Naples Attractions by Car
Naples – also called Napoli, is major city in Southern Italy and it has a long history dating back to its founding by the Greeks. It is the biggest city in Italy south of Rome and is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Pizza and its proximity to Mount Vesuvius.
There is so much to see and do within the city including checking out all the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Some major Naples landmarks worth visiting include the Castel dell’Ovo, which sits near Naples Port and houses a museum; the Piazza del Plebiscito is the main square of the city and is home to both the Church of San Francesco di Paola and the Royal Palace; and there is also a wealth of museums worth visiting that are filled with Renaissance art work.
What’s to see in the Naples Area?
Naples has much to offer the curious tourist, outside of the city. Heading out of the city, you may find the most obvious place to visit would be Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii.
Mount Vesuvius is mainland Europe’s only active volcano to have erupted in recent history and is considered one of the most potentially dangerous volcanoes in the world due to the 3 million people who live close to the mountain! The volcano is located about 9kms from Naples and is definitely a must see. You can climb to the summit and look into the crater that destroyed Pompeii!
While you are in the area you should try and make time to visit Pompeii or the less well known but equally spectacular Herculaneum. Both these cities were destroyed in the eruption of 79AD. You can tour and witness what Roman life was like in the preserved remains. Just remember that Pompeii is Italy’s most popular tourist attraction so you can expect crowds all year round.
Continuing on past Pompeii and back to the coast you can find Sorrento that looks back across the Gulf of Naples. While visiting the city be sure to have a taste of the local speciality Limoncello, a lemon liqueur; though not if you are driving. Other things to see in the city include the Punta Campanella Natural Reserve, the Basilica di San Antonio and the St. Francis Monastery.
On the other side of the Sorrento peninsula is the town of Amalfi. The town sits in a ravine at the foot of Monte Cerreto. This remarkable setting is truly an experience and while you are visiting be sure to make time to visit the Cloister of Paradise and the Cathedral.
Moving on you will come to Salerno, the capital of its own province. The city was the home of the Schola Medica Salernitana, Europe’s first medical school. While in the city there are a few things worth checking out including the historical city centre.
Beyond Salerno there is an ancient archaeological site of Paestrum, which is only about 85kms from Naples. This site is one of the best-preserved Greek cities to have yet been unearthed. The city was first founded in the 7th century BC, which makes it a contemporary of Pompeii. Within the city you can find three excellent examples of Greek Doric style temples dedicated to Hera, Athena and Apollo.
Located outside the Gulf of Naples there are a number of islands that are worth visiting while in Naples. Ischia is the biggest of the island and you can take your car rental to Ischia by ferry. The other islands you won’t be able to take your car with you. Capri has been a resort since Roman times and there is also the Blue Grotto that can only be gotten to by swimming in at low tide! Procida was the setting for the movie “The Talented Mr Ripley”.
If you would like to get a car to look around the countryside close to Naples then you should have a look at our car rental Naples page.
If you have any tips about driving in and around the Naples area feel free to let us know. Just leave your message in the comment box below.