Today I want to bring you my Italy itinerary for 1 day in Naples. The regional capital of Campania is famous for pizza, but the city has a lot more going for it than that. From a beautiful seafront to historic castles and an enchanting old town, there’s a lot to see on a day trip to Naples. I’m here now and I’m excited to show you the top things to do in this part of Europe. I’ve included an interactive map, too.

1 Day in Naples

1 Day in Naples

My 1-day itinerary for Naples will show you the sightseeing and culinary highlights of the third largest city in Italy.

From landmarks like the Castel Sant’Elmo to restaurants serving classic Neapolitan pizza, it covers all the things I love about traveling in this part of the country.

1 day is enough time to visit Naples and take in the highlights. It will allow you to see the major landmarks, eat your fill, and discover the best of the city.

You can modify my itinerary to fit your preferences and travel style, but I hope it gives you a good overview of what you can do here in a day.

Castel Nuovo

Is Naples Worth Visiting?

Before I get into the itinerary, I want to address a question a lot of people ask: is Naples worth visiting? From fears about travel safety to doubts about the city’s worthiness as a destination, many people skip Naples when visiting Italy.

I used to be one of them. On my first trip to Campania, I took a train from Rome to Naples, then immediately transferred to a ferry to Sorrento to spend a few days on the Amalfi Coast.

On my return trip, I took a train to Pompeii, visited the ruins, then continued straight back to Rome via Naples’ train station.

Naples Hillside

But over the years I’ve heard increasingly positive things about the city. From friends who’ve visited to fellow travel bloggers who grew up there, they’ve encouraged me to give the underrated city a chance.

They’ve told me great things about Naples’ beauty, its food, and its rich heritage. They’ve also calmed my fears about safety, telling me the city has changed a lot over the years.

It all convinced me that Naples is worth visiting. When my boyfriend and I decided to spend 4 days in Rome, we knew we wanted to take a day trip to the coast to visit the capital of Campania.

Bay of Naples

Where to Stay in Naples

While our trip is just for a day, there are plenty of reasons to stay a night in Naples. The city has lots of options for accommodation and a variety of styles to choose from.

Grand Hotel Vesuvio and La Ciliegina Lifestyle Hotel both came highly recommended to me when I was looking into staying overnight.

If you want more ideas, you can find deals and book accommodation in Naples here. With so many choices, you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your travel style and preferences.

Naples Seafront

1 Day in Naples Itinerary

My boyfriend and I take an early train from Rome to maximize our time during our 1 day Naples. The high-speed rail journey gets us to the coast in an hour and 15 minutes, and we arrive at Napoli Centrale station at 9am.

Leaving the train, we walk over to the metro. In most cities, I wouldn’t dwell on this point, but in Naples the metro is an attraction in itself.

All shiny and new, the stations range from futuristic wonders to total works of art. Best of all, we can tap in with our credit cards to pay, so we don’t have to deal with the hassle of buying tickets.

Piazza Gesu Nuovo

Coffee and Pastries

So where exactly are we taking the metro? To coffee, of course. This is Italy, after all, and no morning would be complete without it.

We alight at Municipio station and walk through the big square, catching a glimpse of the medieval Castel Nuovo fortress on the waterfront as we go. We’re on our way to Gran Caffe Gambrinus, a Naples landmark on the edge of Piazza del Plebiscito.

Cafe tables in Naples, Italy

Decorated in 19th-century style with paintings, statues, and plasterwork by renowned artists, it’s been visited by everyone from Oscar Wilde to Ernest Hemingway and Angela Merkel. The Italian president has breakfast here every New Year’s Day, too.

The cafe is famous for its sfogliatella and baba pastries, both of which are local Neapolitan treats. We snag an outdoor table and order cappuccinos and sweets as we watch the world go by. It’s the perfect way to start our trip.

Cappuccino and sfogliatella

Piazza del Plebiscito

When we’re finished, we walk a few steps over to Piazza del Plebiscito. This grand square is the largest in Naples. It has two important landmarks on either end, and a palace on each side.

The first landmark is the San Francesco di Paola Basilica. Built in the 19th century, it’s considered one of the most important examples of Italian Neoclassical architecture.

Its dome and eye-catching twin colonnades were modeled after the Pantheon in Rome.

San Francesco di Paola Basilica

We pop in to see the interior, then emerge to face the other landmark. This one is the Royal Palace of Naples. A 17th-century behemoth, it was once the royal residence of the Bourbons. It’s now a museum and cultural hub.

Galleria Umberto I

After admiring the palace, our 1 day in Naples continues as we walk past the opulent 18th-century Teatro di San Carlo theater to get to Galleria Umberto I.

This stunning historic shopping arcade draws our eyes upward with its domed steel-and-glass ceiling. We walk in wonder until we reach the center. Completed in the late 1800s, it’s a beautiful sight to behold.

