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Is 4 days a good amount of time for a first visit?

Tallahassee, Florida
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Is 4 days a good amount of time for a first visit?

I’m thinking about where I want to go for my trip next year and I’m considering southern Italy. I just started reading through the guidebook I have for Naples/southern Italy and I’m trying to figure out how many days to allocate to Naples. I’m thinking 4 full days with ½ day or 1 whole day to visit Herculaneum. I’ve already visited Pompeii (as a long day trip from Rome) so I don’t have to include that on this trip. There seems to be an awful lot to see in Naples with all the museums, churches and interesting areas to walk around. Is the hop off/hop on bus a good way to get oriented with the layout of Naples? And I assume the bus system is a good way to get around?

This is a silly question but for those of you that have been to Palermo would a comparison between Naples and Palermo be fair? It seems both have acquired bad reputations but both seem to have an incredible amount of things to see. I was prepared for the “cityness” of Palermo and ended up really enjoying the time I had there. I’m originally from New Jersey so maybe because I’ve spent time in and worked in Manhattan, the chaos of a working city doesn’t bother me – I actually find it invigorating. But it helps to know what to expect. Thanks for any guidance.

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1. Re: Is 4 days a good amount of time for a first visit?

I'm not sure you'll see the best of Naples from the hop on buses, the best way to see the city is walking, plus the metros and funiculars, which you get, plus the buses, for an all day pass for 4 euros.

It's a fascinating city, so much to see, it can be a little gritty, past it's one time greatness, but like others on here, I think you could spend 4 months there and not see it all.

Herculaneum is great, we preferred it to Pompeii, better preserved and more intimate, plus a visit to the

archaeological museum in Naples, to see all the treasures from the eruption.

Every church is an art gallery, the food is amazing, the street life is fascinating.

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2. Re: Is 4 days a good amount of time for a first visit?

I agree that the HOHO bus isn't well suited to Naples, or any other old city with small streets. HOHOs make much more sense in places like New York or even Paris, where the streets are wide enough for buses and the sites are spread out over many miles. They make perfect sense in Barcelona, which makes it particularly unfortunate how badly they are managed, resulting in masses of passengers standing around waiting for buses that don't stop because they are already full. But I digress ...

Four days is a great start in Naples and you'll not lack for things to do. The city bus system is actually quite easy to figure out, for the further out locations. The traffic sometimes is so bad that walking will get you there almost as fast, however. The metro is slowly, slowly becoming more useful for tourists as new stations are added. Finally, the funiculare are useful for getting up and down the mountainside to visit the Certosa di San Martino (a must-see, in my opinion).

Tallahassee, Florida
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3. Re: Is 4 days a good amount of time for a first visit?

Thanks for the info vinnyjones and elstravels. Sounds like Naples is a great city to walk around. I'll continue reading my guidebook so I get a better feel of the layout of the city and where places of interest are located.

Australia
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4. Re: Is 4 days a good amount of time for a first visit?

The Historic Centre is quite compact but it would take days/weeks to see all its wonders - there are baroque churches that defy belief - San Gregorio Armeno being one of them - as well as world class art masterpieces such as Caravaggio's Seven Acts of Mercy which is in the Pio Monte Della Misericordia Chapel. There is also the Underground tour which takes you 400-odd stairs below street level where you can see Naples' old aqueducts and where some of the population sheltered during the WW2 bombings.

This is why your guide book will be so beneficial. I love the DK Eyewitness Naples & Amalfi Coast guide as it covers Naples' area by area and points out features that are often missed. Also try the app store if you have an ipad or iphone as there are an increasing number of great travel apps which are free and give excellent information.

Tallahassee, Florida
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5. Re: Is 4 days a good amount of time for a first visit?

Thanks Kathy. I just ordered the DK Eyewitness book from Amazon. The bookstore here only had the National Geographic guidebook so that's what I bought yesterday. I must admit I'm blown away by the amount of things there is to see in Naples. I'm looking forward to doing more in depth research to figure out a rough itinerary,

Naples, Italy
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6. Re: Is 4 days a good amount of time for a first visit?

Hi. I have nothing to add to other users' recommendations. I just want to suggest you to choose carefully the area where to stay. I have noticed that people's opinions about the whole city of Naples are often influenced by the area where their hotel is located. Therefore I would avoid the central station area, where the hotels are not expensive and they're also quite good, but the area is chaotic, dirty and could be unsafe at night.

Try to find an accomodation in the borough of Vomero, which is nice and very well (and fast) connected to the old town by metro and three funiculars. Otherwise the historic center itself is also good.

Edited: 20 May 2014, 09:14
Tallahassee, Florida
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7. Re: Is 4 days a good amount of time for a first visit?

Thanks for the advice Sanvean76 - I'll keep that In mind when choosing a location to stay in.

8. Re: Is 4 days a good amount of time for a first visit?

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