Skip to content

5 reasons to visit Naples, Italy

Jan. 16, 2021
6 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

As the travel industry navigates COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials' guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.

Naples is a city often overlooked by tourists. But sometimes, when it comes to travel, you should take the road less traveled. Naples will give you a true taste of Italy -- thanks to its winding cobblestone streets, authentic pizza and real Italian flavor. The city has an entirely different vibe than fashionable Milan or touristy Rome.

Although you should keep an eye on your belongings, use street smarts and avoid hanging out at train stations late at night -- as you would in any other European city -- I never once felt unsafe there, night or day. Here's why you should visit this underrated part of Italy.

Naples at sunset. (Photo by Francesco Riccardo Iacomino/Getty Images)

1. It’s the real Italy

Sure, Florence and Rome are stunning, but they're also packed to the brim with tourists, often preventing you from having a more authentic Italian experience. Whereas Naples may not be as visually exciting as Rome, as glamorous as Milan or as picturesque as Florence, the city offers a truly local experience.

There’s nothing like wandering around the city center and hearing only Italian being spoken. This type of travel may not be for everyone, but if you are hoping to understand how real Italian people live, this is the perfect city to experience that. Plus, prices aren’t as touristy, they’re local, meaning it’s a cheap spot to visit. As my Italian nonna always preaches: "Rome is the heart of Italy, but Naples is the soul of Italy."

Read more: 8 mistakes most tourists make in Venice

Sunset over La Corricella Harbour. (Photo by Francesco Riccardo Iacomino/Getty Images)

2. It's home to awesome attractions

Many think of Naples as just a cruise port, but there’s so much more to see. The city center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site dating back to 470 BC, has many incredible attractions to visit: three enormous castles, a royal palace and more churches and cathedrals than you could ever manage.

With piazzas around every corner, there’s always outdoor seating where you can enjoy an Aperol Spritz (or several) and people watch for hours. Naples is located on the water and walking along the pedestrian-friendly Lungomare, the two-mile seafront promenade teeming with restaurants and attractions, is an activity that many locals enjoy during both balmy summer evenings and crisp winter mornings. Whether it’s high-end shopping, street stalls or budget fashion you seek, Via Chiaia has something for everyone. There's even a funicular that takes you up to the top of the city for panoramic views.

One of Naples' three castles. (Photo by borisyankov/Getty Images)

3. It's the perfect base for seeing ancient ruins

Naples is located just a short distance from the ancient ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both of which were covered in volcanic ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year 79. Today, you can walk around the ruins and even see the bones of those who were buried alive in the ash. Some of the best artifacts found at both sites were excavated and taken to the Naples National Archaeological Museum, which you can visit without even leaving the city. The museum also features a section with historical coins and a secret room dedicated to both cities' famous erotic art.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Read more: 19 of the most beautiful villages in Italy

Ruins of the ancient city of Herculaneum. (Photo by Darko Mlinarevic/Getty Images)

4. It's a jumping-off point for nearby island vacations

Naples is close to so many wonderful seaside spots such as the islands of Capri and Ischia, the picturesque town of Sorrento and, of course, the Amalfi Coast and its gorgeous spots like Positano.

Best of all, these areas are easily accessible from Naples by a short boat, train or car ride, making them all ideal for a day trip. Even if you don't plan on spending any time at all in Naples, you'll likely pass through the city on your way to the coast, as Naples airport and train stations are easily accessible from Milan, Rome and other European cities.

Capri is just a 45-minute boat ride from Naples. (Photo by agustavop/Getty Images)

5. The pizza, of course

Pizza in Naples is no joke. There's actually a stringent set of rules for pizzaioli in Naples, with the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana ensuring pizzerias are meeting the requirements for official certification, including that the center of the dough is stretched to no more than 0.15 inches in thickness and that pizza makers are only using specific tomatoes and certified mozzarella di bufala in their creations.

From a non-technical perspective, the pizza in Naples is fresh, delicious and not to be missed. Plus, even at the city's most famous pizzerias, you can almost always get one for less than $9.

Pizza in Naples is some of the most famous in the world. (Photo by Lori Zaino/The Points Guy)

Bottom line

Naples can sometimes get overlooked by its more well-known neighbors, Rome, Florence and Milan, but it's a charming place with lots to offer. Plus, if you're keen to go somewhere with fewer tourists so you can practice social distancing -- it's ideal. And remember, you won't find better pizza anywhere!

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more