Naples is a large port city located in southwest Italy and is the capital of Italy’s Campania region. A Naples cruise port of call is an excellent way to visit Italy’s third largest city and experience everything this famous city is known for, including pizza, history, and it’s close proximity to several of Italy’s most famous places.
Due to its location, Naples is a unique port city for travelers on Mediterranean cruises. It has the allure of an energetic city since Naples is home to a vibrant historic center and famous culinary scene, but it is also the gateway to some of the most alluring places in the world. The Amalfi Coast, the island of Capri, and the lost city of Pompeii are all an easy day trip away.
Maschio Angioino (also referred to as Castel Nuovo, which stands for New Castle) is a medieval castle that is one of the top things to see in the city of Naples. It is located near Piazza Municipio and Naples’ City Hall and serves as the headquarters of the Neapolitan Society of Homeland History and the Naples Committee of the Institute for the History of the Italian Risorgimento as well as houses a civic museum. When it was originally built in 1279, it was the royal seat for the King of Naples.
Caserta Royal Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was created in the Baroque style during the 18th century. It is a former royal residence for the Bourbon Kings of Naples and is one of Europe’s largest palaces. It is located in Caserta, about 23 miles from Naples.
Located beneath the streets of Naples is a tunnel many tourists don’t know exists. Called the Bourbon Tunnel, it was commissioned by King Ferdinand II of Bourbon in 1853 as an escape route for the royal family from the royal palace to the military barracks. It was never finished during King Ferdinand’s life and wasn’t used until World War II, when it became a shelter for citizens of Naples during war bombings. You can still see items left behind by the families who had to seek cover in the tunnel. After the war it became a storage place for old cars, fascist statues, and other unwanted articles that needed somewhere to be cast aside. Today you can see all that and more – referred to as the Bourbon Gallery – on tours through the Bourbon Tunnel.
The Amalfi Coast is a gorgeous stretch of coastline in Italy that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its rugged beauty and colorful, cliff-hugging towns. It is located south of Naples along the Salerno Gulf of the Tyrrhenian Sea and is an idyllic shore excursion to do during a Naples cruise port of call. The Amalfi Coast is accessible from Naples via ferry or vehicle and many shore excursions are offered that include a stop along the Amalfi Coast. While exploring the Amalfi Coast, the towns of Positano and Sorrento are must-sees and will astound visitors with the natural beauty surrounding the charming towns.
The gorgeous, ritzy island of Capri is located across the Gulf of Naples from Naples city and is a popular excursion for cruisers. It has long been a playground for the rich and the famous, and even Emperor Augustus and Emperor Tiberius had homes there.
When you arrive in Capri, don’t spend too much time in Marina Grande, where the ferries dock. Instead, take the funicular up to Capri Town where you can explore the botanical Augustus Gardens and take in the gorgeous sea views. High-end shopping and restaurants also await you in Capri Town.
On the other side of the island is Anacapri, which is home to the Villa San Michelle, a turn of the 19th century home you can tour; Villa Jovis, the ruins of the grandest of Emperor Tiberius’ 12 villas; and Mont Solaro, the highest point in Capri, which can be accessed via a chairlift.
One other thing you may want to do before heading up the hillside from Marina Grande if the water conditions allow is to visit the Blue Grotto. Small sightseeing boats leave the harbor and circle the island, making a stop at a little cave when the wind and waves allow; inside the cave is a spectacular blue glow created by the way the light enters the cave, giving it the name of the Blue Grotto. You’ll travel into the Blue Grotto from your boat on a canoe where you’ll be surrounded by the blue light.
Pompeii was an ancient Roman city that is located about 15 miles from Naples, making it possible to visit while during a Naples cruise port of call; a shore excursion to Pompeii makes it especially easy to do so. The city of Pompeii is famous since it was buried underneath volcanic ash and pumice after the nearby (and still active volcano) Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79. The city remained untouched for almost 2,000 years when it was discovered remarkably intact due to the fact that no air or moisture reached it due to how quickly everything – including structures and people – were buried, seemingly freezing the town in time.
The number one thing to eat in Naples is the Neapolitan pizza. Trying pizza isn’t just what you should eat while in Naples, it’s also one of the top things to do while there. Neapolitan pizza is famous for its thin crust and toppings that include San Marzano tomatoes and Buffalo Mozzarella from the Campania and Lazio area of Italy. Neapolitan pizza is such a delicacy that it’s even listed on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage.
Other popular food and drink items to try while in Naples and its surrounding areas is Calamarata pasta dyed with black squid ink; limoncello liqueur, which is made with lemon, sugar, and often vodka and is typically enjoyed as an after-dinner drink in Italy; and rum baba cake, which is a yeast cake made with hard liquor and syrup.
The Greeks made a settlement on the land that is now Naples in the 7th century BC, making it one of the oldest urban areas in the world. Naples’ location on the large Gulf of Naples that borders the Tyrrhenian Sea has long made it a prominent port city due to its convenience of accessing the other port cities of the Mediterranean while staying protected within the curve of the Gulf. In addition to the ancient Greeks, the Roman Empire also inhabited Naples for a time and it was an important port for the empire before its fall.
Naples was badly damaged during World War II and the rebuild has blended historic architecture with modern structures. As Naples has continued to forge its way into the 21st centuries, much of its commerce continues to center around the harbor. Visitors who arrive by cruise to Naples, Italy, will discover an Italian city with its own distinct cultural beat, from the cuisine to the dialect to the preservation of the history in a manner that hasn’t overly commercialized it as has happened in other areas of Italy.
Cruises to Naples, Italy, dock at the Port of Naples (referred to as Porto di Napoli in Italy). It is walking distance to the historic center of Naples as well as other modes of transportation like the ferry dock and train station. The Port of Naples is quite large and has many amenities including souvenir shops, an information desk, a post office, and cafes and restaurants.
Public Bus System, Metro & Funicular
When exploring Naples by public transportation, you have a few different options. The Central Funicular is a cable car that is a fun way to get between the lower part of the city and the upper part. For more stops and routes, hop on one of the buses or the underground metro and you can generally get close to the site you want to see without having to walk a long way.
Regularly operating ferries are available to transfer people between Naples and Capri or Naples and Salerno. The ferry terminal in Naples is called Molo Beverello and is located just a 5-minute walk from the cruise terminal.
Taxis are available at the exit of the port and throughout the city center. In Naples, you won’t find fixed fares for taxi rides so time and distance will come into play in calculating your fare. Taxi drivers in Naples do often accept credit cards, but it’s still smart to inquire before using a taxi if it’s cash only.
Shopping isn’t hard to find in Naples. Just head to the city center, which is just about a 10-minute walk from the cruise terminal and you’ll find a both boutiques and shops for popular brands.
If you love designer brands and a good bargain, head thirty minutes outside of the city to La Reggia Designer Outlet, where you’ll find over 100 stores in which to browse.
The euro is the accepted currency in Naples and the rest of Italy. ATMs dispensing euros are located around the city. Credit cards are also accepted in most places in and around Naples, though it’s wise to double check beforehand if you aren’t able to pay with cash.
Tipping is appreciated in Italy, though not expected, and is generally at the discretion of the guest. Tips are typically not already included in bills, though a service charge sometimes is, which is often a few euros.