Naples is the perfect Italian base for sun, food, and all sorts of Italian adventures. In fact, it’s one of the best places in Italy for day trips! You can easily see must-sees in Naples, and intertwine those with days in the surrounding areas. It can be the day trips to the surrounding areas that really make Naples shine – there are so many things to see and do!
The Italian Riviera and Islands Around Naples
If you’re in the mood for perfect Italian sun and sunbathing on the beaches, the towns around Naples are some of the best in the country (and the world!).
Sorrento is one of the easiest places to get to from Naples – it’s an easy ride on either the train or the ferry. There’s even the “tourist” train (the Circumvesuviana) that simply stops at Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Sorrento so you can get back and forth easily.
One important thing to note – the last train from Sorrento to Naples leaves at about 8:30pm, and the last ferry back leaves at 4:30pm. So don’t plan to have an incredibly late evening dinner if you’re looking to make it back to Naples! Because of the early departure times coming back, it makes sense to make Sorrento an early day.
The Amalfi Coast is absolutely breathtaking. The number of houses and buildings in all sorts of colors, just heading down into the sea is like nothing else. The roads are twisty and turn-y, and the whole thing seems like something out of a dream. The Amalfi Coast is definitely a worthwhile trip from Naples, but be prepared if you’re trying to do it in one day.
There are no direct trains or ferries from Naples to Amalfi or any of the cities along the Amalfi Coast – so you need to connect in Sorrento, either with a bus or ferry. This also means that you need to be back in Sorrento by the last ferry or train. So this is another early day trip!
The other option is to hire a car or a tour. In this case, this can actually make life MUCH easier than if you try to go alone. Renting a car or scooter is a terrible idea – unless you’re great at parking with inches to spare, wonderful with a stick shift, and enjoy taking your life in your own hands.
Ischia is a dream island just off the coast of Naples. It’s one you probably haven’t heard of as much as something like Capri, but don’t let that stop you. There’s plenty of hiking, biking, suntanning and more around the island. You can even find hot springs!
If you’re looking for history, the Castello Aragonese looks like it came right out of Game of Thrones. There are botanical gardens, historical villas, and lots of wineries! There are a good number of ferries between Ischia and Naples, and the last one leaves Ischia at almost nine.
The Isle of Capri is long-storied as the heart of glamour, and it delivers. Capri is all about the food and the sweet life. It’s a great place to enjoy the sun and beaches! The last ferries leave for Naples around 8pm, so you can make a true day of it.
Positano is part of the Amalfi Coast, but it’s so incredible it deserves its own entry. Positano is just gorgeous, but the gorgeousness attracts crowds – be prepared to spend quite a bit on a beach chair and meals throughout the day.
Also, make sure your camera batteries are well-charged!
Procida is another island you likely haven’t heard about, as it’s only more recently coming onto the tourist scene. The main village on the island has beautiful pastel-colored houses, and it retains some of the authentic charm that islands like Capri and Ischia have started to lose. It’s closer to Naples than the others, so the ferries are both cheaper and more frequent. The last one back to Naples goes at almost 9pm, so you can spend more time there than along the Amalfi Coast.
Procida doesn’t have as many tourist “attractions” which is part of its own attraction and charm. Expect to spend the day wandering the town, enjoying the beaches, the incredible food and just living life.
Land-Based Day Trips from Naples
Casserta is inland from Naples, and there are many trains that depart from Napoli Centrale and head up to Casserta. The main attraction there is the Royal Palace of Casserta. This is one of the largest and grandest castles of 18th-century Europe. If you enjoyed Versailles, this is the Italian version! It’s well-worth the day trip.
The palace is surrounded by landscaped grounds, so it’s the perfect place to wander the day away. If you’re most interested in packing a lot in, it’s one that you could see in a half-day.
Normally, people look at Naples as a day trip from Rome. But, the reverse works too! If you want to base yourself in Naples but get to see the Colosseum or the Vatican, then Rome is an easy hop on a bullet train away. It’s about an hour on the train each way, and then you can be in the heart of the Eternal City.
With over 80 trains going between the cities every day, you’ll be able to find a way to spend the whole day there. The earliest trains leave about 4 am, and the latest ones leave just before 10 pm.
Salerno is another port city just about a 30 minute train side south of Naples. If you want the experience of Sorrento and of Italian cities on the sea, Salerno can be an easier option for a day trip. The key benefit of Salerno is that the trains run much longer, so you can spend longer in Salerno. The last train from Salerno to Naples leaves about 10:30pm.