Naples is experiencing something of a revival. After decades of being snubbed in favour of Rome, Florence and Venice, tourists are finally discovering how much Naples has to offer, from artistic masterpieces to the best pizza in the world. So, when you’re planning your itinerary for your trip to Italy, make sure you include a stop down south – it’s so easy to do a day trip to Naples from Rome.
Why visit Naples?
Quite simply, it’s one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in Italy. Yes, it’s chaotic at times, but that’s part of its charm. You could visit Naples a thousand times without getting bored, as there’s so much to see and do. A walk up and down Spaccanapoli – the long, busy street that splits the historic centre in two – could keep you entertained for hours. And that’s just one street!
There’s something for everyone in Naples. Art lover? Check out the masterpieces of the Capodimonte Museum, or the exquisite “Veiled Christ” statue in the Cappella Sansevero. Feel like taking it easy? Go for a stroll along the seafront, and admire the view of Vesuvius across the bay. If you love good food and good coffee, you’re also in for a treat. During your day trip to Naples, refuel on strong espresso and mouth-wateringly delicious Neapolitan pizza, and make sure you save room for a classic dessert such as the decadent babà al rum or a sfogliatella with ricotta.
The unmissable highlights of Naples
A day trip to Naples from Rome should give you enough time to see the must-see sights, as the historic centre is relatively compact. These are the highlights:
- A walk down Spaccanapoli and Via dei Tribunali. These long, narrow streets in the historic centre are buzzing with life at all times of day and night. They’re great for people-watching and souvenir shopping.
- Piazza del Plebiscito. The most famous square in Naples, in one of the city’s most beautiful neighbourhoods. From here you’re just a short walk from the opera house (Teatro San Carlo, the oldest in Europe), the Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale) and the sea.
- Naples is full of beautiful churches and art galleries, but if you visit just one place, make it the Cappella Sansevero. This intriguing Baroque chapel is home to several marble masterpieces, including the “Veiled Christ” statue – a truly astonishing artwork depicting the veiled body of Christ. It was once rumoured to have been created by alchemy, and you can see why.
- If the weather’s good, take the funicular up to Castel Sant’Elmo, located in the hilltop neighbourhood known as the Vomero. The medieval fortress of Castel Sant’Elmo offers spectacular views across the city and the Bay of Naples. On a clear day you can even see the island of Capri.
- Of course, no day trip to Napleswould be complete without a pizza. The Neapolitans tend to favour the simple, classic pizzas like Marinara or Margherita. If you want to try one of the famous pizzeria, we recommend Da Michele, Di Matteo or Sorbillo, but be prepared to get there early and queue. Keep in mind that it’s almost impossible to eat a substandard pizza in Naples, so if you don’t feel like waiting in line, you can take a chance on pretty much any pizzeria in the city centre.
A day trip to Naples from Rome: how to get there
Getting to Naples from Rome is easy with the Frecciarossa or Italo fast train, as it takes just 1 hour and 10 minutes. Book your tickets in advance to save money, as Frecciarossa and Italo train tickets bought on the day can be expensive (€48 one way). You could also get the Intercity train (2 hours), but avoid the Regionale train (more than 3 hours). For a day trip to Naples from Rome, a Frecciarossa or Italo train booked in advance is definitely the best option. Don’t bother with the bus – it takes too long.
To truly make the most of your time in Naples, book a private tour. Roads to Rome Private Tours can organise a special day trip to Naples from Rome with private transportation. Your private driver will pick you up at your hotel in Rome and take you to Naples for an in-depth private tour of the historic centre with an expert guide, before driving you home. Or, you can just jump on a train and meet your guide in Naples train station directly.
Read more: Travel Guide to Naples (Conde Nast)