Galleria Umberto I

Bay of Naples

Leaving Galleria Umberto I, our day in Naples continues as we walk down Via Santa Lucia to get to the seafront promenade. Along the way we’re impressed by how neat and clean the city is.

From the spotless streets to the open-air cafes and the fresh coats of paint on seemingly every building, it’s a far cry from what we once imagined Naples to look like.

We spend an hour walking along the bay. We first notice the hulking form of the Castel dell’Ovo, a waterside fortress that dominates the seascape.

Castel dellOvo, Naples

From there we admire the colorful buildings across the water and the views up to Castel Sant’Elmo in the hills.

Eventually we turn around and stroll through the gardens of the Villa Comunale park before hopping on a bus to get back to Municipio station.


The next stop on our Naples itinerary is an unusual one: the Toledo metro station. This place is worth a visit because of its stunning interiors.

It’s one of several Art Stations in Naples (Stazioni dell’Arte). They were designed and decorated by contemporary architects and artists to bring art to people’s everyday lives.

Toledo metro station in Naples

Toledo station was designed by the Spanish firm of architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca. It features stunning mosaics and dramatic escalators (this is one of the deepest stations in Naples).

The station is also known for its LCD displays and bold color schemes that represent geographical symbols of the city like the sun and sea.

Opened in 2012, it won the 2013 LEAF Award for “Public Building of the Year”. It was named the most beautiful metro station in Europe by The Telegraph and CNN, too.

Toledo Station, Naples

Via Toledo

Exiting the metro, our 1 day in Naples continues as we walk down Via Toledo. This is the main shopping thoroughfare in the city, and it’s busy with people browsing the wares.

We stroll around for a while, then turn off on Via Maddaloni, one of the narrow side streets that radiate from it. As it turns into Via Domenico Capitelli, we find ourselves in the midst of small shops selling everything from pastries to souvenirs.

We follow the road past Piazza Gesu Nuovo, and continue on it as it changes names several more times (the collective name for this progression of streets is Spaccanapoli).

Historic street in Naples, Italy

There are colorful goods spilling out into the passageways and dark historic alleys on either side. I almost feel like I’m in an old-world bazaar.


Eventually we turn off on another street that leads us to our lunch stop: L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele. This is one of the most famous pizza places in Naples, and we arrive with our appetites ready to go.

There’s a huge crowd outside, so we walk in and order for take-away. It’s a 30-minute wait (it turns out it would have been the same for a table inside), and our pizzas come out hot and fresh.

Naples Pizzeria

We walk over to some steps nearby and sit down to enjoy an al fresco lunch.

The pizza is a classic margherita with mozzarella, basil, and tomato sauce. It’s a bit watery, but it’s every bit as delicious as I’d hoped. As cliche as it feels to eat pizza in Naples, I can’t help relishing every moment.

Neapolitan Pizza


After lunch we retrace our steps a bit and walk down a random side street. It’s dessert o’clock, and we’re after more of Naples’ famous pastries. Soon we stumble upon a place called Sfogliate e Sfogliatelle on Via San Gregorio Armeno.

On one side there’s a sign saying “No. 1 pasticcerie e gelaterie a Napoli“, and on the other side there’s a sign saying “you can buy happiness here”. Who are we to argue with those claims?


We head inside and order a classic sfogliatella. The shell-shaped confection has pastry sheets stacked like leaves on the outside, and rich ricotta filling on the inside. It’s divine.


Dessert finished, we walk over to Naples Cathedral, the Cattedrale di San Gennaro. Completed in the 14th century, its long nave and royal chapel’s painted dome have us looking up in wonder the whole time.

Naples Cathedral

Castel Sant’Elmo

From the cathedral we hop on the metro at Museo and ride over to Vanvitelli. After walking through a long tunnel, we use several public escalators to make our way up the hill to Castel Sant’Elmo.

This fortress atop Vomero Hill is known for its stunning views of Naples. The current castle dates back to the mid-16th century, and its unique star shape makes it a treat to see.

But the impressive structure can’t take our eyes away from the views for too long. Just outside the castle, there are vista points on Via Tito Angelini with sweeping panoramas of the city and surrounding areas.

Naples view

1 Day in Naples

After taking in the views, we head back to the metro and ride it to the station by Napoli Centrale. We board a high-speed train to Rome at 5pm, arriving back in the capital in time for drinks and dinner.

It was an amazing day trip to Naples, and we enjoyed every bit of our itinerary. If we were ever wondering whether it was worth visiting, we certainly know now. The city is a firm favorite. If you go, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.

Naples 1 Day Itinerary Map

As promised, I created an interactive Google map of all the places we visited on our trip to Naples. You can find it here. I hope it helps you plan the perfect day in the city!

Historic building in a courtyard in Naples

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1 Day in Naples

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