The sparkling blue waters of the Bay of Naples and the pastel-coloured cliffside villages of the Amalfi Coast conjure up idyllic images of la dolce vita. With postcard-perfect scenery, mouthwatering pizza, fascinating ruins, and that laidback Mediterranean charm, this southern Italian shoreline has captivated visitors for centuries. Follow our guide on getting the most out of this dazzlingly beautiful and historically rich region.
1. Wander Ancient Pompeii’s Streets
The site of the AD 79 volcanic eruption that buried Pompeii is one of the world’s most magnificent archaeological treasures. Wander the remarkably intact remains of this once-thriving Roman town – meander through villas, food stores, public baths, and amphitheatres for a unique glimpse into ancient life frozen in time. Train it from Naples to the Pompeii Scavi station right outside the archaeological park entrance in under 30 minutes.
2. Scale Mount Vesuvius
Peer into the vast crater of legendary volcano Mount Vesuvius that tragically smothered Pompeii and Herculaneum in tonnes of ash almost 2,000 years ago. Drive or take a guided coach tour up the 4,000ft peak for staggering panoramas across the Bay of Naples – on clear days, you can see all the way to the Ponza Islands.
3. Catch a Bus to Naples
Catch a bus to Naples with its fashionable neighbourhoods, treasure trove museums and buzzy cafés. Use Naples’ fast, frequent, and affordable metro, tram, funicular and bus connections to explore the city and its surrounds. Catch a bus heading west to witness spellbinding coastal scenery and Amalfi Coast villages.
4. Live La Dolce Vita on Capri
Hop on the ferry from Naples to charming Capri, the celebrity-favourite island famed for its chic piazzas and Faraglioni rock formations. Take the chairlift up to the hilltop town of Anacapri with its grand Villa San Michele, stroll the Gardens of Augustus for sublime bay views, or people-watch whilst enjoying an Aperol Spritz in glitzy La Piazzetta.
5. Pizza Pilgrimage to Where It All Began
Naples is the spiritual home of Italy’s most famous export – pizza. Follow hungry locals to century-old L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele near the train station for melt-in-the-mouth marinara and margherita pizza, prepared with just simple, fresh ingredients but cooked to absolute perfection. Worth the queue!
6. Drive the Spellbinding Amalfi Coast
Hire a car and take a ride along one of Europe’s most spectacular stretches of coastline – the jaw-dropping Amalfi Coast drive. This thrilling cliffside road affords knockout vistas around every hairpin bend. Stop to stroll pastel-hued Positano’s steep winding streets filled with chic boutiques and restaurants. Visit Amalfi’s striking Duomo cathedral with its colourful tiled roof and Arab-Norman belltower, or explore Sorrento’s coastal trails.
With ancient historic sights, glittering Mediterranean shores, world-famous pizza, chic cliffside villages and luxuriant coastal scenery, the Bay of Naples and Amalfi Coast encapsulate the best of southern Italian dolce vita. Use Naples’ convenient public transport connections to experience this sun-soaked stretch of Campania coastline – a place that’s inspired visitors from Roman times through to today.