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Help Needed Naples, Caserta, Pompeii

Sara

10+ Posts
I'm planning a visit of the area of Naples, Caserta and Pompeii for 5/6 days (end of April/beginning of May) with a friend. In our must-see list there are Pompei Scavi, of course, and the Reggia di Caserta. I'm planning the itinerary at the moment and I wanted to hear from you, guys, the attractions/experiences that you particularly enjoyed if you have already visited the area (especially in Naples).
If you also have suggestions for the accomodation (not extra-expensive), it will be a plus! Thank you!
 

LindaG

10+ Posts
It was some years ago and I had a car but what I remember is:

There is a train station directly across from the Reggia di Caserta with regular service to Naples. I would double check if you are planning to do that. I really enjoyed the Reggia and it has extensive gardens with bus service back to the villa; it was a very long walk. Again, I would double check if that is an issue.

I stayed in Casertavecchia which I found charming. Fabulous views as it is on top of a hill, good restaurants many with views, and a small but really interesting church and other historical buildings. There was public bus service from Casertavecchia to the Reggia or train station and back. So you could see both Casertavecchia and the Reggia in a day.

Pompeii is great but bring water. If it's a sunny day, it gets really hot and there isn't much if any shade and distances can be long.

As crazy as Naples can be, I really enjoyed it and have been there twice with a hope to return. The archaeological museum is a must-see if you are going to Pompeii. The tour of the Teatro San Carlo was interesting but I love theaters. The views from the area beyond the Piazza del Plebiscito are great; you can see Vesuvius across the bay. Another great location is the complex at San Martino. It's a museum and monastery. It's in the Vomero so great views over Naples. I also found some small exhibits around town so keep an eye out. There is a lot of really great architecture in Naples since it was once a royal city. As they say, Naples had paved roads while Paris and London were still dealing with dirt roads.

At the Via Toledo entrance to the Galleria, there is an excellent place to buy sfogliatelle, La Sfogliatella Mary. They make them fresh all day. There are plenty of other pastries as well.

If you like museums, the Capodimonte is a must see. There is lovely park around the museum which is nice after the miles of stone floors in the museum.

Of course coffee at Gambrinus is a must-do in Naples. The inner room is lovely and a step back in time. If you continue up Via Chiaia, there are lots of interesting shops and you finally come to the designer stores - all the big ones were in the same small area. Fun to window shop if not buy.

There are some interesting subway stations so I would look for info on them.

People were friendly and helpful. And I never felt in danger as a woman traveling alone.

If you have MHz Choice (a streaming subscription service), there is a new series set in Naples which has lots of scenes out and about town so interesting shots of Naples. It is the Bastards of Pizzofalcone. This is the same service that carries the Montalbano series.

Enjoy
 

Sandrac

10+ Posts
I really enjoy Naples and pop down from Rome at least once a year. It's steep but always really interesting to walk around in. Linda has made some great suggestions, including the archeological museum and the Capodimonte (you'll probably want to take a bus up, either a city bus or there is a shuttle bus. It's also a stop on a hop-on, hop-off bus. I'll post a link).

I find the Capodimonte to be a bit of a mess in terms of poor descriptions and indications of where to find what, so some preparation is a good idea.

Something I really enjoyed last month when I was in Naples was seeing Caravaggio's Seven Works of Mercy at Pio Monte della Misericordia, Via Toledo #243. There's not much else at this little chapel but well worth the effort to find it.
 

kcalnyc

10+ Posts
Love Naples! Be sure to see what people mentioned above, as well as the cloistered gardens at Santa Chiara and Church of San Gregorio Armeno. The excavations under San Lorenzo Maggiore are interesting. They are all very close to one another. I also really loved my visit to Certosa di San Martino and the views of the bay are amazing from up there. Another thing I found interesting was the Naples Sotteranea Tours - but don't do it if you are at all claustrophobic. One section is very tight.
 

Parigi

100+ Posts
"As crazy as Naples can be, I really enjoyed it and have been there twice with a hope to return."
Why crazy? Or I'm just as crazy as you. :)

I agree with all the comments above and share the contributors' fondness for Naples, and have only small things to add.

Yes, Naples has great food, especially street food. It may be my favorite food city of Italy.

