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Naples is an extraordinary city in the south of Italy on the Mediterranean coast. It is steeped in European culture that dates back to Roman times, and today is a bustling cosmopolitan centre. Part of Naples’s attraction is that it is close to other notable sights of Italy, including the preserved ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii and the visually impressive Amalfi coast. The entire region has long since been used to receiving a high number of visitors, and vehicle hire is made convenient with a huge choice of providers and a developed road network.
Who to Book With
Naples has plenty of car rental firms to choose from, including top firms Avis, Budget and Hertz. However, the market in Naples is competitive, and there are several other providers that may beat the price of these global leaders. It is recommended that you view rates online and book in advance to secure the best deal.
Best Time to Go
The European summer is the best time to enjoy the Mediterranean weather, although if visiting Naples at this time you will be joined by hordes of other tourists who have the same idea. Accommodation rates go up during school holidays, so to beat the crowds and grab a bargain you could visit during the spring or early autumn.
Need to Know Essentials
To pick up your rental car, you must provide the following documents:
- An EU driving licence or valid International Driving Permit
- A photo ID alongside your licence
- Details of credit card you provided at booking
- A booking confirmation, such as a reference number
Naples is bypassed by the A56 and the A3 motorways. The A3 heads south towards the Amalfi coast, although traffic can be treacherous on this road. For places this way, you may want to take the A16 and then connect with the A30 that runs around the other side of Mount Vesuvius. If you want to get to most other places in Italy then you will need to take the A1 north to Rome or beyond.
Naples is an ancient port city and driving around the narrow city streets is not recommended. To get around the centre, you should consider using the adequate public transport system. Most three-star and up hotels provide free parking for guests or you can opt to park in one of the multi-storey car parks. There are large car parks that are well signposted near the waterfront and archaeological museum.
Naples has a good public transport system that combines underground and overground rail with a clever public bus system. Unfortunately, the buses travel on popular routes and can get clogged in traffic, so sometimes it is quicker taking to the streets on foot and walking to your destination. The old city centre of Naples is very walkable.
Naples has an integrated public transport ticketing system called Uniconapoli that allows you to combine travel on the city-wide metro, urban trains, buses and funicular rail system. The maximum fare is £3.10 for the day. You can view the network here.
Trains and Metro
The metro system of Naples has three underground lines and an additional four funicular railways that connect Vanvitielli Station with sea level destinations. See the network map here. The overground lines are called the Circumvesuviana; this system connects Naples with regional destinations, including Pompeii and Sorrento. You can plan your route here.
Bus services in Naples are operated by ANM, although often it is quicker to walk because of heavy traffic in the city. There are seven circular routes denoted with the letter ‘R’ and an additional circular shuttle route called the E1. Otherwise, there is no central bus station. You can catch a bus from Piazzas Garibaldi, Municipio or Vittoria.
Taxis in Naples are white saloon cars and all run on a meter. Avoid unauthorised cabs. You can take a taxi from one of the several taxi ranks or book one to come and collect you. Prices are fair, although drivers are known to try and scam unsuspecting tourists. You can call Radio Taxi Partenope for a quote on +39 81 560 6666.
Naples is fortunately close to some of Italy’s most famous and most beautiful tourist destinations. To the south of the city and easily accessed by motorway are the ancient Roman relics of the once lost city of Pompeii, or take in amazing coastal drives along the Sorrento Peninsula.
Sorrento - This is a lovely seaside town on a peninsula to the south of Naples that sits on the bay of Naples and is overlooked by the mighty Vesuvius mountain in the background. It takes just an hour to drive here, and after soaking up the Mediterranean ambience a lot of visitors take the opportunity to take the short hop on the ferry to visit the small island of Capri.
The Amalfi coast - Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape site in 1997 due to its sheer beauty and historical landscape. From Naples, take the E45 south for 45 minutes then hook onto the SS163 coastal drive towards Amalfi for an absolutely beautiful drive.
Pompeii - This is the partially buried Roman city that was lost for 1,700 years after the eruption of the over looming Mount Vesuvius. It was rediscovered in 1748 and since has grown to be one of the greatest cultural attractions in the world. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997 and draws over 2.5 million visitors each year.