The Best Time to Visit Naples

Updated: September 29, 2017

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Naples – Weather and When To Go

  • The best months to visit Naples are late April, May, September, and early October. (Great weather and not as busy as summer.)
  • The sunniest month of the year is July.
  • The hottest month of the year is August (high temp: 31°C). July is almost as hot (high temp: 30°C).
  • The driest month of the year is July (30mm of precipitation and 3 days with rain).
  • The coldest months of the year are December, January, and February (high temp: 13°C).
  • The wettest month of the year is November (140mm of precipitation and 11 days with rain).

When is the best time to visit Naples, Italy?

  • Best Time for Sightseeing: The very best time to enjoy sightseeing in Naples is in the spring. Between mid-March and early June, the weather is typically pleasant, comfortably warm, and relatively dry, with the most rain seen in October and November. In Spring the crowds have yet to reach their peak, and you may enjoy an overall better experience without having to rub elbows with lots of other tourists. September is the 2nd best time though it can still be hot and a little crowded. October and November can be pleasant, but you’ll need to be prepared for the rain. The worst time for sightseeing is in July and August, Naples’ hottest time of the year, as well as being the most crowded and the most expensive time to visit. August may be the worst of all, however, as many businesses, particularly small, family-run shops, close for the summer holidays – and, during this month, there are often more tourists in the city than locals. If you’re looking to save some cash, keep in mind that every first Sunday of the month in Naples, and throughout Italy, all state run museums, galleries, archaeological ruins, parks and monumental gardens are free to visit, which includes Pompeii, Herculaneum, the Stabian Villas, Palazzo Reale, the Blue Grotto, San Martino, and many others.
  • Best Time to Visit Pompeii: Most visitors to Naples plan to see Pompeii during their visit, as one of Italy’s most popular attractions. Located just 25 minutes from the city, the best time to visit is between November and April (except around the Christmas holidays between mid-December and early January), when fewer busloads of tourists crowd Pompeii’s narrow streets. No matter what time of year you come, plan to arrive at least several minutes before the ruins open at 8:30am.
  • Best Time for Visiting the National Archaeological Museum: Plan to visit Pompeii first, and then explore the National Archaeological Museum so that the objects will have more of a context. The museum is renowned as one of the best in Italy, and among the best in the world, and is filled with many of the artifacts from Pompeii, Herculaneum and other sites devastated by Mt. Vesuvius. You’ll experience fewer crowds by visiting on a weekday during the low season (the museum is closed on Tuesdays) and arriving just before it opens at 9am.
  • Best Time to Visit Pignasecca Food Market: Naples is home to over 60 food markets, and Pignascecca is the oldest and one of the best. This is where restaurants and locals go to buy fish and vegetables. It’s famous not only for its affordable seasonal produce and seafood, but amazing cheeses, breads and pastries. The market also offers a chance to mingle with Neapolitans in a more authentic way, as tourists are few and far between. You may even be lucky enough to hear the beautiful tenor voice of one of Naples’ biggest fish vendors break into song. It’s open daily from 8am to 1pm, but you’ll want to go early, when it’s at its busiest and most exciting.
  • Best Time For Shopping: Throughout Italy, the best time for shopping is during the winter and summer sales, which in Naples, is traditionally January 5th through the month of February, and again in July and August. You’ll enjoy big discounts, typically 30 to 50% off, though inventory that remains close to the end of the sale is sometimes marked as much as 70% or more off. Keep in mind that during the first days of the sales, you may have to battle big crowds, but as it nears completion, inventory becomes more and more depleted.
  • High Season (mid-June through mid-September, mid-December through early January): Summer in Naples brings sizzling temperatures, the longest lines, biggest crowds and the highest rates. While the coast will be teeming with visitors, spending time along the waterfront is a good way to cool off a bit with the nice sea breeze. Of course, this is a perfect time for swimming in the sea, but if you hope to find a perfect spot in the sand, you’ll need to get to the beach early. Ducking into a theater or museum for relief from the heat often isn’t an option, as most don’t have air conditioning. If you plan to visit during the high season, having an air-conditioned room to return to is really a must – while most hotels offer this, many apartment rentals do not. As many Italians go on vacation during the month of August, keep in mind that some shops, restaurants and other businesses may be closed, though that’s becoming less of an issue in recent years due to the economic downturn. The Christmas holidays bring a mini-high season from about mid-December through the first week of January, and while it can be a wonderful time to be in Naples, with all the beautiful Christmas décor and fun entertainment options, you’ll need to book well in advance, and be prepared for higher rates as well as bigger crowds.
  • Shoulder Season (March through mid-June, mid-September through October): Shoulder season, and spring in particular, may be the best time to be in Naples. You’ll enjoy cool to warm days with temperatures ranging from around 12°C to 15°C in March to a pleasant 21°C in early June, while the biggest crowds have yet to arrive and many hotels offer discounted rates. In early autumn, although there is more rain, you won’t have to battle intense crowds which begin to exit as school is back in session. With that, both hotel rates and temperatures decline, including a rather dramatic dip ranging from 12°C to 22°C in October.
  • Low Season (November through February, except around the Christmas holidays): Winter is low season in Naples – and, other than around the holidays, there are usually no worries when it comes to big crowds. The biggest issue, in November particularly, is that it can get quite rainy – in fact, the odds are about 50/50 for rain on any given day in November, but it’s a great time for exploring the museums and other indoor sights in relative peace. With that said, temperatures can be quite pleasant during the winter, with highs of 10°C and above, and you’ll be able to enjoy many areas practically all to yourself, not to mention big discounts on accommodations, and frequently lower airfare too.

