts and tunnels used as WWII bomb shelters. And for a delightful dose of quirkiness, browse the nativity scenes with their eccentric figurines of footballers and celebrities sold year-round on Via San Gregorio Armeno.
Scale Mount Vesuvius
The active Vesuvius volcano towers over the Bay of Naples, having famously wiped out Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD. Choose from a variety of hiking trails that take you up to the rim of the crater for scintillating views across the Bay of Naples. More intrepid hikers can also opt for guided tours into the crater itself. Just be prepared for sulphurous smells wafting from active fumaroles.
Savor the Pizza
Naples stakes its claim as the birthplace of pizza so be sure to sample the doughy delights of a classic Neapolitan pie. Go on a pizza-tasting tour to favourites like 50 Kalò, or dine at Pizzeria Brandi where legend says the Margherita pizza originated in 1889. The classic Neapolitan pizza features a thin and chewy crust, San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, and olive oil. Perfection on a plate!
Sail to Enchanting Capri
No visit to the Bay of Naples is complete without taking a ferry to Capri. Hop aboard a hydrofoil or slower ferry boat to enjoy the views of Naples fading into the distance while Capri’s dramatic cliffs draw nearer. On Capri, take the funicular up to Anacapri with its breezy vineyards and peaceful Villa San Michele. Or wander the chichi boutiques and cafés of Capri Town before heading down to the famed Blue Grotto sea cave. The electric blue waters glow bright in the dark cavern — it’s utterly enchanting.
Explore the Picturesque Islands
In addition to the glamorous island of Capri, consider day trips from Naples to the more peaceful islands of Ischia or Procida. Ischia boasts thermal hot springs along with vineyards, gardens, and medieval castles to explore. Tiny Procida charms with its pastel houses, small fishing harbours, and sleepy authenticity. The Bay of Naples islands all offer their own brand of Italian island life.
With sublime scenery, delectable food, historic sights, and offshore island adventures, a visit to the Bay of Naples offers something for everyone. Follow these six tips to craft your own magical Italian escape. Just don’t forget to pinch yourself now and then — you really are living la dolce vita!