Naples Port of Call
Italy, the best of both worlds © PhotoLab XL
Visiting Naples, the birthplace of pizza, is a must for any Italian cruise passenger. Naples, Italy's third largest city, is an enticing mix of chaos and culture with state of the art museums situated beside crumbling tenement blocks. Naples is the real face of Italy, where glitz and glamour share the stage with grit and grime. Most visitors include Naples on their itinerary because of its proximity to Herculaneum, Pompeii and the gorgeous Almalfi Coast.
The port, known as Stazione Maritima, is a short walk from the centre of town and quite central to the city. The official tourist information centres can be found at Piazza dei Martriri, Via San Carlo, and Piazza dei Gesu Nova, as well as at the Central Station and Mergellina.
Tourist Board of Naples
Tel: +39 (0)81 402 394
Naples is an easy destination to discover on foot. Taxis are also available, although visitors are advised to use official cabs and be sure to negotiate a price before getting into the vehicle. For those travelling outside of Naples, there are trains and hydrofoils available. However, the best way to see sights is by using the shore excursion facilities offered on board, as traffic can be unpredictable. Fast and efficient ferries to Capri and Sorrento are available from the terminal beside the cruise pier.
Perhaps the biggest attraction in Naples is the world-class Museo Archiologico Nazionale with its collection of treasures gathered at Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as the world-renowned Farnese collection. Also within the city limits is the Gothic Chapel of San Gennaro at the Cathedral of Naples. The Museo e Gallerie di Capodimonte holds an impressive collection of Renaissance paintings as well as Flemish masterpieces.
Popular excursions from Naples are trips to the buried city of Pompeii, and to Paestum, which includes some of the best-preserved Greek temples in the country. Perhaps the most popular excursion is to Capri, which some cruises offer as an entirely separate port of call. Capri has attractions such as the Blue Grotto and the ruins of Villa Tiberio as well as Ville Michele and the beautiful Monte Solaro, which offers some stunning views of the surrounding scenery.
Pizzeria La Notizia- a popular restaurant serving some of the best pizza in Naples. It is located between Via Donato Bramante and Via Torre Cervati.
All seafood enthusiasts should visit Dora which is just off Riviera di Chiaia. The seafood antipasti will have you coming back for more.
Gran Caffe Gambrinus, near the Palazzo Reale, is a great place for a snack and some people watching.
Being the birthplace of pizza, it is not surprising that the dish every visitor to Naples should try is Pizza. Every pizzeria has it's own special recipe as well as tips and tricks to make the best pizza, in the end the proof is in the pizza.
The best place for shopping in Naples is the area around Via Tolendo, one of the city's longest shopping streets, which goes all the way down to Piazza del Plebiscito. Sunglasses, jewellery, hats and purses can be bought along this street or cheaply from the vendors along the Bay of Naples. Via San Gregorio Armeno is a great place to buy souveniers, such as the elaborate nativity scenes built in the city.
With a whole industry centred around the creation of nativity scenes, visitors to Naples should not leave the city without investing in an authentic, and often elaborate, nativity scene.
Visit the city of Pompeii, which was buried by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD.
Stand at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, which some say is one of the world's most dangerous volcanoes.
Take a boat to Capri to see the Blue Grotto and the ruins of Ville Tiberio.
See one of Italy's best preserved Greek temples: the Paestum.