Naples Weather by Month

Naples Temperature by Month (high in celsius)
Naples Temperature by Month
Naples Rain by Month (mm)
Naples Rain by Month

  • Naples Weather in January: Although January is the coldest month in Naples, those who live in colder, northern climates may feel as if they’ve stepped into springtime. With average temperatures of 9°C., and the mercury climbing to 13°C or even higher or some afternoons, the city is quite a bit milder than many others in Europe, and Italy at this time of year. Naples generally experiences a typical Mediterranean winter, with cool but not cold temperatures and some rain, though not anything an umbrella can’t handle, with just 80mm of precipitation on average in January. While swimming is best left for late spring through early autumn, most of the time you’ll be quite comfortable walking around the city, provided you bring clothing like long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and a jacket. While a rain jacket can be handy, in general, an umbrella may be more useful as well as being more fashionable. A warmer coat is advisable for evenings, as overnight lows can dip down to 5°C., and will also help ward off the occasional chilly winds. As many floors in Italy tend to be marble or tile, they can get quite cold in the winter, so having slippers with you is probably something you’ll appreciate too. (Average Max Temperature: 13°C. Average Precipitation: 80mm.)
  • Naples Weather in February: February is very similar to January, with average temperatures of 9°C, increasing to 13°C during warmer afternoons. There is slightly more rain with 100mm coming down this month, but there is also more sunshine – in fact, on average the sun shines for nearly 4.5 hours a day. What that means is that while you’ll still need a warmer coat for cool evenings with lows still dipping down to 5°C, planning to dress in layers for temperature fluctuations is essential. Bring an umbrella and a light jacket as well as both long- and short-sleeved shirts so that you’ll be prepared no matter what the weather brings. Leave the sandals at home as you’re unlikely to wear them; comfortable, waterproof leather boots are your best bet. (Average Max Temperature: 13°C. Average Precipitation: 100mm.)
  • Naples Weather in March: Spring in Italy can be unpredictable, though many feel it’s the very best time of the year to be here, especially in the southern region. With March ushering in springtime, things in Naples begin to gradually warm. Earlier in the month, it still feels a bit wintery, though the average temperature has increased several degrees to around 12°C., and the mercury occasionally rises up to 16°C., making the city especially pleasant to explore most of the time. The rain decreases to 80mm, and there is a little more sunshine too, with 5.5 hours on average a day. You’ll also have more daylight to take advantage of for outdoor activities, with the sun sticking around until almost 8pm by month’s end due to Daylight Savings Time. Of course, the beaches will probably have to wait at least another month, but if soaking up the sun and the sand isn’t your main goal, March may be ideal. It’s not too cold or too hot, and the crowds won’t reach their peak for several months. Pack as you would for February, skipping those open-toed shoes (no sensible Napoletana will be wearing them in March) and you’ll be well-prepared. (Average Max Temperature: 16°C. Average Precipitation: 80mm.)
  • Naples Weather in April: While there’s a good chance you’ll need an umbrella as well as sunscreen if you visit in April, with 100mm of rainfall over 13 days this month, the temperatures will be warmer and the sun shines more often. On average the sun is out more than six hours each day, and high temperatures increase to a very pleasant 18°C. As long as you don’t mind getting wet occasionally, April is another great month to be in Naples, with the combination of relatively good weather, lower prices and fewer crowds. In addition to an umbrella and sunscreen, bring both long- and short-sleeved shirts along with a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 18°C. Average Precipitation: 100mm.)
