Last Updated on 03/19/2022
I used to live in Naples and I miss it dearly every day. From the people to the food to the views, I miss it all. One thing I’ll never forget about Naples is the incredible opportunities for day trips. In the few years I lived there, I hardly ever spent the weekend in my apartment (oh, how the tables have turned since 2020).
This list of the best day trips from Naples wouldn’t be complete without the usual suspects (I’m looking at you Capri and Sorrento), but I’ve also included a few unique places that you might not have considered before.
While these are all easy day trips, I’ll also share hotels where I’ve stayed if you also want to make an overnight trip of it.
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Let’s address some of the more well known destinations right out of the gate. Sorrento is a popular day trip from Naples and for good reason. It offers beaches, history, shops, views of Vesuvius and an endless supply of its local specialty, limoncello.
You’ll find plenty of things to do in Sorrento, but visiting Marina Grande, enjoying the beach and hitting the shops are on my short list for a successful day trip. Want to stay the night? Check into Surriento Suites for unique views and easy access to ferries at a reasonable price.
How to get to Sorrento:
Naples to Sorrento is about a 45-minute journey by ferry with frequent departures from the port. This site is easy to navigate for schedules and information, but you can also book directly ahead of time on the ferry’s site or just buy a ticket from the port (get there early and expect a queue).
You can also take the Circumvesuviana train from Napoli Centrale. Although this is the best method if you are trying to see Pompeii in the morning and then continue on to Sorrento for the afternoon, be prepared that the level of luxury on this train is far from the Orient Express.
Positano is arguably the most picturesque town on the Amalfi Coast and a place you can’t miss if you’re in Naples. From boutique shops, restaurants and beaches, there’s plenty to do on a day trip. I’d start the day early and get a good seat at a lido: Arienzo Beach club if you want to take a boat ride, one on Fornillo beach, or right on the main beach if you want to take in the grand views.
After a late lunch, spend the afternoon strolling the main street (wear comfortable shoes) and visit the shops selling pottery, linens and clothing. End the day with an aperitivo. Choose from swanky cocktails at Franco’s Bar, casual drinks at Bar Buca Di Bacco by the beach, or anywhere in between. It would be a shame to miss the sunset, but depending on how you got there, it might not be an option.
I loved visiting Positano from Naples so much, I always stayed the night. There are so many wonderful hotels in Positano to suit every budget. Check out my post on where to stay in Positano if you also decide to make it more than a day trip.
How to get to Positano:
Since there are several way to get to this popular spot on the Amalfi Coast, I’ve gone into detail in my post on How to Get to Positano from Naples. For the purpose of a day trip, taking the ferry or hiring a private driver would be the most convenient and time efficient.
3. Vietri Sul Mare
On the opposite end of the Amalfi Coast, you’ll find the lesser known town of Vietri Sul Mare. It is known for ceramics with many shops selling colorful traditional tableware at a fraction of the price you’d see at American retailers.
Plan to visit the ceramic factory, Ceramica Artistica Solimene Vincenzo, in the morning or afternoon (they close for lunch on Saturday and Sunday) to find treasures in the store’s endless maze. There are many shops in the pedestrian only part of town with unique artisan styles as well.
At the bottom of town, you’ll find is a nice stretch of sandy beach with a few bars and restaurants along the promenade.
How to get to Vietri Sul Mare:
Since Vietri Sul Mare is all the way on the east side near Salerno, it’s actually easier to drive to than other towns on the Amalfi Coast (although the parking isn’t much easier). Without traffic, you can get there 40 minutes by car from Naples airport.
From Napoli Centrale, you can also take the train to Salerno (usually runs every 30 minutes) and get off at the Vietri Sul Mare stop that will drop you at the top of town. A load of ceramics in tow might be harder to transport via train. Plan purchases and transportation wisely.
The island of Capri offers something for everyone with its designer shops, beaches, history and iconic coastline. After you disembark the ferry in the main port of Marina Grande, take the funicular up to the piazza and the town of Capri.
Spend the day on the beaches of Marina piccola and visiting the shops. Boat tours are also available to take tourists around the island to see the famous blue grotto and houses of the rich and famous.
History buffs will want to make a beeline to Villa Jovis built by emperor Tiberius in 27 AD, while beach goers will enjoy renting a lounge chair in Marina Piccola. For a more luxury beach club, make a reservation at La Fontelina on the southeastern tip of the island facing the Faraflioni rocks.
If you want to immerse yourself in a culinary experience, take an authentic cooking class at a villa in Anacapri from former restaurant owners Holly and Gianluca of Michel’Angelo. If you’re feeling short on time, have one of their picnic lunches prepared instead.
Want to stay the night? Capri has a completely different atmosphere at night when all the day trippers have gone home. Holly was kind enough to shared her top picks on where to stay in Capri if you want to see a different side of the island.
How to get to Capri:
Ferries run multiple times a day from Naples to haul over two million tourist to Capri each year.
If you’ve had your fill of beach escapes, head east to the mountains of Avellino. The city center has a nice pedestrian walkway with shops and a large piazza. You could also stop in Mercogliano and take the funicular up to the Sanctuary of Montevergine. The church on the top of the hill is worth visiting and you’ll get nice views as a bonus.
The main draw of this province east of Naples is the wineries. Feudi di San Gregorio and Cantine Antonio Caggiano are two of the most well known. Read my Guide to Avellino for more winery recommendations and things to do.
