See a Slice of the Real Italy
No matter how you slice it – Naples is teeming with life, activity and even a bit of chaos – and this is part of the charm. Both cacophonous and cultured, this is the real Italy – bustling and brimming with people who are ready to tell you the best place to grab a piece of their national pride: the pizza.
Neapolitans are revered for their building skills – whether it’s putting a topping on a pizza or the Duomo. Even more modern dwellings, like the Galleria Principe – an ornate shopping gallery that dates back to 1869 – prove to be a master class in mixing contemporary and traditional construction techniques.
Your first taste of Napoli most likely won’t be pizza. It might be the Stazione Centrale (train station) in the Piazza Garibaldi from airports as near as Rome and as far as Milan thanks to frequent FS Trenitalia service. Or perhaps you took the amazing new high-speed Italo from one of its many departure stations including Rome, Venice, or Florence. A new peak of luxury for Italian rail, Italo offers service levels unparalleled in most of Europe. In addition to the comforts of the train itself, upon disembarking there’s the lower level of the Stazione Centrale to explore, including the Piazza Garibaldi and Circumvesuviana annexes. Whether you’re making a quick stop or enjoying a longer layover, you’ll find restaurants, a tourist office, baggage storage, restrooms and a currency exchange. There’s also a Casa Italo lounge for Italo travelers.
No visit to the area would be complete without a trip to the partially buried city of Pompeii and its sister city Herculaneum. Although there is service to Pompeii city center from Napoli Centrale, it would be better to use the Circumvesuviana line from the lower level annex towards Sorrento, with a stop at Pompeii Scavi. This line runs frequently and also makes a stop at Herculaneum. Be sure to buy your ticket before boarding since the route is privately run and outside of the Eurail pass coverage. This train also serves as your transit to the breathtaking Amalfi Coast.
The serenity of Capri is just a short ship crossing. From Napoli Centrale, take a 20-minute taxi or tram ride to the port, where a boat will bring you to the magical island of incandescent blue grottos.
Naples isn’t just a city to visit. It’s a jumping off point to historical sights, slumbering volcanoes, see-to-believe coastal towns and islands of lore. And all easily accessible by public transport.
Contributed by: Eric, Specialty Desk Agent, loves to frequent European events on visits with family in wonderful Kassel and Dortmund.