  • Naples in May: The crowds are beginning to thicken and the weather is getting much warmer by the time May arrives. In fact, the last month of spring often feels more like summer, with average temperatures rising to a high of 23°C, five degrees warmer than last month. There is less rain, with 60mm falling over eight days in May, and the sun shines nearly eight hours a day too. Now is the time you’ll really start needing that sunscreen, along with sunglasses and a hat. Plan to dress comfortably with loose, light clothing and bring a light sweater or jacket for evenings as temperatures can get as low as 12°C at night. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 60mm.)
  • Naples Weather in June: Summer is officially here, though June isn’t nearly as hot as it will be in July or August. Average temperatures are a pleasant 21°C, and on warmer days, the mercury can rise to 26°C. Evenings are pleasantly cool, with overnight lows of 16°C, so unless you chill easily, you’re unlikely to need much in the way of warm clothing, even after dark. Just 40mm of rainfall over five days arrives in June, so you may want to skip the umbrella and save the room in your suitcase for souvenirs. Pack as you would for May, with plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat and loose, lightweight clothing. Open-toed shoes like sandals are now acceptable, and preferred, though be aware that here, flip-flops belong at the beach. With sea temperatures at 24°C, you’ll probably want to bring bathing suit along as well. As June brings the longest days of the year, you’ll have about 14 hours of daylight this month and an average of over nine hours of sunshine per day too. (Average Max Temperature: 26°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
  • Naples Weather in July: July is the hottest and one of the busiest months of the year in Naples, with the average high increasing four degrees to 31°C. This month brings the most when it comes to sunshine hours too, with 10.1 hours, along with lots of daylight, as the sun sets just before 8:30pm on July 1. Expect it to be hot and dry, with little rainfall to provide relief, though taking a dip in the Mediterranean is ideal for a summer cool down now. Be sure to pack proper sun protection as skin burns easily if you’re outside during the hottest hours of the day. Think tank tops, shorts and sundresses, but try to avoid black as it tends to absorb more of the sun’s heat. When considering where to stay, look for accommodations with air conditioning as there isn’t much relief from the heat at night. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm.)
  • Naples Weather in August: Most Neapolitans take their annual break during August’s scorching heat, a time when many of the city’s restaurants and shops close for two to four weeks. That doesn’t mean the streets will be deserted, however; in fact, you’re likely to run into more tourists than locals. The good news is that the occasional light wind from the sea can help make things more bearable when it comes to the heat, which similar to last month can reach as hot as 30°C, but on high-humidity days, it can feel even hotter. To avoid heat exhaustion, plan your day so that the hottest hours are spent inside cool museums, galleries, or churches. Pack as you would for July, and remember to book an air-conditioned room to keep you comfortable during warm nights that generally don’t get any cooler than 19°C. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)