I would not leave Naples without going to a very good pizzeria. Pizza was invented there, and the Neapolitians still excell in it.
A few places are well known for offering top pizza, like the San Michele. Sometimes you queue for 45 minutes, but as hard as it is to beleive, it's worth it.
We went to Trianon and had an excellent pizza too, though not as good as the San Michele one, but Trianon gave us a unique experience. It's one of those stories that my husband and I love to retell throught the years (Political Correctness believers please forgive me and stop reading now):
Once, after we had a fantastic pizza there, my husband, as per the custom, went up to the cash register to pay.
The cashier is a beautiful voluptuous Italian lady, à la Sophia, à la Gina. Omg, the genuine article, the real McCoy.
That's not all: she was also wearing a top with a vertiginous décolleté.
That's not all: when my husban paid, she thanked him (very very) warmly and bowed, spilling her Genuine Article and her Real McCoy all over the counter top.
As we were going through the door, reconnecting with the garbage smell outside, my husband could not help but said: "I'm ready to pay again!"
 

ellen

100+ Posts
I could easily spend six days without ever leaving Naples, but I agree that the palace and gardens at Caserta are well worth the trip. More info here: http://www.polomusealecampania.beniculturali.it/index.php/l-anfiteatro

While up that way there is also an excellent amphitheater at Santa Maria Capua Vetere. If you go there, I would also check out the archeology museum in town and ask to be shown the mithraeum. It's a little odd as it's not right at the museum, a caretaker walks you around the block and unlocks it, then waits while you visit. More info here: http://www.polomusealecampania.beniculturali.it/index.php/il-museo-e-mitreo
 

Sara

10+ Posts
Dear Linda, thank you very much for your tips. Sadly, I didn't have the time to reply before leaving, but your post was helpful when planning.

There is a train station directly across from the Reggia di Caserta with regular service to Naples. I would double check if you are planning to do that. I really enjoyed the Reggia and it has extensive gardens with bus service back to the villa; it was a very long walk. Again, I would double check if that is an issue.

I stayed in Casertavecchia which I found charming. Fabulous views as it is on top of a hill, good restaurants many with views, and a small but really interesting church and other historical buildings. There was public bus service from Casertavecchia to the Reggia or train station and back. So you could see both Casertavecchia and the Reggia in a day.

I went to Caserta on a Sunday and I was able to reach it from Naples through the bus services. There weren't many trains that day. What saddened me was that there were not buses that connected Reggia/the station with Casertavecchia, which I was dying to see. Apparently the bus service was suspended on Sundays (and I found it puzzling since it's a tourist attraction), but it was not clear by checking the timetables or the website. The tourist infopoint was also closed and people in the station weren't very eager to give us info. The language was not the problem, since I'm Italian (just to be clear). Luckily, some local people were helpful and told us on Sundays there was not the service. Pity.

At the Via Toledo entrance to the Galleria, there is an excellent place to buy sfogliatelle, La Sfogliatella Mary. They make them fresh all day. There are plenty of other pastries as well.

Next time you go to Naples try Pintauro in via Toledo: that's where the sfogliatelle were allegedly invented and they're great.

If you have MHz Choice (a streaming subscription service), there is a new series set in Naples which has lots of scenes out and about town so interesting shots of Naples. It is the Bastards of Pizzofalcone. This is the same service that carries the Montalbano series.
Being Italian, I'm familiar with that series. It's broadcasted on the National TV :)

The day I arrived in Naples, they were filming My Brilliant Friend 2, btw. Amazing.
 

Sara

10+ Posts
Something I really enjoyed last month when I was in Naples was seeing Caravaggio's Seven Works of Mercy at Pio Monte della Misericordia, Via Toledo #243. There's not much else at this little chapel but well worth the effort to find it.

Thanks for your tip and sorry for my late reply. I've finally visited Naples and Pio Monte della Misericordia was basically the first thing I visited!
 

Sara

10+ Posts
Love Naples! Be sure to see what people mentioned above, as well as the cloistered gardens at Santa Chiara and Church of San Gregorio Armeno. The excavations under San Lorenzo Maggiore are interesting. They are all very close to one another. I also really loved my visit to Certosa di San Martino and the views of the bay are amazing from up there. Another thing I found interesting was the Naples Sotteranea Tours - but don't do it if you are at all claustrophobic. One section is very tight.
Thanks for your tips! I saw your entry before leaving, but I didn't have the chance to reply! The cloisters of St.Chiara are indeed amazing! I did both Napoli Sotterrata (the excavations under St.Lorenzo Maggiore) and Napoli Sotterranea, which many people tend to confuse, I have noticed. The claustrophobic part was my favourite of Napoli Sotterranea :D
 

ellen

100+ Posts
I went to Caserta on a Sunday and I was able to reach it from Naples through the bus services. There weren't many trains that day. What saddened me was that there were not buses that connected Reggia/the station with Casertavecchia, which I was dying to see. Apparently the bus service was suspended on Sundays (and I found it puzzling since it's a tourist attraction), but it was not clear by checking the timetables or the website.

The current schedule posted on the CLP site does not show any Sunday runs, perhaps they add some in the summer for tourists?

 

Sara

10+ Posts
The current schedule posted on the CLP site does not show any Sunday runs, perhaps they add some in the summer for tourists?

Yes, perhaps...we asked also a CLP's driver and he just said "no Sunday runs". *Sigh* I've read somewhere on the Internet that there were new shuttle buses that connected Reggia with Casertavecchia, but there was not actual proof of it that day. It's a real pity :(
 

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