The Neapolitan Riviera: just the name conjures up images of open top cruising along winding cliff-top roads, sun-drenched islands in the Bay of Naples, the heavenly scent of lemon groves and Italy’s effortless la dolce vita.
Blessed with the country’s most seductive views, its finest year-round climate and the very best of its cuisine, this spectacular stretch of coastline has been beguiling visitors for hundreds of years.
From Sorrento’s refined sophistication, the colourful decadence of Naples, Pompeii’s archaeological wonders and the iconic whitewashed villas of Amalfi, holidays to the Neapolitan Riviera are remembered for a lifetime.
Hiring a car is the perfect way to explore the dramatic scenery of the Campania region, the western shin of Italy’s boot, and the long, sinuous roads draped along the mountainside dotted with pretty pastel-coloured villages to discover.
The exquisite islands off the Amalfi Coast are unmissable too. The tiny Procida is wonderfully unspoilt and tranquil, while fashionable Capri is still the destination of choice for the most beautiful of the beautiful people. And the largest of the three, Ischia, gives you the chance to get back to nature in its botanical gardens, thermal health spas, hidden coves and the best beaches on the Bay of Naples.
The Neapolitan Riviera’s long hot summers and extremely mild winters make it the ideal destination to indulge in some luxury all year round.
This glamorous maze of winding streets, fine restaurants and stylish boutiques perches high on the cliffs overlooking the stunning Bay of Naples, with breath-taking views across to Mount Vesuvius.
One of the most popular resorts along the Riviera, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a touch of southern Italy and from where to explore further afield, with the delights of Naples and Pompeii a short train ride away and the islands in the bay easily reached by ferry.
Be mesmerised by the same historic villas and sumptuous gardens that inspired the likes of Wagner, DH Lawrence and Virginia Woolf, in this refined hilltop town high above Amalfi. Enjoying ‘the best view in the world’, according to Gore Vidal, the enchanting setting makes for the ideal romantic getaway and is one of Italy’s most popular wedding destinations. The town’s centrepiece, the 13th-Century Villa Rufolo looks out over the stepped terraces of the impeccable grounds and out across that sweeping vista. Once host to Italian royalty, it now acts as a stunning backdrop to an annual classical music performance.
This tiny island off the Neapolitan coast has been known for its irresistible charms since the sirens tried to lure Odysseus to his doom here. Today, the temptations come in the form of its upscale boutiques, sun-bleached villas, soaring cliffs and its astonishing Blue Grotto, a sea cave beautifully illuminated by sunlight refracting through the azure water.
A fast ferry service from Sorrento will have you exploring this Capri in half an hour.
Exploring the Neapolitan Riviera…
The best, and most chilling, insight into life during the Roman Empire, Pompeii is a vast archaeological site sitting in the shadow of the brooding Mount Vesuvius. Completely buried during the cataclysmic eruption of 79AD, this once sophisticated port city was engulfed by the volcanic lava and hidden for more than 1,500 years. The excavated sections of the town have been so well preserved that it’s possible to still read shop signs and even graffiti on the walls, as well as seeing the exact positions of the citizens as they were consumed by the ash. A haunting and compelling visit.
Probably the world’s most famous volcano, Mount Vesuvius makes for a fascinating trek after visiting Pompeii and witnessing the devastation it wrought. You can take a tour bus or drive up to the car park at 1,000 metres, where it’s an easy strolling ascent to the edge of the crater. You’ll be rewarded with spectacular views across the Bay of Naples and you can join a group tour with a resident volcanologist. Your guide will probably mention that Vesuvius is still an active volcano with a 20-year eruption cycle. And it last erupted in 1944!
Visit Duomo di Amalfi
A visit to Amalfi isn’t complete without experiencing the 9th-century cathedral that shelters the remains of their patron saint, St Andrew.
A blend of many different architectural styles, the Duomo is mostly Arab-Norman Romanesque, with later enhancements adding Gothic, Baroque and Byzantine elements. It’s impossible to miss, dominating the town at the top of a long, impressive staircase, with enormous bronze doors, eye-catching two-tone masonry and delicate, twisting archways.
Neapolitan Riviera cuisine
When it comes to eating well, Campania is perhaps Italy’s luckiest region. Blessed with a perfect climate, fertile volcanic soil and bordered by seas teeming with fish, your taste-buds are in for a treat.
Naples has the ultimate pizza; as it should, it’s where it was invented. It’s easy to spot the best takeaway pizzerias in the city—they’re the ones with the enormous crowds outside every lunchtime.
You’ll find the sweetest fruits and vegetables all over the Riviera, and for a truly authentic taste of Campania, try a glass or two of Limoncello in Amalfi. Made from the world’s finest lemons, it’s the consummate aperitivo.
Neapolitan Riviera restaurants
The Neapolitan Riviera is home to some of the finest restaurants you’ll find anywhere. From Michelin-starred gourmet palaces to the humblest cafes, you’ll find it nearly impossible to eat badly. The best places are usually the traditional trattorie offering a choice of only three or four dishes. They’re the ones selecting only the freshest, tastiest ingredients each day to create wonderful dishes.
Neapolitan Riviera holidays are elegantly timeless. The picture-perfect mountainside resorts, the dramatic coastline with its terraces of vineyards and citrus groves, the sun-bleached beaches and captivating blue seas will leave you intoxicated.
See this wonderful stretch of Italy for yourself with easyJet holidays. And remember, you can save when you book your hotel and flight together.