  • Naples Weather in September: With September ushering autumn in, temperatures gradually begin too cool, if only just a little. As the month progresses, crowds continue to thin with kids heading back to school, and afternoon highs generally don’t reach more than 27°C. While you’ll still have plenty of sunshine, with nearly eight hours a day, as well as 12 hours of daylight to take advantage of it, there is a bit more rain, with 80mm of precipitation over nine days in September. The odds are, you’ll have the most need for your summer clothing, including a bathing suit and sun protection, but bring a light sweater or jacket for cooler evenings, as well as a small umbrella. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Precipitation: 80mm.)
  • Naples Weather in October: Autumn has officially arrived in Naples, with October bringing not just cooler, mostly pleasant temperatures that usually don’t get hotter than 22°C., but a noticeable amount of rain. This month, an average of 130mm of precipitation falls over 11 days, means that bringing an umbrella is really a must. For chilly evenings that can dip down to 13°C, you’ll need a jacket too. Despite the changing weather, October is usually a good time to be in Naples as you’ll still have plenty of sunshine, and lots of daylight hours, at least until the end of the month when the days shorten as the clocks move backward, setting at 5pm on the 31st. If you’re hoping to take a dip in the sea, the earlier in the month you arrive the better, as sea temperatures drop by two degrees to an average of 23°C. (Average Max Temperature: 22°C. Average Precipitation: 130mm.)
  • Naples Weather in November: November is the wettest month in Naples, with 140mm of rainfall coming down over 14 days. Despite all the rain, there is still an average of around four hours of sunshine each day, and when the sun makes an appearance, walking around the city is usually quite comfortable, with temperatures averaging around 13°C., and sometimes reaching as high as 17°C. You’re unlikely to need your summer clothing now, other than a pair of sunglasses for bright afternoons. Instead, pack an umbrella, waterproof leather boots and a jacket. Plan to dress in layers by tossing in a few short-sleeved shirts for warmer days too. (Average Max Temperature: 17°C. Average Precipitation: 140mm.)
  • Naples Weather in December: With the arrival of winter, temperatures dip down even further, averaging around 10°C, but you may be able to enjoy a few idyllic days, when the sun is out and the temperature rises to 13°C. December brings a little less rain, with an average of 100mm over 14 days, which means an umbrella is still advisable, though the biggest difference may be in the amount of dreary, cloudy days, with an average of just 3.4 hours of sunshine day. The number of daylight hours lessen too as December brings the shortest days of the year with the sun setting just after 4:30pm throughout the month. Despite the darkness, the city brightens up in the evening with all of the twinkling holiday lights and fun festivities around Christmas and New Year’s. (Average Max Temperature: 13°C. Average Precipitation: 100mm.)

Naples Events and Festivals by Month

Naples in January

New Year’s Day – January 1 is a national holiday in Italy, and in Naples, most Napoleons will be enjoying a day of rest. Many places, including museums, historic sites, shops and restaurants are closed, though a handful of cafes and eateries do open for lunch and dinner.
Ephiphany/La Befana – This national holiday held annually on January 6, marks the 12th day of Christmas. On this day in Naples, an old woman riding a broomstick wearing a black shawl descends from the sky to distribute presents to children in the Piazza del Plebiscito. A free concert, held in a different venue each year, also takes place.
Festival of Saint Anthony – This Italian holiday held on January 16 and 17 throughout the country, celebrates the patron saint of butchers, domestic animals, gravediggers and basket makers. The focus of the festival is bonfires, and in Naples, the bigger the better. Neopolitans clear out their unwanted furniture and other belongings and pile them up in the piazzas and streets before setting them on fire. Collecting wood for the bonfires has developed into a contest over the years among different areas of Naples to see who can build the biggest, so any wood that isn’t nailed down or well-protected, is fair game.
Winter Sales – January is a great month to be in Naples if you like to shop. Here, the winter sales start on January 5, and you’ll generally find the best discounts on clothing, typically 20 to 30%, with even bigger bargains as the sale progresses and inventory is depleted in February. Some shops stay open all day, at all hours, to take advantage of the economic potential. The best shopping streets include the Vomero area, along the elegant Galleria Umberto, the walks between the fashion retailers in Via dei Mille and Via Calabritto as well as Via Toledo and Via Roma.

Naples in February

Carnival – During the period before Lent, this masked celebration takes place in many towns throughout Italy, although in Campania, the best festivities can be found in Capua, about a 45-minute drive north of Naples The town puts on cabaret and theater performances as well as a grand parade. In Naples itself, the party has become more subdued, although you’ll see children donning fancy dress costumes and proudly parading around town.
Valentine’s Day – Valentine’s Day in Naples, often referred to as “the night of lovers,” is more of a marketing event than anything, but the city’s goal is to let people “fall in love in Naples,” and with the city itself. The symbol of the event is a bright red, beating heart that’s installed on February 14 in a panoramic position that can be seen throughout the city. Many of the museums in Naples exhibit works of art related to love and romance, while restaurants offer special Valentines menus.

