One Night in Naples, Italy
*POST UPDATED FEBRUARY 2022.
Hello, sweet friends! I hope this post finds you well and not too overwhelmed with your Christmas to-do list. I’m taking a quick moment in between gift-wrapping and festive baking to share the third and final installment in my Amalfi coast travel series: One Night in Naples, Italy. In case you missed the first two posts: Ravello Travel Guide and Two Days in Amalfi & Positano. Now, Naples! Our time in Naples was quite limited; we arrived in town around 2pm, and were in the airport less than 24-hours later. Aka: just the right amount of time to fit in lunch at the bucket-list pizzeria, find the best cocktail bar in town, pig out on ragu, and enjoy a luxurious night in the hotel of our dreams. Can I tell you about it?
Southern Italy is an area that has long escaped my Italophile ways, but I’m glad that time has come to an end. Recommendations on where to stay/ eat/ drink/ and tourist are listed below. Enjoy!
One night in Naples, Italy
how we got to/from Naples
Naples is thankfully a very easy city to get into and out of. Here are the details:
• we flew direct from Dublin to Naples with Aer Lingus. The flight was just over three hours and was relatively painless. From Naples airport, we took a private car to Ravello (more on that here), but with the intention of spending one night in Naples on our way home. We flew with Ryanair on our return journey to Dublin as the flight time was a lot more sociable – it’s definitely worth comparing both airlines.
• as Naples was the last stop of our trip, we travelled into the city from Amalfi. We used a private car service for this journey rather than getting the two buses etc., and it was well worth it. The company we used was Simply Amalfi: it cost €115, our driver was lovely, and the journey took an hour and a half.
• to get from Naples city centre back to the airport, our hotel booked us a taxi. Our ride was about 20-minutes, but it was our understanding that Naples traffic is very unpredictable and this can sometimes take much longer. We had a price guarantee with the driver set up through the hotel: €35, but they charge an extra €5 if you want to pay with card.
where we stayed
Artemesia Domus // the hotel of our dreams! We barely wanted to leave our room, it was so beautiful and comfortable and just perfect! Boyfriend found it on the NYT ’36 Hours in Naples’ piece, and we were surprised by how budget friendly it was! If we ever find ourselves in the city again we will definitely be staying here, no doubt about it. See also: where we drank, below. Would definitely recommend.
where we ate
lunch + dinner
L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele // literally, this restaurant is the only reason I’ve ever wanted to visit Naples. The iconic scene in ‘Eat Pray Love’ where Julia Roberts’s character talks about the joys of good food in good places has stuck with me forever. I simply had to visit. It is hands down the best pizza margherita I’ve ever eaten in my life. The base was so thin it was almost crepe-like, the sauce was di-vine, and the cheese was so stringy and perfect! And it was cheap – €5 for the best pizza ever! We had to queue for 30ish-minutes to get in, but it was totally worth it. A must-visit. Address: Via Cesare Sersale, 1, 80139 Napoli NA, Italy
Tandem Ragu // recommended to us by the hotel staff. It was a fairly no-frills place, but actually the ragu was pretty good! We shared a prosciutto and mozzarella board to start, and both had the ragu with spaghetti. We love love love the traditional Bologna-esque ragu, but this was different: thicker, with big chunks of meat and a heavier sauce. It was good value, and we also had a nice bottle of red. Ultimately, I enjoyed our meal there, but I wouldn’t go back. Address: Via Giovanni Paladino, 51, 80100 Napoli NA, Italy
Scaturchio // rude staff and mediocre pastries – but for some reason this is considered a Naples institution. After waiting an age for service at a table outside, we gave up. We went inside, ordered takeaway pastries – zuppetta and a croissant – for half the price and ate them back in our hotel. Definitely a skip-able place. Address: P.za S. Domenico Maggiore, 19, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy
where we drank
Artemesia Domus // the cute little bar in our hotel. The drinks were quite reasonable and the staff were lovely – they even gave us a round on the house to celebrate our anniversary! See also: where we stayed, above.
Boof // a great cocktail bar with even greater prices! When we got the bill for our first two drinks it was just so reasonable we had to stay for another! 😉 I had a whiskey sour and a mescal margarita – both were delicious, but the whiskey sour was better. The bartenders were wonderful, drinks were addictive, and the owner had travelled Ireland – win! win! win! A must-visit. Address: Via Santa Chiara, 36/37, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy
what tourist attraction we visited
Santa Chiara Church // en route home after the best pizza ever. Honestly, if this hadn’t been on our route we probably would have made it through the whole visit without seeing anything cultural – but we were there purely for the food. I think I was in a pizza induced haze when we visited, as my memories are foggy, but I’m sure this church was just as lovely as all Italian churches.
My overall impression of Naples
I feel conflicted about my thoughts on Naples. It was never high on my travel bucket list, and sadly it was exactly what – if not worse than – I was expecting it to be like. There were two main drawbacks for me. One: it was dirty. Like, really dirty. There was rubbish all over the streets and every single bin was overflowing to the point of explosion. Two: it was dodgy. I mean, nothing bad happened to us during our visit, but it felt unsafe – and we sure heard a lot of stories from friends & family before visiting that set us on edge! In comparison, this is something I’ve never experienced in Bologna or Florence, my two favourite Italian cities.
That said, there are obviously good things about the city. Naples is the birthplace of pizza, practically one of my main food groups. The pizza we ate in Da Michele was possibly the best I have had the pleasure of eating ever. Our hotel was great, we stayed in the charming old town area of the city, and nothing actually terrible happened to us. Naples is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site – it is one of the most ancient cities in Europe!
Overall, I’m glad that I got to see Naples with my own two eyes, but I’m definitely more of a northern Italy fan. Who knows, maybe my opinion will change if I get to visit the port city again – it is, after all, home to the best pizza in the world, and the easiest city to base yourself in for a visit to Pompeii!
And there we have it, the short but sweet details of our One Night in Naples, Italy. Have you been to any of the same places? Did you like Naples? I’d love to hear any thoughts you have in the comment section below!
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