Living just a short train ride away from Naples, I've had the opportunity to visit countless times. It's a beautiful city rich with culture and delicious pizza though it often has the reputation being dirty and unsafe. While the dirty part may be true, I always feel quite safe! In the past few years, they've updated their metro system which makes getting around the city even easier as it's much larger than where I live in Salerno. After many visits we've settled on the perfect one day itinerary in Naples, Italy.
Naturally you'll want to start your morning with coffee and a croissant and there's no better place to do that than Gran Caffè Gambrinus. Prepare your tastebuds for a flavorful and absolutely perfect coffee that might as well just be called liquid magic. I usually get a cappuccino and it's the kind of coffee that can immediately change your entire mood. It's that good.
If you cross into the large piazza just next door, you can pop into the church to find some beautiful architecture and across the church on the other side of the piazza is the Royal Palace of Naples. Naturally, the palace is absolutely stunning though my favorite feature is the massive grand staircase that made me audibly gasp the first time I saw it.
After exploring the palace, if you are a lover of all things theater, then visiting the San Carlo Theater is a must. It opened in 1737 and is the oldest active opera in the world. We were lucky enough to see The Nutcracker there, but if there are not any shows on the day you visit, you can take a tour instead. Though check the tour times as the majority are in Italian though they do have English tours as well all lasting 30 minutes.
Whether you decide to visit the theater after the palace or not, your next stop should be the Castle dell'Ovo which is free to enter. If you see a box office for tickets, it's for a special exhibit and not the castle itself. With gorgeous views of the city, we love to come here and soak in the views. You can also get a fantastic view of Mt. Vesuvius!
By this time our stomachs are beginning to rumble so we make our way over to Sorbillo for pizza. If it's your first time visiting, you will need to make your way to the front door and put your name on a list. They will call your name when it's your turn though this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour depending on how busy it is. So if you like to eat before 2pm, I suggest arriving early! There is a small store just across from Sorbillo where we usually grab a spritz to sip on while we wait.
After we roll ourselves out of the pizzeria, we typically go for stroll to help balance out the massive amount of food we just consumed before heading back in the direction of where we got our morning coffee. Occasionally we'll make a stop at Monastero di Santa Chiara which boasts the prettiest tiled columns and benches and also includes some ruins.
Just beside the beautiful Galleria Umberto, you can find a delightful pastry shop. Poppella Pasticceria is famous for their "fiocco di neve" which literally translates to "snowflake". This delicate pastry is filled with a delicious cream and topped with powdered sugar. Depending on the time of day, you can find people leaving with a dozen or more!
About a 4 minute walk from the pastry shop is the central funicolare cable car that can take you up to Vomero. We always feel like we've been transported to another city because it's far quieter and cleaner. You can find an incredible panoramic view of the city just past the Castle Sant'Elmo. If you'd like to visit this castle, you will have to pay an entrance fee.
By this time we're usually pretty exhausted and making our way back to Salerno, but if you are staying overnight, you can see a show at the theater, get some fried pizza at a small (fried pizza only) Sorbillo location or go to Pizzeria Salvo for, spoiler alert, more delicious pizza. I mean you ARE in the birthplace of pizza so it's kinda must.
There you have it folks, the perfect, action packed itinerary for a day in Naples, Italy. If it's your first time visiting Italy then I recommend that you read these 10 tips to help you out before you visit! Ciao for now.