Naples in March

Nauticsud – This international nautical show takes place around the first week of March and features exhibits focused on boating, nautical accessories, ship building, fisheries and tourism. It includes a variety of sporting events as well as a display of the latest and greatest boats and other watercraft.
Confagricoltura Napoli Food and Wine Market – This market opens in various locations around Naples in early March, and runs throughout the month. A wide variety of local, regional and national food and wine products are sold, helping to support the local and regional agricultural community.

Naples in April

Holy Week and Easter – Holy Week is celebrated from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, falling in either late March or early to mid-April; in 2017, it will be celebrated from April 9-15. On Holy Thursday in Naples, (the Thursday before Easter), beyond the religious rites, culinary tradition dictates that mussel soup be prepared, which means many of the city’s best restaurants will be serving this delicious dish. On Holy Friday, Neapolitans follow the tradition of visiting the graves of loved ones that have passed, and on Saturday, you’ll see family and friends strolling the main streets together showing off their finest clothes. After mass on Easter Sunday, most Neapolitans enjoy a traditional Easter lunch with their families. It all concludes on Easter Monday, when picnics are organized outside of the city in places like Reggia di Caserta or the islands, if the weather cooperates. The most elaborate festivities take place about an hour away in Sorrento, with religious processions and concerts held in the town’s cathedral and in the picturesque cloister of San Francesco.
Napoli Comicon – Napoli Comicon is one of Europe’s most important comic festivals. Taking place in late April, April 22-25 in 2016, it features an impressive list of guests, authors, designers and other professionals along with seminars, premieres and film festivals, competitions, exhibitions of young talent, debates and other events.
Maggio dei Monumenti – May of the Monuments is a citywide, month-long cultural festival honoring Naples’ rich artistic and architectural heritage. An impressive calendar of free events kicks it off in late April (April 29 in 2016), with concerts, exhibitions and access to monuments in the city that are normally closed to the public.

Naples in May

Labour Day/International Workers’ Day –This national holiday held on May 1 each year is a day that brings political rallies organized by various workers’ unions and political parties in most major cities, including Naples. Here you’ll see marches with banners and red flags and public speeches in the major piazzas, made by public figures like union leaders and politicians. While the event brings a lot of noise,it’s generally peaceful. Most museums and some other businesses, including restaurants will be closed, although there are always some bars and eateries, mainly in tourist centers, that will be open.
Festa di San Gennaro – This festival held every Saturday before the first Sunday in May (repeated again in September and December), brings people together into the Duomo, Naples Cathedral, to witness the miracle of the liquefaction of the blood of their protector and Patron Saint, San Gennaro. The religious ceremony dates back to the late 1300s.
Galassia Gutenberg – This four-day event held at the end of May in the Stazione Marittima, Molo Angioino and Piazza Municipio, is the largest book fair in southern Italy.
Republic Day – This national holiday held annually on June 2, is similar to Independence Day in many other countries, but you’re unlikely to see any fireworks. It celebrates the nation becoming a Republic in 1946, and is a fairly low-key holiday with most businesses remaining open. Occasionally there are concerts or other special events in Naples.
Napoli Teatro Festival Italia – Taking place in a variety of spectacular venues including castles, abandoned breweries, and entire neighborhoods in the historic center of Naples, this three-week festival in June features a variety of theatrical and musical events from international and European directors.
Pizzafest – Italy’s largest celebration of pizza takes place in late June and early July, June 26 through July 5 in 2016. In it, the most famous pizzerias from across the globe compete against renowned local pizzaioli, who set up stands with tables where visitors can sit and enjoy tasting a wide variety of pizzas from many different places. It culminates with judges proclaiming which is the very best pizzaiolo in the world.

