Naples, Italy has mixed reviews online and even among friends and family. While planning our trip we decided to stop in Naples for the sake of train travel on our way to Venice. I also knew that Naples was known for its pizza and is the proud home of the greatest pizzerias in the world. Now that we’ve been, let me tell you how it stacks up to other cities and give our final answer on whether or not you should book part of your trip in Naples.
So the short answer here is no. No, I don’t think you’re missing out if you plan a trip to Italy and don’t make it to Naples. Naples is much less clean than Rome or Venice. Naples didn’t have Uber/Lyft which made travel within the city less convenient and more expensive. Lastly, Naples was the only city where we felt unwanted. Neapolitans had no problem letting us know that they don’t care for tourists. If you want to see Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii, or the coast then I’d suggest staying somewhere like Sorrento or even Positano if you’ve got the funds.
That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy our time in Naples. There are a few things to do in town that you could easily see in a day if you’re passing through.
We walked around Galleria Umberto I which is a ridiculously beautiful shopping center. I cannot imagine having a mall like this in America. From there we headed toward the Piazza del Plebiscito which is the main square in Naples.
As a fan of The Great British Bake Off I had to try sfogliatella which is a style of pastry that originated in Naples. Its meant to resemble small stacked leaves but many people compare the shape to a shell or lobster tail. The inside is traditionally filled with ricotta and spices. We noticed a pastry shop, Caffè Gambrinus, right next to the main square and tucked in for a mid-day treat.
I also had the best pizza of my life in Naples. There are a few famous pizzerias in the area claiming the coveted title but we chose L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele because they had a pizza marinara (no cheese) for me. We both agree we had the best pizza of our lives that night and it was worth the massive line outside.
The Royal Palace of Naples is certainly a site to behold. It’s inexpensive, historic, and stunning so you can’t go wrong. If you look closely you can see me giving a standing ovation in the theater.
Overall, Naples is a great place to spend the day if you’re in the area. The most important takeaway is that I don’t feel the need to go back now that I’ve been. I can check that one off and move on to another city in Italy. We certainly didn’t feel like we wasted the day or anything. Naples was a means to an end for us. We spent one day there and the other days in Pompeii and Positano. Plus, I’ll never regret the calories and being able to say as a very lactose handicapped individual that I had the best pizza of my life in Italy.
What do you think? Has anyone been and agree/disagree? Let me know!
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