5 REASONS YOU NEED TO ADD NAPLES TO YOUR ITALIAN BUCKET LIST
Is Naples on your travel bucket list?
In September, my boyfriend and I joined his family for 2 weeks of sun and adventure in Italy. Some of the destinations we were lucky enough to see included Rome, Capri, Amalfi, Positano, Sorrento, and Naples. Naples, or Napoli is a city often looked over by tourists in favour of Italy’s other famous destinations, but it actually ended up being one of my favourite stops on our trip! It was the place I actually felt we had the most authentic Italian experience; a chance to get away from tourists to enjoy amazing food, talk with locals, and encounter daily life.
Curious to learn more about why you should visit Naples? Keep scrolling!
1. Experience local life
Unlike Rome and Milan, which can be filled with tourist during peak seasons, Naples offers the opportunity to actually take in and experience the city like a local. Wake to the sound of church bells, and peak out your window to see your neighbours hanging their laundry in the early morning sun before heading off to work. Pop into a cafe for an espresso and pastry (to be taken standing up!). As you wander the narrow cobblestone streets in search of the perfect pizza fritta, marvel at the fact that the only words being spoken around you are Italian. Try your hand at haggling at the market, and don’t be surprised if locals want to practice English with you! I love experiencing a city through the eyes of it’s inhabitants, and Naples is the perfect place to do so – just watch out for scooters!
2. Eat some of the best food in the world
Defined by the pillowy, chewy crust and fresh, local ingredients, the pizza in Napoli is like nothing else I’ve tasted. We stayed in Naples for 3 days, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have pizza at least once every single one of those days (sometimes twice!). Pizza is plentiful and cheap in Naples (usually less than $8). While it’s hard to find a bad pizza in a city filled with pizzerias, Sorbillo and L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele were my fave!
If for some reason you tire of pizza, pasta and fresh seafood dishes abound. I started a love affair with gnocchi in Napoli, and I haven’t been the same since!
And finally, of course no day in Italy is complete without some gelato, and the some of the best gelato of all time can be found here! Check out my fave, Il Gelato Mennella for the creamiest, freshest gelato in the city!
3. Drink coffee like a Neapolitan
The average Italian drinks 3-4 cups of coffee a day, and Neapolitans are no exception. In a city that runs off of the stuff, there are no shortages of cafes (and don’t even think about going to Starbucks!). So how to drink coffee like a Neapolitan?
1. Order and drink at the bar – espressos are made to be sipped quickly, not necessarily to be savoured and made into an event like the Swedish Fika. Have a quick espresso, maybe a little pastry if you’re hungry, exchange some words with the barista and head on your way.
2. Espressos can be enjoyed at any time, and are often had multiple times a day. Cappuccinos, on the other hand, are only to be drank in the morning. Italians are all about optimising digestion, and coffee with milk shouldn’t be sipped after noon.
3. Make sure you know what you’re ordering. While you may think you know what you’re doing, research a bit to make sure you know what you’re getting (hint – a latte is just milk, no coffee!). I stuck with cappuccino (espresso topped with hot, foamed milk), and was never disappointed!
4. It’s less expensive
As it’s a less popular spot for holiday goers, Naples is considerably less expensive than destinations like Florence, Milan, and the Amalfi coast. So take advantage of those lower prices and hire a local tour guide, order an extra Aperol Spritz, try out public transit, and spend a bit more time wandering the markets!
5. Easy access to some of Italy’s top attractions
With Rome to the north and the Amalfi Coast to the south, Napoli is conveniently situated near some of Italy’s top attractions. Public transit is great, and a quick train can take you pretty much anywhere you want to go – whether you want to take a day trip to Pompeii, or continue south to the beach!
If you plan on adding Naples to your next Italy itinerary, let me know! Ciao!