Naples in July

Neapolis Festival – The Neapolis Festival is a music festival that showcases international and local indie, rock and pop musicians at the Mostra d’Oltremare complex in the Fuorigrotta district, drawing as many as 25,000 attendees.
Festa della Madonna del Carmine – This festival with ancient origins is a religious celebration that takes place starting on July 15 at Piazza del Carmine, the night before the official saint’s day, with Incendio del Campanile, which means “the burning of the church tower.” The entire bell tower, a nearly 250-foot-high structure, appears as if it’s on fire. The following day, Holy Mass is celebrated every hour from 7am until 7pm, when it culminates with an impressive fireworks display.
Giffoni Film Festival – Considered one of the most important film festivals in Italy and its largest children’s festival, the Giffoni Film Festival is held in the small town of Giffoni Valle Piana, a little over an hour from Naples. More than 2,000 children, coming from 39 countries around the world, to watch the films and learn about the filmmaking process as well as to judge them and award the best with prizes.

Naples in August

Ferragosto – August 15th marks the official start of the summer holidays for most Italians, and it’s also the religious holiday of Assumption. After Christmas and Easter, this is the biggest holiday in Italy. Naples celebrates in a big way, with everyone heading to the beach and enjoying a night of fun and festivities, including fireworks. Although most tourist attractions will be open, smaller family-run shops and eateries may be closed.
Ravello Music Festival – In August, the lack of air-conditioning in Naples’ theaters generally makes them unbearably hot, so concerts are held out of town in spectacular outdoor venues like the Ravello Music Festival (Musicale di Villa Rufolo). Located about an hour from the city along the coast, it’s a great way to enjoy fabulous music and a nice sea breeze for some relief from this month’s sizzling heat.

Naples in September

TanoTango Festival – Held in early September, September 1-4 in 2016, this festival combines the cultures and traditions from Naples and Buenos Aires, Argentina, featuring Neapolitan song and the tango.
Festa di Piedigrotta – Held over ten days in early to late September, this festival features a big concert in Piazza Plebiscito with international stars, the Audizioni singing competition and a grand parade with floats that begins at the Palazzo Reale and runs to the basilica.
San Gennaro Festival – September 19 honors the patron saint of Naples, Saint Gennaro, in the most important religious festival of the year. That morning, thousands fill the Naples Cathedral and Piazza del Duomo, in hopes of seeing the saint’s blood liquefy in what’s called the “miracle of San Gennaro.” The vials of blood, which were collected after the saint’s beheading in 305 AD are removed by the Cardinal from safekeeping, along with a bust of San Gennaro, to the high altar of the cathedral. Exposed to the power of prayer, the powdered blood is then said to “miraculously liquefy” as a good omen for the city and its inhabitants.

Naples in October

Pasta Show – This international event takes place around World Pasta Day, celebrated annually on October 25. Dedicated entirely to pasta, it’s recently been held in the Stazione Maritima of the Port of Naples in Piazza del Municipio and features exhibitions, debates, shows, and a chance to taste the products as well as learn about pasta and its production processes.
Le Lune di Pompei – Less than 30 minutes away from Naples, the Pompeii Archeological Area is one of the most popular day trips from the city. In August, a special romantic guided tour of the ruins are scheduled every weekend night throughout October and November.
Halloween – Halloween isn’t traditionally celebrated in Italy, though many of the major cities like Naples, do host parties and costume contests in bars, clubs and other venues for adults. Here, there is no trick-or-treating, so you’re unlikely to see many kids dressed up for the day.

Naples in November

All Saints Day – In Naples, and throughout Italy, November 1 is a public holiday, and a time when Italians remember their deceased loved ones by visiting cemeteries and graves. All government services and most businesses are closed on this day.
Naples International Film Festival – Held in early November, this annual international film festival features Neapolitan, Mediterranean and European films at various theaters throughout the city.

