Southern Italy in a week: Naples to Catania — what should we do?
February 22, 2017 7:04 PM   Subscribe

My person and I are flying into Naples a week from Sunday and flying out of Catania (Sicily) the following Sunday. The plan is to rent a car and take a meandering route, but we don't have any fixed plans on where to go.

Ideas so far:

* Pompeii
* Amalfi Coast
* Castelmezzano/Pietrapertosa
* Matera
* Puglia esp. Lecce
* Maratea
* Diamante
* Tropea
* Cosenza
* Taormina

I'm sure we'll hit a couple museums and ruins, but we're most excited to see and walk around different kinds of cities and villages. Interested in recommendations on where to go, where to stay, and where to eat.
posted by rossmeissl to Travel & Transportation around Italy (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Pompeii definitely, but if you can you should also do half a day in Herculaneum! It's smaller but much better preserved (some multiple story buildings, preserved wood and furniture, etc). It's also basically at the bottom of a deep hole in the middle of the modern town of Ercolano, so you get a multiple-town experience in visiting the ancient and modern city simultaneously.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:19 PM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Amalfi by boat
posted by Freedomboy at 11:28 PM on February 22, 2017


You've got a week, right? I would do the Amalfi Coast including a trip to Paestum and then cut across by ferry from Salerno to Messina to do Taormina and go up Etna (you could do Vesuvius too, though it's less impressive).

If you try and do Puglia and the rest I think there's a real danger you'll end up in a car the whole time. Of course you may not mind that and some of the drive is undeniably scenic (though you'll perhaps have had the best round Amalfi). At least work out the timings carefully and make sure you're not being over-ambitious.

In Naples, you must eat a deep-fried pizza if you wish to enjoy the respect of the locals. This is very different from, say, Glaswegian deep-fried pizza. Matteo is the unapologetically grungy place that I would nominate.
posted by Segundus at 4:03 AM on February 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


Taormina is very pretty. You can also go up to Mt. Etna while in Catania - this was pretty amazing, as we went and it erupted two days later!
posted by jillithd at 7:31 AM on February 23, 2017


In Sicily, definitely Taormina and Mt. Etna. If you drive a bit further south, then check out the mosaics near Piazza Armerina. Siracusa is also wonderful, with Greek and Roman ruins.

Agrigento and Palermo are probably too far to get to given your time frame, but are both great places to visit (for completely different reasons).
posted by jindc at 8:57 AM on February 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


We ended up doing one night each at:

* Pompeii
* Positano
* Ravello (my personal fave, by far)

then the overnight ferry from Naples to Catania, then:

* 3 nights in Ortigia (Siracusa)

If anybody finds this and wants more detail please MeMail me!
posted by rossmeissl at 2:30 PM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


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