How to get to Avellino:
Getting to Avellino is a straight, 40-minute drive up the freeway from the airport. Expect a toll of about $5, each way.
If you’re reading this as an American who just moved to Naples, you’re probably already familiar with Pozzuoli. However, if you haven’t already been, it is absolutely worth visiting for its history and charming old town center.
The Flavian amphitheater (on Google maps) from the 1st century is one of the largest Roman amphitheaters in Italy. While the ancient structure isn’t as well preserved as the Colosseum, you won’t have to wait in line for a ticket and you’ll have the whole place to yourself.
Another ancient archaeological site is just a short walk down to the port. The Macellum of Pozzuoli was a Roman market from the 1st century. Excavations of the ruins started in the 18th century and today, you can admire the market area with three standing marble columns for free.
While Naples is synonymous with Vesuvius, not many people realize that the Campi Flegrei is the actual sleeping giant. This caldera to the west of Naples contains underwater volcanos all the way over to the tip of Monte di Procida and also gives Ischia its thermal baths. So, if you smell sulfur or see a steam pocket near the Solfatara, it’s “normal” (although I never got used to it).
How to get to Pozzuoli:
Getting to Pozzuoli from downtown Naples is surprisingly easy. Take the Linea 2 (the blue line) from Napoli Centrale, Monetsanto or Piazza Amedeo to the end of the line at Pozzuoli Solfatara. This will drop you walking distance to all the things to do in Pozzuoli.
7. Sant’Agata de’ Goti
I can’t remember where I first saw a photo of Sant’Agata de’ Goti, but it only took one look at the unique buildings to convince me the town was worth checking out. I went up there in the middle of winter and I don’t think I saw more than 10 other people the whole day, including my husband.
Honestly, this isn’t one of those towns that’s jam packed with “things to do,” but visiting Sant’Agata De’ Goti is still a great day trip from Naples. You can’t miss the views of the town from the bridge.
Also, there’s a charming piazza with a fountain right in front of the Cathedral Saint Mary of the Assumption, founded in the 10th century. The main street has several wine bars, and my husband and I still talk about the cheese plate we got one random day in Sant’Agata de’ Goti.
How to get to Sant’Agata de’ Goti:
Sant’Agata de’ Goti is a 40 minute drive from Capodichino airport. Expect to park on the outskirts of the town and walk to the center.
My husband wanted to visit Paestum for the ancient temples, but honestly the bufala mozzarella was a bigger draw for me. Whatever your interests, Paestum is a great day trip from Naples. If it’s the former, you’ll be in awe of the Greek temples that date to about 500 BC.
If you’re more like me and motivate by food, you’ll be spoiled for choice in the heart of bufala country. Driving through Paestum you’ll pass farm after farm.
After walking around the temples for a few hours, head over to Barlotti for a late lunch. The dairy farm and restaurant has been making mozzarella for over 30 years. From cheese plate to gelato, you’ll have bufala from start to finish.
If you want to extend the day trip, continue on to Agropoli. Stay the night at Palazzo Dogana Resort to enjoy the nearby beach and old town.
How to get to Paestum:
By car, the drive is about 90 minutes from the Naples Capodichino airport.
You can also take the train from Napoli Centrale to the Paestum train station. The train ride is about an hour and 15 minutes. Then, a short 10 minute walk will bring you to the temples. This method is best if you don’t have a car in Naples, but makes the latter cheesy portion of the day difficult to achieve.
Ischia is often overlooked by the more well-known and luxurious island of Capri. However, Ischia has long been the island of choice by Neapolitans on vacation around Ferragosto, the Catholic holiday on August 15th. With Elena Ferrante’s best selling My Brilliant Friend series and the very Instagrammable luxury resort of Mezzatorre’s opening, the island has only increased in popularity over the last few years.
After getting off the ferry in the main port, stroll towards the medieval Aragonese Castle. The main street offers ample opportunities to stop at shops or get a caffe. If time permits after a fresh seafood lunch, park at one of the lidos along the beach. You can also spend the day at one of Ischia’s healing thermal spas.
Ischia is the largest island in the Bay of Naples and a day trip would just scratch the surface of what it has to offer. Consider staying the night to see more of the island.
How to get to Ischia:
There are three main ports in Ischia: Forio, Casamicciola and Ischia. Be sure to book the right destination based on what part of the island you want to visit. Ischia port is the best if you want to visit the castle. Direct ferries leave from Pozzuoli and Naples, and takes about 40 minutes depending on the type of ferry and port.
Procida is an island destination that’s very doable for a day trip. The whole island is just 3 km long (less than 2 miles). I once walked from the port to the opposite side on a hot July day. There is a small shuttle that runs as well if you’d prefer not to be dripping with sweat (although, I can’t guaranty the same scenario won’t occur on the crowded shuttle in the summer).
Procida is most known for the colorful marina Corricella of (find on Google Maps) and was named Italy’s Capital of Culture 2022. Start your day trip with a short walk from the port to the small marina. For the best views of Procida, head up the hill towards the Abbazia San Michele Arcangelo.
Once to the top of the abbey, you’ll also find a small cafe and a lookout point with views of Capri and Vesuvius. Have lunch in the Marina Corricella before heading to the beach for the rest of the afternoon.
How to get to Procida:
Ferries from Ischia and Naples run daily to Procida in the high season.
So, you’ve gotten to the end and you might be thinking, “Whoa, she totally skipped Pompeii.” I would categorize Pompeii and Caserta Palace as really long museum/archeological visits. Obviously, both are absolutely worth going to!