Naples in December

Natale a Napoli – Beginning in December (sometimes as early as late November), a variety of free events from concerts and exhibitions to plays and parades are held throughout the city in celebration of the Christmas holidays. Beautiful nativity scenes can be viewed at many churches, with the 18th-century examples in the Palazzo Reale and the Certosa-Museo di San Martino considered two of the finest. The streets around San Gregorio are especially busy, with everyone stocking up on traditional nativity figures. Naples is also world-famous for its hand-made presepe, which means crib. Entire streets showcasing one workshop after another are devoted to the craft. 
Feast of the Immaculate Virgin – This annual public holiday celebrates the day of the Virgin Mary’s conception of Jesus on December 8. As it is a holiday day of obligation throughout Italy, including Naples, schools and public offices are closed, however most shops are open as the day is generally viewed as the official start to the Christmas shopping season.
Christmas Eve/Christmas Day – On Christmas Eve, most Neapolitans (and Italians in general), enjoy Christmas dinner with their families before heading to Midnight Mass at their local church. The public is welcome to attend. On Christmas Day, most residents join friends and family for a large lunch that usually goes on all day, and sometimes into the next with the national holiday of Santo Stefano on December 26, when families enjoy their leftover Christmas dishes and sweets. While the majority of the city shuts down on December 25, Christmas Day, there are usually a few ethnic restaurants and bars open.
New Year’s Eve – On December 31st there are parties throughout Naples, with the biggest festivities at Piazza del Plebiscito, which features a concert of rock, traditional and classic music that lasts well into the morning, along with fireworks that are shot over Castel dell’Ovo as the clock strikes midnight.

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12 Questions and Comments

  1. Via San Gregorio Armeno in Naples

    Hi Dave,

    What a wonderful site you have. Do you have any idea what time the stores on San Gregorio Armeno close? I would like to go after I tour the Archaeological museum which closes at 7:30 pm. Do you think San Gregorio Armeno will still be open around 8?
    Thanks! Katie

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Most shops on Via San Gregorio Armeno close around 7.30pm. During the build-up to Christmas, the street’s busiest time of year, they might stay open to 8pm but that’s the exception rather than the rule. The street, famous for its presepi (nativity) shops, is one of a number of attractions in Naples’ fascinating historic center. Nearby, there’s the Cappella Sansevero, a lavish baroque chapel home to a magnificent sculpture of a Veiled Christ. Also close by is Naples’ main cathedral, the Duomo. For something to eat, the area boasts some of the city’s most celebrated pizzerias. One of the best is the ever-popular Sorbillo on Via dei Tribunali.

  2. Is Naples a Good Base for Amalfi Coast and Area?

    Hi Dave!
    My husband and I followed your recommendations last April (2016) and had the most phenomenal visit to Greece (Athens, Santorini, & Paros). This year, we are looking into Italy as our destination of choice, so I am thrilled to find these pages with more of your insight!! For a ten day trip, we are considering staying in Naples the whole time, and taking an assortment of day trips (Amalfi, Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, etc). Is this something you would recommend? What is the best form of transportation for day trips? Is Naples a good home base?
    Thanks for all of your advice!!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Rather than stay all 10 days in Naples, I’d suggest using Naples, Sorrento, and Amalfi (or Positano) as bases. Naples is an amazing place with loads to see, but it’s a busy, almost-hectic city and can be exhausting (particularly in summer when it gets very hot). Also, its public transport links to the Amalfi Coast are not great.

      With 10 days you could spend four nights in Naples, exploring the city and taking day trips to Pompeii (about 40 minutes away by Circumvesuviana train) and maybe Vesuvius (by bus from Ercolano, a town on the Circumvesuviana train line). Then two or three days in Sorrento, including a day trip to Capri (an easy hydrofoil ride away). Finally, round things off with three or four days on the Amalfi Coast.

      As to forms of transportation – you’ll need to use buses, boats, and trains. From Naples to Pompeii and Sorrento, the Circumvesuviana train is the way to go. Services from Sorrento to the Amalfi Coast are by bus. There are also summer-only boat lines that connect the main coastal hotspots. Capri is accessible from Naples, Sorrento and Amalfi.

  3. Presepi in Naples

    We are visiting Naples for a day on the 3rd December, 2016, mainly for the Presepi. Can you please tell me which are the streets displaying workshops for crib making besides Via San Gregorio?
    Also, we shall be staying in Sorrento. Which is the best and safest way to go to Naples, train, bus, or hydrofoil, please?

    Which areas in Naples do you advise us to stay away from, please?

    Any suggestions for a typical restaurant without breaking the bank, in a safe area, please?

    Any other attraction which is a must see, besides the cribs obviously, in Naples?

    Thanks and looking forward to hear from you.

    Carmen Meli

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Via San Gregorio Armeno is the main street for presepi in Naples but you’ll find shops selling them dotted around the historic center. On Via San Biagio dei Librai, Tiziana D’Auria is a good place to try. In the hilltop neighborhood of Vomero, the Certosa e Museo di San Martino houses the city’s largest presepe, a huge 18th-century creation featuring some 160 figures and 80 animals.

