About The Bay of Naples
Like all the other areas covered on this site, you can tackle it in any way that suits you. However, it makes a particularly good three- day break if you approach it like this:
Arrive Capodichino (Naples) airport am, hire a car and head for Pompei. At T-junction out of airport all traffic turns right and so do you;but left at first opportunity to Rome autostrada A2, then Selerno autostrada A3 as far as Pompei junction.
Park right of Porta Marina entrance to Pompeii excavations (‘Scavi’) and allow at least two hours. Then make for the Sorrentine Peninsula along Salerno motorway A3 and turn right at Vietri junction. You now exchange the chaos around Naples for the twists and turns of a narrow cornice, where parking is impossible but everyone parks just the same. Beware rear-ends of cars sticking out on dangerous bends. Turn right at the Attrani, uphill to Ravello, If only for a little relief from petrol fumes. Descending again from Ravello, see Amalfi. Enough for one day.
Day 2 : continue around the penensula. Visit Capri, but to do that continue around the headland to Sorrento. Give up your hire, and go to the ferry slip for Capri. Hydrofoils and boats are more or less hourly by day. Staying the night on the island is expensive but it allows you to see Capri after the day trippers have gone home.
Day three: hydrofoil to Naples, Taxi to the airport, or go back to Sorrento, pick up another hire care and continue north and west around the Bay of Torre del Greco or Ercolano motorway junctions, then right on mountian roador toll road to the sumit of vesuvius. You have to walk the last bit, about 25 minutes. Return to Capodichino by A3/A2, airport signposted at Napoli Nord junction.
The scenery is superb, that goes without saying; this is the world’s most celebrated bay. The rich volcanic soil of its shores has encouraged a dense population anarchic concentration of industry and agriculture. The recklessnes of Neopolitan motorists is proverbial even in Italy. Auto theft, even from moving vehicles, is common and foreign tourists are fair game. Longer-term visitors to the fabled shore put their cars away and use public transport, which is cheap, effiecient and easy to understand.
For the not-so-intensively-hyped but equally splendid sights on the western side of the Bay of Naples, see Molisse:Between Two Seas.
The main Rome-Naples-Salerno railway follows the shores of the Bay. From the Circumvesuviana Station in Corso Garibaldi, Naples, frequent little trains rattle round the foothill villages of Vesuvius, a 65-km round trip (see Vesuvius, below). You view the great sleeping monster from every angle. No area is better furnished with transport -rail, bus, suburban train, funicular railway, ferryboat, hovercraft, hydrofoil and helicopter. Services neatly dovetail. You could move through all those options in the course of a days adventuring in Naples and enivirons. The long-established SITA (www.sitasudtrasporti.it) runs half-day tours round the peninsulas and across the Bay. Appian Line, Piazza Esquilino 6, Rome, has express buses through Naples and the Sorrentine towns for Capri. Shipping services are multifarious and various – just go down to the Santa Lucia waterfront in Naples and pick a boat. There is a helicopter service between Capodichino (Naples) and Damecuta (Capri) – www.capri-helicopters.com.