One of the most exciting things about Rome – outside of visiting sites like the Forum, Vatican City, and the Borghese Villa Gardens – is the fact that in only a few hours you can escape Rome and go on a weekend getaway to one of the greatest Italian cities: Naples. Just a few hours south, Naples is a beautiful historic city on the edge of a glimmering bay. You can eat pizza where it was invented, drink the finest coffee, and fall in love with Italy all over again. So let’s go there together, for a quick weekend getaway.
Wake up early on Saturday and get to Naples. In Italy, there are many ways to get around, and many of these options, such as trains and buses, can be quite affordable and fast. But sometimes, as a tourist, it’s hard to know what the best way to get from point A to point B is.
The average journey time between Rome and Naples is 1 hour and 30 minutes and the fastest is 1 hour and 7 minutes. Trains leave from Termini Station or Tiburtina Station. A bus journey from Rome to Naples takes about 2 hour and 30minutes. Most famous bus companies are FlixBus, Sena, Cotral and Baltour. Alternatively you can check goeuro.com’s Rome-Naples transport price calendar to decide whether a bus or train is cheaper for your weekend getaway.
You arrive in Naples just in time for lunch (or a late breakfast, if you’ve taken a fast train – like Frecciarossa or Italo). My recommendation? Get yourself some street food. Naples is famous for its street food, and there are many different kinds, including fried seafood and pizza and rice balls. Check out this list of Neapolitan street food to pick your favorite. If you’re still hungry after, get yourself a gelato and, of course, an espresso. Drink as much coffee as you can, because coffee in Naples is the best in Italy.
There’s a reason for having a fast lunch in one of the world’s greatest culinary cities, and that reason is Pompeii. Once you’re in Naples, it’s just under an hour to take a cheap train or bus from Piazza Garibaldi to Pompeii, the famous UNESCO World Heritage site, an ancient Roman city that was preserved by ash-fall after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Spend a few hours there (Ticket price € 11; reduced price € 5,50), and take a guided tour if you can!
Rush back to Naples before sunset—if you’re here in August during tourist season, that should be easy—and head up to Castel Sant’Elmo (open everyday from 8.30am-7.30pm, entry fee €5/2,5), where you can see all of Naples in its grandeur, including stunning views of the Bay of Naples. And the funicular ride up is a splendor, too.
After the sun sets, that’s when your night in Naples begins. All those songs we love about Italy, the ones that we know without even knowing them, classics made famous by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin? Many of them originated in Naples, and you can feel that magical atmosphere as you walk along the Lungomare, looking out at the lights of the city reflected on the water, at Mount Vesuvius towering in the distance. Stop by a bar on the way, enjoy the generosity of southern Italy as you eat and drink at aperitivo, and then, of course…
Pizza. Eat the famous pizza that everyone writes home about. Locals recommend Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo, on Via Partenope, 1. Head back to your hotel after, if you’re tired—but if you want to continue with the magic of the night, I recommend you visit Piazza Bellini, the center of late nightlife in Naples. Full of bars, live music, and locals drinking and talking and laughing, this piazza is the perfect place to go with friends our family to celebrate how lucky you are to be visiting this beautiful city.
Wake up early, even if you’re tired, have a coffee and cornetto (or a cannolo, or a baba, or a sfogliatella, everything baked in Naples is delicious). Then, head out to the National Archeological Museum of Naples. All the bodies of villagers and ancient objects that were preserved in Pompeii, have all been relocated to this museum. It is quite astonishing and well worth the visit. Afterward, at noon or 4:30pm—depending on how long you spend in the museum and when you choose to have lunch (seafood, this time!)—you can head out on the Naples Underground history tour, to learn even more about this great city. For details click here.
And, voilà, in seven steps you’ve finished your weekend getaway to Naples! It’s an easy excursion to do from Rome, so get on that train or bus and get back to enjoying all of Italy!