A guide to things to do in Neapolitan Riviera

The Neapolitan Riviera is a fascinating region steeped in centuries of ancient history. As well as its fantastic beaches, there are vineyards and gardens to visit, beautiful coastal towns offering breathtaking views and a relaxed pace, and idyllic islands to sail to. Whether you choose to walk coastal paths or visit ancient archaeological sites, wherever you look in this region there is superb scenery and plenty of choice for things to see and do on your holidays to Italy.

A walking or cycling tour around Sorrento

The Sorrento peninsula is a fantastic place to explore at your own pace on foot or bicycle. You can follow meandering trails through quiet countryside, passing vineyards along the way. You’ll also find scenic trails on the cliffs at the coastline where you can linger to enjoy spectacular views over the Bay of Naples.

If you feel like a more active trek then walk up the slopes of Mount Vesuvius to get a closer look at its now dormant crater. From this vantage point you’ll get amazing views over the city of Naples and across the bay to the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida.

Visit a local wine vineyard or take an Italian cookery class

Italy is renowned for its delicious cuisine and takes its gastronomic expertise seriously. The Neapolitan Riviera has its own delicious specialities, particularly seafood and fresh fish options, which you’ll be able to enjoy at the many excellent restaurants in the region.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Italian foods you can take cookery lessons while you’re there, such as at the Villa Maria cooking school in Ravello. This way you’ll be able make your own authentic Italian dishes when you return home. You can also take wine-tasting tours to visit local vineyards in the Sorrento area to see where the grapes are grown and how wine is made.

Explore the charm of the Neapolitan islands

The tiny island of Capri is one of the most glamorous and exclusive spots in the region. It’s just a 40-minute ferry ride from the mainland and is definitely worth a visit to take in the refined atmosphere and superb scenery.

Ischia island is also a 40-minute ferry ride away and features a beautiful natural landscape with natural hot springs, a magnificent castle and superb views across the Bay of Naples to the mainland.

Discover more about Pompeii and Herculaneum

Two of the most important and fascinating archaeological sites in the region are Pompeii and Herculaneum. You can visit both sites on your Amalfi Coast holidays by heading towards Naples, and you’ll also find related items at the Naples National Archaeological Museum.

Pompeii was one of the world’s original exclusive holiday resort for wealthy Romans. However, it was covered in burning ashes in August 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius erupted. Thanks to large-scale archaeological work, you can see the entire layout of the town including temples and villas, as well as beautiful wall murals and statues.

Herculaneum is located closer to Mount Vesuvius and was covered in lava rather than ash. It’s a much smaller area than Pompeii, but retains intimate relics of the daily lives of the inhabitants. These include the remains of loaves of bread which were being baked on the day of the eruption.

Take in the stunning architecture and superb gardens

You’ll be spoiled for choice with the number of breathtakingly beautiful churches, amazing villas and colourful scented gardens to visit and explore around the Neapolitan Riviera. Naples has the largest number of places to visit, but the surrounding towns also have lots of interesting places to see.

If you’re looking for a feast of flowers and plants you could visit the Giardini La Mortella on Ischia island. This intimate terraced garden features ponds with huge lily pads and fantastic panoramic views.

If you’re staying in or near Ravello, visit Le Ville di Ravello, an opulent villa complete with statues, water features, fairytale arches and scenic viewpoints. In Amalfi the Chiostro del Paradiso, meaning Cloister of Paradise, is a charming site covered with beautiful ancient mosaics and murals.