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The Perfect Day in Naples, Italy - Travel Itinerary

Welcome to Naples, Italy! Or as the Italians would say… Benvenuti a Napoli! Most notably known as the birthplace of pizza, Naples is a bustling city located in the Campania region of southern Italy. While it is only the 3rd largest city in Italy, it is the most densely populated, making it an overwhelming experience for those expecting a peaceful, romantic welcome to the city. Don’t get me wrong, Naples does have a romance to it, but that’s not the first word that comes to mind when I think of Naples. That said, we truly enjoyed our short time in the city as we spent the day seeing as many of the iconic sights as we could like Piazza del Plebiscito, Galleria Umberto I, and Castel dell'Ovo; explored the popular streets of Spaccanapoli, Via Toledo, Via San Gregorio Armeno (AKA Christmas Alley), and Via Caracciolo e Lungomare; and of course indulged in some of Naples’ most famous culinary delights like Espresso, Sfogliatella, and Pizza Margherita! 10 out of 10, would recommend a visit to Naples!

Whether you’re on a port day with a cruise ship or just a time-crunched traveler like we tend to be, we’ve put together what we think is the perfect one-day in Naples itinerary. With such a limited time, there’s no way to fit in all of the highlights that this city offers, but you’ll get a good taste of the city and have reason to come back!

Check out our “One Day in Naples” travel vlog for a closer look at our time in Naples!

If you have a little longer to take in this beautiful city and need accommodations, here are a few that came highly recommended to us…

Or you can view the full list below…

Now, let's get to exploring...

9:00am: Piazza del Plebiscito

After around 30 years of serving as a parking lot until 1994, this magnificent square has been restored to its former beauty and is now a highlight to anyone's Naples visit! On its east end, you’ll find the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace), and on its west end the Church of San Francesco di Paola. The Piazza del Plebiscito is a beautiful introduction to the city of Naples!

9:45am: Espresso, Babà, & Sfogliatelle… The Breakfast of (Italian) Champions!

  • Gran Caffè Gambrinus (where we went - Via Chiaia, 1, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy)

    • Since 1860, Gran Caffè Gambrinus has been serving some of the best espresso and pastries in the city. And if you want a real Naples experience you have to get a Baba (a soft rum-soaked cake) and Sfogliatelle (a flaky, shell-shaped pastry that is filled with custard) with your espresso!

  • Other Options:

    • La Sfogliatelle Mary (Via Toledo, 66, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy)

    • Pasticceria Poppella (Via Santa Brigida, 69/70, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy)

    • Ceraldi Caffè (Piazza Carità, 14, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy)

11:00am: Galleria Umberto I (Via Santa Brigida, 68, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy)

This stunning shopping gallery was built between 1887–1890 and takes great inspiration from Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It combines businesses, shops, cafés, and apartments (on the 3rd floor) and is part of the UNESCO listing of the Historic Center of Naples as a World Heritage Site. The incredibly detailed and ornate architecture alone makes this worth visiting!

11:30am: Stroll through the historic center of Naples

The historic center is confined roughly by the waterfront on the southern edge, Via Toledo on the western edge, Via Floria on the northern edge, and Via Duomo on the eastern edge. This area is the beating heart of Naples. It’s loud, lively, and chaotic in the best of ways! Expect your senses to be overwhelmed with the smells of delicious street foods, fish markets, and exhaust fumes; the sounds of street performers, arguing Italians, and rumbling motorbikes; and sights of packed vendor stalls, busy traffic, and beautiful architecture. The energy is palpable!

Must-see/visit streets:

  • Via Toledo - Lively shopping street

  • Spaccanapoli (meaning: Split Naples) - The heart of Naples Old Town

  • Via San Gregorio Armeno (AKA "Christmas Alley”) - Narrow street lined with artisan shops selling handcrafted nativity-scene figurines and other Christmas-related items.

