Cruise Port Atlas | Naples, Italy Day Trips | Attractions

Naples, Italy Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Naples: Crystal, Seabourn, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Viking River Cruises

Key Attractions: Naples Cathedral, Naples Royal Palace, St. Elmo Castle, Castel Nuovo, San Carlo Theater, Galleria Umberto I, Amalfi, Ravello, Positano, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Sorrento, Capri, Salerno, Paestum

Castello Nuovo

Naples Historic Center

Port to Historic Center - 2 KM, 10 minutes (The walking distance is shorter, but if you take a taxi the route is circuitous.)

Though the city of Naples has a reputation as chaotic and messy, it is also one of the most important cultural centers in the Mediterranean basin. Its historic center is an UNESCO World Heritage site because of its impressive collection of historic palaces, churches, and fortresses. Within the central historic district, visitors can see one of the largest Piazzas in Italy, the Piazza del Plebiscito, with the Royal Palace and the Church of San Francisco di Paolo on its sides. Nearby is Italy's largest and oldest opera house, the San Carlo Theater. And adjacent to the theater is Galleria Umberto I, with shops and restaurants galore. The Naples Archaeological Museums is famous for its displays of art and artifacts from the era of Vesuvius' eruption in 79 AD, but also houses an important collection of Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Renaissance pieces of great significance. The streets of the historic center are dotted with squares, historic churches, and cafes serving the iconic Neapolitan pizza margherita.

World Heritage Site           

    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Photo of Castelo Nuovo by MM

Amalfi Cathedral


Port to Amalfi - 71 KM, 75 minutes

Though built in the 11th century, St. Andrews Cathedral has a late Baroque interior. The exterior is Romanesque with strong Arabic influences. A striking wide staircase leads to the front doors. Inside are the remains of St. Andrew which were moved here after the sack of Istanbul. Nearby, the Cloister of Paradise was built in the 13th century to house the remains of wealthy Amalfians. The architecture is appropriately serene and the building now serves as an open-air museum. The Museum of Handmade Paper displays samples of the long paper-making tradition of the city. The Arsenal of the Maritime Republic was originally used to repair ships for Amalfi's extensive navy and trading vessels, but now houses a museum which includes remains of ships, ship models and a Compass Museum. Amalfi is also a great place to relax, shop and have a nice lunch.


    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Photo of Amalfi Cathedral by Sudodana2048

Pompeii ruins and Vesuvius


Port to Pompeii - 29 KM, 35 minutes

Pompeii is one of the most famous of all ruins and one of Italy's most popular attractions. No matter your interests, there is something in Pompeii that will fascinate you. The most striking elements of these ruins are the body casts of those who were caught in Mount Vesuvius' eruption in 79 AD. Unlike the better known lava flows of Hawaii, Pompeii's initial eruption was the spewing of massive quantities of hot ash which dropped onto the city of Pompeii. The stone structures were left as they were and the people who had not escaped were killed where they stood. The ash solidified and the bodies rotted away leaving casts that have been used by archaeologists to create plaster and resin molds of the victims' posture during their last moments. Pompeii was a wealthy community of Romans which offered luxury and leisure activities to its residents. Among the most famous structures are the baths, the amphitheater, several homes of wealthy merchants, the forum, and the brothel. Impressive mosaics and frescoes including portraits and erotic art are one of the most important discoveries at Pompeii. The main inhabitants of the city were wealthy Romans who built vacation homes there. Recently the number of visitors to Pompeii has been limited to limit the damage caused by tourism. It is wise to book tours to Pompeii prior to your arrival in the area.

World Heritage Site           

    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Body Casts from Pompeii

Photo of Pompeii and Vesuvius by Qfl247, Photo of Pompeii Casts by Lancevortex

Herculaneum Panorama


Port to Attraction - 12 KM, 25 minutes

The small seaside town of Herculaneum was destroyed by the same eruption as Pompeii. These ruins are less famous than Pompeii and smaller, but recent discoveries of skeletal remains of victims of the eruption have made the site more interesting (in a macabre way) to visitors. Because it was farther away from Mount Vesuvius, the cause of the destruction was likely different. Massive waves of superheated gas and rocks hit Herculaneum at speeds over 100 miles per hour killing everyone in their path, but not destroying buildings. The skeletons were only found in the last 30 years once excavation of the shore was begun. The remains of several boats were also found, so it appears that the residents were attempting to evacuate when the destruction caught up with them. Like Pompeii, Herculaneum offers mosaics and frescoes and nearly complete private and public buildings.

