Most people who head to Naples make the day trip out to Pompeii, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. It is by far the most popular day trip from Naples, and for good reason.
Once a booming trade town, Pompeii was buried under a thick layer of ash and pumice after an eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD devastated the town, killing its inhabitants. Today, Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best possible way to see what life in ancient Rome was like.
Pompeii steals the show when it comes to archaeological excavation sites, but nearby Herculaneum is just as good and if often much less crowded. Like Pompeii, Herculaneum was also destroyed in the 79 AD eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Due to its location, the city is better preserved, buried beneath mud, not ash which meant that houses were discovered almost intact.
While it’s less well-known than nearby Pompeii, many people prefer it for its more manageable size, fewer crowds, and impressive on-site displays.
The Amalfi Coast spreads out along the beautiful rugged coastline south of Naples and has a reputation as being one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Along with Pompeii, the towns of the Amalfi Coast are some of Italy’s most popular destinations. Beautiful towns like Positano, Rovello and Amalfi are built on the cliffs, perched above the sea and are accessible by boat or by public transport.
The island of Capri, situated just 3 miles (5 km) from the mainland is one of the most popular islands to visit for a day trip from Naples. Take a boat and visit the popular Blue Grotto, catch a bus to Anacapri, rent a boat, swim at the island’s largest beach, or take the funicular railway up the hill to the town of Capri, the island’s main town where you’ll be transported into a world of high-end designer goods, perfumes, and jewellery.
Alternatively, go for a hike, or take a chairlift up Monte Solaro for some breathtaking views over the island of Capri and the Bay of Naples.
Probably the most famous volcano in the world, Mount Vesuvius looms high above the Bay of Naples and sits as the backdrop to most photographs taken of Naples. Just five miles from Naples, the volcano makes for an adventurous day trip!
Take an express bus up the volcano and hike up to the summit on foot to enjoy beautiful views over the Bay of Naples and Pompeii.
Located just north of Naples, Caserta is most known for its 18th Century Bourbon Royal Palace, with gardens said to be comparable to those of Versailles. Modelled after the Palace of Versailles, the Royal Palace of Caserta is said to be the world’s biggest royal palace, with about 1200 rooms.
The Royal Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and located directly in front of the train station, making Caserta a perfect day-trip from Naples.
Built in the 6th century, the abbey at Monte Cassino sits on top of the mountain, some 520 metres above sea-level. Built by the Benedictine order around 529 AD, the abbey became the centre of the world's attention many years later during World War Two.
On the 15th February 1944 allied armies decided to bomb the abbey as they believed it was being used as cover by the defending forces. The abbey was almost completely destroyed, and in 1964, the abbey was rebuilt brick by brick and today the abbey is a beautiful example of Italian architecture drawing thousands of visitors from around the world every year.
Home to beautiful beaches, lower prices and fewer tourists, Salerno is an overlooked destination for a day trip from Naples. Just 40 minutes south of the city, Salerno offers its visitors a five-mile-long promenade and a host of beautiful architecture.
Salerno is also a popular place of pilgrimage, with the tomb of the apostle Saint Matthew found in its 11th century cathedral.
Capri’s larger neighbour may get fewer visitors, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less beautiful. Ischia is another fantastic island worthy of a day trip from Naples.
The largest island in the Bay of Naples, Ischia is more interesting geographically than Capri, which makes it great for gentle hikes, especially to its summit of Mt Epomeo, and its volcanic soils make for the cultivation of fine wines. It also has some lovely sun-bathing spots and an exquisitely picturesque coastal fortress.