Southern Italy—Naples, Vesuvius and Pompeii Are an Unforgettable Experience

Southern Italy is one of the most amazing places in the world. Filled to the brim with incredible sights, architecture, and delicious food, it is a place made for tourism. When you think of the word “vacation,” it's probably a place that first comes to mind. One of the most beautiful tours of the country is the tour of southern Italy. We wanted to share that experience with our readers, so today, we will list the things you must do while visiting Naples and the areas around it.

Let's start with the city of Naples itself. It is a stunning city on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea that radiates beauty and history, taking you back into the golden era of medieval art. When visiting Naples, there are some boxes to be checked if you want to enjoy the city to its fullest.


Panoramic scenic view of Naples at night, Campania, Italy
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Pani Garmyder.

1. Take a Walk on Piazza Del Plebiscito

The main square in Naples represents a place where the crowds gather, and every manifestation and cultural event happens in the city. The square is lovely, but the things that make it special are the stuff happening in it. Most of the town gathers whenever something happens in the city.

2. Admire Galeria Umberto I

Galeria Umberto I is a place that looks like a lovechild of a shopping mall and Renaissance Italy. It is a beautiful building with marble floors and a glass roof with a beautiful glass dome filled with shops of luxury brands. It is among the most famous things Naples is known for.

3. Check Out Castel Dell’Ovo

This stunning castle got its name in an unusual way. It's named The Egg Castle because the architect placed an egg in its foundation and said if the egg ever broke, the city of Naples would fall. We have no idea what happened to the egg, but Naples still stands today, so it must be okay. It is located in the city center and served as a first line of defense from enemy ships.

4. Eat The Best Pizza in The World

Naples is a place where pizza was created. It is also where you can try the best pizza in the world, and there is no argument. The place that left a great impression on me is Pizzeria Brandi, where the pizza Margherita was created as a tribute to Queen Margherita. It was, and still is, made with dough, tomato sauce from San Marzano Tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil. The toppings on pizza represent the colors on the Italian flag, as tomatoes are red, mozzarella is white, and basil is green. Amazing, right?

5. Sleep in The Tallest Building in Naples

Hotel Ambassador is the tallest building in Naples. It is 30 stories high, and the rooms at the top have the best panoramic view of the city and the Gulf of Naples. The hotel is within a mile of the city center, so you don't need a car!

6. Watch S.C. Napoli Play at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium

Diego Maradona is a hero in Naples. He was a soccer player who spent most of his career playing for the Neapolitan soccer club. He is also one of the best soccer players that have ever played the game. In Naples, Jesus comes first, but Maradona is very close behind him. The Sao Paolo stadium, as it was formerly called, is an amazing place to feel the heart and soul of the Neapolitans since they live for soccer, or “calcio” as they call it. 

Mount Vesuvius

The famous antique site of Pompeii, near Naples. It was completely destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. One of the main tourist attractions in Italy.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Romas_Photo.

Naples is also known as a city below the active volcano, Mount Vesuvis. It is over 4,000 feet high, and its most destructive eruption was in AD 79, the same year as the Roman Colosseum was finished. Vesuvius erupted many times after that, with the last eruption being in the 1940s. Even though it hasn't erupted since, seismologists say that things could change in the blink of an eye.

Neapolitans have massive respect for this mountain, but also fear it. Vesuvius has two craters, and the one that is possible to visit is the one that erupted in AD 79. You can get to the bottom of the mountain, but you are on your own after that. The climb takes around 2 hours, and it's very steep.

There are benches on the sides of the trail so you can rest, but stock up on water and carbs since there are only shops once you reach the summit. You can see a bit of the crater's interior once you reach the top. The view of the whole of Naples and its coastline is worth the climb.


Ruins of the antique Temple of Apollo with bronze Apollo statue in Pompeii, Naples, Italy. Pompeii was destroyed by Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Boris Stroujko.

When Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, its eruption wasn't a type the locals were familiar with. No lava fields were sliding down the mountain, as you may see in Hawaii. This eruption was far more dangerous. The volcano exploded billions of tons of hot ash over 20 miles into the air, turning day into night in minutes.

The Roman city of Pompeii is located in the fields beneath Vesuvius, and it took the biggest hit. Its population was descimated in seconds and buried in the hot ash that settled on top of it. The city was entirely covered, hiding it from the human eye for thousands of years.

The people of Pompeii were petrified. Once you visit Pompeii, you will notice these poor people frozen in time in whatever position they were in when the ash hit. It is a creepy and unbelievable experience. You can see a mother holding a child in her arms, both petrified in stone, a man petrified while running away, and many others.

Even though the incident was horrible, the eruption completely preserved the city. There are aqueducts, water pipes, roads, baths, pools, and even drawings on the wall. Everything stayed intact for thousands of years. When you look at something that old, you can almost feel like you are in the city in its golden age.