1:15pm: Lunch…

  • L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele (where we went - Via Cesare Sersale, 1, 80139 Napoli NA, Italy)

    • It would probably be hard to find a bad pizza in Naples considering the iconic dish was invented here, but L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is said by many to have the best pizza not only in Naples but in the entire world! And with those kinds of claims, we couldn’t NOT try this place during our visit! The pizza definitely lives up to the hype, and if you plan to give it a try while you’re in Naples, we’ve got a few tips… 1) Be prepared to wait! Even if you arrive early (11am) you can expect to wait at least 45 mins to be served… And that doesn’t include the 45-60 mins you’ll have to wait for your order. 2) There are 2 lines… One for take-away, one for dine-in. If you want to eat sooner, get your pizza for take-away and eat it on the street. Otherwise, you could easily have 3 hours tied up in this experience. 3) There are only 2 kinds of pizza offered… marinara (tomato, oregano, and garlic) and margherita (tomato and mozzarella).

It’s also worth noting that L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is the pizza that was featured in the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” with Julia Roberts. The famous quote is… “I'm in Love. I'm having a relationship with my Pizza.” And after having this pizza, you too will feel that way. Lol

  • Other Options:

    • Pizzeria Brandi (where margherita pizza is said to have been created in 1889 - Salita S. Anna di Palazzo, 1/2, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy)

    • Gino e Toto Sorbillo (Via dei Tribunali, 32, 80138 Napoli NA, Italy)

    • Mazz Pizza e Baba (Via dei Tribunali, 359, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy)

3:15pm: Make your way back through the historic center

As you make your way back towards the waterfront (where you started your day) you'll have the opportunity to see some of the sites along the way that you may not have had time for earlier in the day.

3:45pm: Take a stroll along the Lungomare di Napoli

With picturesque Italian restaurants and cafes on one side and breathtaking views of Mount Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples on the other, a stroll along Via Caracciolo e Lungomare di Napoli is the perfect way to relax and take in the views of Naples!

4:30pm: Castel dell’Ovo (Via Eldorado, 3, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy)

Take a free, self-guided tour of this 12th-century castle, Castel dell’Ovo ("Egg Castle")! With a rich history and incredible views of Mount Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples, a visit here will not disappoint. The castle gets its name from the legend that the Roman writer, Virgil, buried an egg under the foundations of an ancient Roman fortification where Castel dell’Ovo, or “egg castle” now stands. If the egg were to break, the castle and Naples itself would fall… According to Virgil. Thankfully both the castle and Naples are still standing!

6:00pm: Happy Hour/Evening Drinks

  • Transatlantico Restaurant Hotel (Via Luculliana, 15, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy)

    • Waterfront terrace with beautiful views of Mount Vesuvius, the Guld of Naples, and Castel dell’Ovo

  • Vesuvio Roof Bar & Restaurant ( Giuseppe Garibaldi, 9/10, 80142 Napoli NA, Italy

    • Rooftop terrace lounge with lovely views of Naples

  • L'Antiquario (Via Vannella Gaetani, 2, 80121 Napoli NA, Italy)

    • Moody, speakeasy-inspired cocktail bar

  • Cammarota Spritz (Vico Lungo Teatro Nuovo, 31, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy)

    • Tiny, hole-in-the-wall Aperol-themed bar offering takeout aperitifs & small outdoor seating space

7:30pm: Dinner

  • Trattoria da Nennella (Vico Lungo Teatro Nuovo, 103/104/105, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy)

    • Cheerful spot with singing & dancing waiters, known for cheesy pasta with potatoes, and roasted meat

  • Antichi Sapori Partenopei Restaurant (Via Chiaia, 124, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy)

    • Cozy trattoria with soft music and atmosphere

  • Osteria Il Gobbetto (Via Sergente Maggiore, 8, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy)

    • Neapolitan cuisine served in a lively atmosphere with a tiled facade

  • La Locanda Gesù Vecchio (Via Giovanni Paladino, 26, 80138 Napoli NA, Italy)

    • Friendly atmosphere offering authentic Neapolitan cuisine and an interesting wine selection

We hope that this guide has helped you plan your visit to Naples, and if it has, we hope that you’ll consider following us on Instagram and subscribing to our YouTube Channel for more travel tips!

Disclosure: We only endorse things we've personally used or come highly recommended by trusted peers. If you purchase anything using our referral links, we may get a small commission. However, there's no extra cost to you.


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