World Heritage Site  

Very few steps    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Photo of Herculaneum by Xtreambar

Temple of Hera II at Paestum


Port to Paestum - 98 KM, 1 hour 40 minutes

Paestum is an area with three important Doric temples of the 6th and 5th centuries BC. They were later used for Roman worship and one was used as Christian church, but recent research has determined that their origin was much earlier. There are two temples dedicated to Hera and another dedicated to Athena. The area is surrounded by a wall which is from the same period as the temples. The local National Museum features painted tombs from both the Greek and later Lucanian periods. The Greek tomb is unique as it is the only example of a complete Greek fresco from that era (around 470 BCE).


    Not Wheelchair Accessible

Photo of Temple by Ballista

Sorrento Harbor


Port to Sorrento - 51 KM, 65 minutes

Sorrento sits on the southern end of the bay of Naples directly across from the large city. It is on the bay�s more relaxing side and offers beaches, cafes and shopping. And for those who want to visit Capri, this is the closest ferry port to the idyllic island. Sorrento offers incredible views and is the starting point of the dramatic Amalfi Road that is one of the most famous drives in Italy. Sorrento is lovely town to walk through with the beautiful Piazza Tasso, the lovely Palazzo Veniero and Palazzo Correale, and the Cathedral originally built in the 15th century and rebuilt in the Gothic style in 1924.


    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Photo of Sorrento by Spencer McNamara

Hagia Sophia seen from the Sea of Marmara


Port to Attraction - 75 KM, 75 minutes

Ravello was a part of the Amalfi Duchy during the Middle Ages and was the home for many wealthy merchants during that era. A few of the villas and palazzos that were built during that period are now the most important attraction for this village. The Villa Rufolo and the Villa Cimbrone were purchased by wealthy visitors and renovated so that now they have become important attractions for visitors as much for their gardens as for the buildings themselves. Ravello also has the interesting Church of St. John of the Bull, built and rebuilt since before 1000 AD and the inspiration for works by MC Escher. The views from Ravello are phenomenal and are likely the reason that the wealthy have lived there for so long.


    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Photo of Villa Cimbrone in Ravello by Jensens

Capri Harbor


Port to Attraction - 41 KM, 75 minutes or more depending on Ferry schedule and type of ferry

Stunning Capri has been a resort area since the Roman Empire when wealthy Romans built villas here. Ruins of those villas can still be seen today. Situated at the end of the Sorrento Peninsula at the southwest corner of the Bay of Naples, Capri is impossible to miss with its dramatic white cliffs rising nearly 2000 feet. Through the centuries the rich and famous have owned Capri villas. Today the most famous owner may be Mariah Carey. Roman Emperor Tiberius built his Villa Jovis on the island and ruled the empire from 27-37 CE from there. It is a popular attraction and one the best preserved of all Roman homes. Other villas that are popular attractions include Villa Lysis, built by a gay Parisian writer; Villa Malaparte, a masterpiece of modern Italian architecture situated on an isolated promontory; and the beautiful Villa San Michele, built around 1900 at the site of another of Tiberius' villas. One of the most famous attractions on the island is the Blue Grotto, accessible only by boat. Tours are available, but accessibility depends on the seas, so the tours are often cancelled. As your ferry approaches the island do not forget to take a picture of the rocky islands of Faraglioni. There are two main towns on the island: Capri, the larger and lower town, and Anacapri high above.


    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Photo of Capri Harbor by Arpingstone

Positano including the famous dome


Port to Attraction - 58 KM, 75 minutes

Positano is a small seaside village west of Amalfi that is built on the steep hillside that leads to the sea. It has two small beaches and a lovely church with a striking tile roof. Positano is a place for relaxation, having a nibble and a drink in an outdoor cafe and wandering the steep and scenic streets. The church contains a Black Madonna icon which has an interesting legend. Pirates, having stolen the Madonna from Byzantium, were hit by a storm off the coast of Positano. They heard a voice telling them to leave the Madonna behind. They dropped the icon off at Positano and the storm abated. Even if untrue, it is a fun story.


    Not Wheelchair Accessible

Photo of Positano by Jensens

Lungomare Promenade in Salerno


Port to Attraction - 53 KM, 55 minutes

Salerno is situated at the eastern end of the Amalfi Coast and the southeastern corner of the Sorrento Peninsula. It is most famous as the location of the world's first Medical University, the Salernitana Medical School (10th century), and there is a museum dedicated to the school in the city. The most famous attraction is the cathedral, with its Norman-Arabic clock tower and Romanesque design. High above the city is the massive Arechis Castle which offers great views of the port. Salerno features a beautiful seaside promenade called the Lungomare.


    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Photo of Lungomare by Giaros

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible