Hearing ‘Neapolitan Riviera’ conjures of images of a luxury holiday on sweeping sandy beaches and gorgeous turquoise seas, gorging yourself on Italian food. While this sounds like the perfect holiday for relaxation and luxury at a price, in fact it can be done on a budget. And there’s far more to see and do than just spending all your time on the beach.
It’s easier to find cheap holidays in Italy than you think. Home of the pizza, Naples has a draw for visitors with its spectacular views across to Mount Vesuvius and the city’s fascinating underground network of tunnels and catacombs. But if you get away from the city itself and explore some of the fantastic places around the bay of Naples itself, you’ll find far more to entertain yourself.
With temperatures peaking at around 28C in the summer months and up to 10 hours of dazzling sunshine every day, the Neapolitan Riviera can be the perfect place for sun-seekers. But if you’re looking to explore the coastline a litte more, it’s worth booking up your holiday there for September to November when it’ll be less crowded and more dry than earlier in the year.
For one of the most fascinating things you’ll see in your life, take a day or two to explore the ruins of Pompeii. Once a bustling Roman harbour town, it was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. Due to the ashes covering the city, the buildings were almost perfectly preserved underneath and many still exist for visitors to wander today. It may seem a little eerie, but the corpses of people attempting to make an escape were also preserved and you can now view plaster casts of their bodies at Pompeii. A less busy, but similarly preserved, town which is worth a visit is Herculaneum. Also wander the slopes of Vesuvius for an interesting hike.
Sorrento is a fantastic base for a holiday on the Neapolitan Riviera with its maze of streets and beautiful architecture. Legends have it that the sirens of Greek mythology called Sorrento home, luring ships into their treacherous rocks with their song. While in the town, it’s worth visiting the tranquil 14th century Cloisters of San Francesco. You simply can’t leave the region without taking a boat trip to one of the nearby islands, Ischia or Capri, regarded as some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe.
If you have plenty of time to spare on your holiday, the Neapolitan Riviera is only a couple of hours drive away from Rome and is no doubt worth a trip. Rome is the bustling capital city of Italy and is full to the brim with history. In a day, dependent on which season you visit and how busy it is, you could probably fit in a visit to the still-standing Roman Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. There’s also the Vatican City, home to the Pope, St. Peter’s Basilica and one of the world’s largest museums. Make sure to fit in time for lunch though, as Rome has hundreds of tasty, authentic eateries scattered around.
Italy is a romantic country, rich in culture, history and beautiful scenery. There is always something to see there, and the Neapolitan Riviera is one of the most spectacular coastlines of Europe.