November 30th, 2019 | Updated on June 29th, 2022
Are you planning to visit Naples by the next months? If so, you should be aware that the biggest city of Southern Italy is just a part of what you could (and actually should) experience in its surroundings.
Obviously, much depends on what you expect from your visit, trip, tour or stay in the city.
For example, if you are looking for a cultural immersion in the Southern Italian culture, you could stop in Naples and restrict your excursions outside the urban area to a day spent at Ercolano or Pompeii’s Roman Era remains.
On the other hand, if you are searching for a more leisure-oriented holiday, you should enlarge your sight range.
A look from the top of the Vesuvius could clarify better the opportunities that the area surrounding Naples – in particular on its southern side – could offer to a tourist.
The Vesuvius National Park is one of the most precious natural reserve of central-south Italy, because of its biodiversity.
The proof is that many agencies and tour operators manage to organize guided tours inside the park, whether they are individual or for small (or even big) groups of tourists.
Vesuvius is the epicenter of a sort of magic triangle for the tourists, which includes Naples and the Amalfi Coast.
In Naples, a visitor can stroll through the alleys of the popular Spanish Quarters, spend a day at the Maschio Angioino (the medieval castle located by the sea, right in front of the Naples’ Gulf) or climb on the hills using the picturesque funicular, celebrated in many films and a world-famous dialectal folk song.
Moreover, any tourist can combine cultural excursions with a no less significant gastronomic part: Naples is in fact the homeland of a considerable number of delicacies and culinary delights, that anyone can taste in one of the many typical restaurants of the city center.
Not only the celebrated pizza: from the first courses (pasta and chick peas, spaghetti and seafood, pasta with beans and mussels) to the most famous desserts (babà, pastiera, sfogliatella), anyone has got his pick of the litter.
But it’s not over yet: in Naples, a proper conclusion of a good meal is a small cup of coffee (ristretto, according to local tradition), a real liturgy in the city.
Moving south, along the coast, you can enter the province of Salerno. The Amalfi Coast is located here, south of a peninsula jutting on the Tyrrhenian Sea from east to west.
The coast’s cliffs, the blue waters surrounding the area and the characteristic urban settlements (many of which were former fishermen’s villages) are the most attractive features present in the area.
The same ones that made the Amalfi Coast one of the most wanted holiday destinations for wealthy tourists (both Italian or strangers), since after the Second World War.
A visit in the Naples area and the immediate surroundings couldn’t be defined as complete without a trip to Capri and/or Ischia, the two major islands of its gulf.
Again, what makes the difference is the beauty of the sea matched with the typical architecture of the islands. A real open-air film set, for those who love the beauty of nature combined with the benefits of any urbanized area.