      To get to Naples from Sorrento, take the Circumvesuviana train. It’s a direct journey of just over an hour. It’ll leave you at Piazza Garibaldi, adjacent to Naples’ main train station, Stazione Centrale.

      If you’re visiting Naples during the day there are no no-go areas as such, but keep guard of your valuables in the Piazza Garibaldi area near Stazione Centrale, the Mercato district to the south of Corso Umberto I, and the Quartieri Spagnoli.

      There are plenty of great pizzerias in Naples. One of the best, and busiest, is Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo in the historic center. Alternatively, head to La Cantina di Via Sapienza for a taste of authentic Neapolitan home-cooking.

      As to must-sees, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale is a real highlight with its ancient sculptures and artefacts from Pompeii. A short walk away, the baroque Cappella Sansevero is worth searching out, as is the Basilica di Santa Chiara, famous for its delightful cloisters.

  4. Where To Stay in Naples

    Hello Santorini Dave,
    I am excited to visit Rome this year and to be in Naples Dec 26-28. I have taken notice that the areas of Mergellina, Chiara, Vomero and Mercato all seem to have narrow streets where getting lost is quite easy.

    Only half a day on Tuesday will be spent in Pompeii providing it is open for visitors. My main objective is to spend time eating pastas, pizza, drinking wine and seeing some sights. I am hesitant to visit the Quartieri Spagnoli. Is there a quarter to stay in that you might suggest ? Some place near the Castel dell’Ovo? Graczie!

    Cruz Aguinaga

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      If you want to be near the Castel dell’Ovo, there are a number of excellent hotels in the nearby Santa Lucia district. One of the most famous is the Grand Hotel Vesuvio, a historic five-star offering a lavish marble-clad interior, professional service and lovely views over the Bay of Naples. To the west of Santa Lucia, the Chiaia neighbourhood is another good area with a range of hotels and upmarket B&Bs. It’s a smart district full of designer shops, trendy bars and restaurants, and is well positioned for sightseeing, within walking distance of central Piazza del Plebiscito and Palazzo Reale.

  5. Christmas and New Years in Naples

    Can you offer any advice about visiting Naples over Christmas and New Years? Is it too busy? How wet and cold is it? Any can’t-miss special events?

    Thank you,
    Taan

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Naples really buzzes over the Christmas and New Year period. One of the main events is the third running of the miracle of San Gennaro (Naples’ patron saint) on 16 December. This involves thousands of people gathering at the Duomo to witness the saint’s powdered blood turn to liquid. Like in most Italian cities, shopping is pretty frenzied in the run-up to Christmas. For a particularly Neapolitan experience, join the crowds on Via San Gregorio Armeno to check out the extravagant presepi (nativity scenes) on sale there. Naples is a loud place at the best of times but things really come to a head on New Year’s Eve when the whole city seems to erupt in noise. There are open air concerts and official fireworks shows, as well as any number of impromptu homemade displays. Weather wise, rain is a possibility but it rarely gets too cold to be out and about.

  6. Best Month to Visit Naples and Rome

    I’m planning a trip with my daughter to Italy. Naples (and surrounding) is our primary destination. What time of year is Naples at its best? Mainly for sightseeing. We’ll also spend a few days in Rome. Is Rome at its best at the same time as Naples, or are their differences?

    Thanks,
    Mika

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The best months for sightseeing in Naples are April and May, and then September and October. You’ll avoid the worst of the summer crowds and the warm weather is ideal for exploring the city and nearby archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

      Naples also has some great cultural events in May. The main one is Maggio dei Monumenti, a month-long season of concerts, exhibitions and tours. On the Saturday before the first Sunday, the city celebrates its patron saint, San Gennaro, with a ceremony at the Duomo. The focus of proceedings at this is the liquefying of the saint’s desiccated blood, which is supposed to ensure good fortune for the year ahead.

      Rome is also at its best in spring (April to May) and early autumn (September to mid-October). Note, however, that Easter is very busy in Rome as thousands of visitors pour in for the many religious events.

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