Trust me when I say that your food-loving soul will be so happy in Naples, Italy, and you’ll kick yourself for not allotting more time in this intriguing city. One day in Naples is simply not enough, but we made it happen and you can too! Naples is a little rough around the edges, but my goodness does it have the most incredible pizza (among other food) ever in life. It’s also affordable and has tons to offer!
Read Next: Day Trip to Procida Island
One Day in Naples: Is Naples Safe?
Before deciding to stay in Naples, I read countless negative comments about the city. But most of these people didn’t even leave the train station. They were just passing by on their way to the Amalfi Coast and had a bad experience with shady locals targeting tourists.
Let me tell you this, shady locals are everywhere not just in Naples. Be aware everywhere you go.
There are some areas in Naples that aren’t the safest to wander, but that goes for the majority of cities in the world. We come from Chicago, so we’re well-versed in being wary. I will admit Naples isn’t for everyone. The city is a poignant scene when you first arrive (especially after Positano).
It’s the third-largest city in Italy, and one of the poorest cities in Europe. When you start walking through the streets you’ll notice the city has no control of the tagging on the walls. The homes are small and appear to be crowded. You hardly hear anyone speaking English.
If you only like pretty cities filled with flowers and don’t have a passion for food, then Naples isn’t for you. But if you sometimes like traveling off the beaten path, and can appreciate the hell out of a good pizza then you don’t have to go much farther than Naples.
Best Place to Stay in Naples Italy
We came into Naples on a ferry from Positano to avoid the neighborhood around the train station. The ferry dropped us off closer to our B&B and the historical center (where I recommend you stay). The area is easily walkable and filled with some of the best restaurants and street food Naples has to offer. We stayed at Salotto Borbonico Bed & Breakfast.
A super friendly couple runs the place, it’s still pretty new, and they have around 3-4 guestrooms. What sold me were the views from the rooms! I could see so much of the city from my balcony alone. Check availability here.
The B&B was clean, affordable, and within walking distance to a lot of places. However, since it’s near so much good stuff, you will hear a lot of noise at night.
What Sets Neapolitan Pizza Apart?
There is a very strict way to make this life-changing pizza. If a restaurant wants to sell the true Neapolitan pizza, then they would need to be AVPN Certified. This is an official team whose mission is “to promote and protect, in Italy and worldwide, the ‘true Neapolitan pizza’.”
You will only get certified if you meet their exact requirements and respect the art that is this pizza. Everything from the oven, to every single ingredient that goes on it, is specific. I don’t know about you, but I find this fascinating. SIDE NOTE: My favorite pizza place in Chicago is certified, make a stop if you can’t visit Naples just yet.
Best Pizza in Naples Italy
We only had one day to spend in the city where pizza was born, and we knew if wanted to do it right we had to arrive on an empty stomach. It was already 2 pm by the time we arrived, so we hit the ground running.
One of my favorite surprises when starting our self-guided food tour was the cost of food! My jaw dropped when we bought our first pizza for ONLY 2 EUROS.
I wish we would have spent one less day in Positano and an extra day in Naples — to eat more and save a ton of money. Below I’ll list the best Naples pizza in order of my love.
Sorbillo- Sorbillo WINS MY HEART. This was the 4th (and last) pizza we had, but it was my favorite. I loved it so much and was so not sick of eating pizza yet that I tried to convince Jorge to split a 5th with me. He couldn’t handle any more food, and he let me down that day.
I must mention, the only way we could handle that much pizza was by splitting only one everywhere we went. We also didn’t sit down and eat anywhere because we didn’t want to lose sunlight and we wanted to walk it off. Remember, we only had one day to enjoy all the goodness.
Di Matteo- This was the first place we tried that only cost around 2 euros. They have a restaurant but also serve it like street food. You choose from two pizza options, then they fold it up and hand it to you. I was so confused at first, but this is how they do it! The place next door also serves a cup of wine to go for 1 euro.
L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele- If you want to know where all the tourists are, go to Da Michele. This is the pizza place that Julia Roberts went to in the movie Eat, Pray, Love. It has also been mentioned in travel books and shows like Rick Steves, etc. Even though it’s filled with tourists, the wait is long (take it to go), and they charge you a whole 5 euros per pizza, Da Michele is still really good.
Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba- Port’Alba is believed to be the world’s first pizza place. How cool is that? The pizza was excellent, but the sauce was a little sweeter than I’d like.
Food in Naples Italy
Naples has so many delicious staples to choose from, I just wanted to try everything (yes, on top of the 4 pizzas we had). I really do wish we had more time so we could have tried many more dishes. We will definitely be returning to Naples.
Arancini ball- These are stuffed rice balls covered in bread crumbs, fried and filled with cheesy goodness. Get as many as you can eat.
Babà- I had never heard of babà until I visited Naples! It’s a sweet bread soaked in rum. They have different flavors, but they all end up covered in rum lol. I loved it!
Sfogliatella- This is a pastry that kind of reminds me of a croissant, but it’s not as soft. They have a lot of flavors to choose from, and I wish I would have tried more.
Must note: We ate all of this food in one day for under $40.
Day Trips from Naples Italy
If you have more than one day in Naples, then you’re in for a treat. Naples is a good base if you’d like to do day trips to the island of Procida (you definitely want to see this place), the town of Pompeii, or Mount Vesuvius. The Amalfi Coast is also possible for a day trip. Plus, if you’re looking to save a buck, Naples is a much cheaper base than any of the Amalfi Coast towns.
- Here’s a skip the line ticket for Pompeii: Click here to book
- Pompeii guided tour with a small group led by an archeologist: Check availability here
- 7-hour tour to Pompeii AND Mount Vesuvius with pick up included: Click here for pricing
- Visit 3 Amalfi Coast towns with this 8-hour tour that includes transfers and light lunch. You’ll get to see Sorrento, Amalfi, and Positano: Click here to book
- This tour will take you to the Amalfi Coast minus Sorrento but includes Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello at a cheaper cost: Check availability here
- Experience the slow pace of Procida with this day trip that allows you to experience the island on your own plus lunch included: Click here to book
- Related Post: An Easy Guide to Procida
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Naples was my favorite city in Italy. I was lucky enough to spend four days there…on top of the pizza, the mozzarella di buffalo was amazing, and I tried a really interesting pumpkin pasta dish. I also was invited to my CouchSurfing host’s parents’ farm for a five-course meal. Definitely a food highlight of my travels. My only regret is I only had one pizza.
Wow! I would visit Naples for the pizza alone!
Wow! Now I want to go to Naples! lol 🙂 I never knew much about Naples, so thanks for opening me up to this city. Definitely sounds like a place we would love since we prefer to go off the beaten path and we LOVE food!! That pizza looks delicious and amazing that it’s only 2 euro!
Yay! So glad I was able to open you up to this awesome city! 🙂 It really is a great (and super affordable) place for foodies, cannot wait to go back!