Italy is well known for its great traditions, food, history and magical places. In the last few years, the city of Naples has been under the tourist radar. This blog post from us will help you better understand why is worth to visit Naples Italy in winter.
This is the third-largest city in Italy, well known for the amazing scenario of Amalfi Coast and the little towns of Positano, Sorrento, for the ruins of Pompeii and the dreamy Islands of Capri and Ischia. But Naples is more than just that. The city itself is worth to be visited all year. Winter in Naples has something more than other cities, it is the taste of tradition.
Is well known that follow the traditions handed down from father to son are typical of Southern Italy. Visiting Naples in wintertime you will better understand the magical atmosphere of Christmas, Epiphany and the warmest temperature of November and December. Naples Italy in winter will gift you with the Vesuvius with a snow-white hat, that makes you feel not in danger in front of one of the most dangerous active volcano in the world.
A guide to Naples in winter
It is the activity of the underground that makes the people of Naples make you feel welcome. Think just to walk along with one of the most beautiful seasides of the World. You don’t need to be in Naples for a week, just two days in Naples in winter will make you fell in love with this city and their inhabitants. Feel your stomach with the best pizza in the world in Naples, the home place of Pizza is on our list of things to do in Naples in winter.
What is winter like in Naples Italy
Winter is a great time to visit Italy, thanks to mild weather and high temperature compared to the rest of Europe. Also, winter in Italy will let you be free to visit the main attractions without the crowd of tourists around. It is generally a low season period of the year for tourism.
Naples in winter is the best option for you. Doesn’t matter if it is a quick escape to Italy or a long break. Winter in Naples is amazing, the temperature is even higher compared to other major cities in Italy. This condition will give you the chance to walk on the seaside without wearing heavy jackets.
December is generally sunny with temperatures around 15 degrees. Christmas is one of the best periods to visit the city. All the shop windows are sparkling with lights. Naples is considered the best cities to visit at Christmas time because of the Nativity scene street, San Gregorio Armeno and the ancient traditions.
The biggest city of Southern Italy is close to Rome, just two hundred kilometres divide the two cities.
Top Things To Do In Naples Italy In Winter
1. Visit The Scene Makers At Their Workshops
Christmas in Naples is everything. To be honest, the whole period that is going from the 20ish of December until the 6th of January it seems like a big party for everybody. The city is full of lights, people are more happy than usual. If you are visiting Naples at Christmas you can’t miss strolling around the old town. The ancient part of Naples, with the narrow streets, is the paradise of Christmas decorations. San Gregorio Armeno is the long alley, in the part of SpaccaNapoli where the most important artists of Nativity scene makers have their studios.
Get inside one of the amazing workshops on the entire lane. You will see artists crafting the character of the nativity from scratch. The best time to visit San Gregorio Armeno is in November when the narrow street is still not packed with tourists and locals.
During Christmas time the entire lane is full of people that make difficult to walk and enjoy it. This is the best place to get your souvenir from Naples, handcrafted and unique.
2. Epiphany day in Piazza Mercato
Not everybody knows what is meaning Epiphany more than southern Italy, and Naples will be crowned as the best for the celebrations. The Epiphany day is on the 6th of January, but the celebrations are starting from the night before. There is one of the biggest Christmas markets in Naples in Piazza Mercato, it will be turned in a candy and toys market on the 5th of January.
The market is just in front of one of the most beautiful churches of Naples, Santa Maria del Carmine Church. That night a witch that is the Befana, as it is called in Italian will be burned in the middle of the square. This ancient celebration attracts many people and is a proper Neapolitan tradition.
The Befana is for many the wife of Santa Claus, and she will reward the good children with candies for good actions, or with a piece of coal if they have been bad for the year.
3. Visit the ruins of Pompeii
Pompeii is one of the big attractions close to Naples. If you don’t know it is easy to reach the ruins of the Roman city under the Volcano from the main station of Naples, Piazza Garibaldi. With the Vesuviana train that runs in the neighbourhood of Naples, you can reach Pompeii within 40 minutes. The same train will take you from Naples to Sorrento in about one hour.
The ruins of Pompeii are Unesco Heritage Site and are visited by millions of tourists every year. It is often crowded, that’s why we always suggest booking in advance your tickets to skip the queue.
4. Discover the hidden gem ruins of Herculaneum
Seat and get some advice from locals. We love Pompeii and it is amazing and suggestive, but more than the popular ruins of Pompeii, Herculaneum is the real hidden gem of Naples.
The roman ruins of Herculaneum are the real attraction that is becoming popular nowadays. The ticket to visit the ruins it is cheapest than Pompeii, but we will assure you that Herculaneum is much better and less crowded. The Archeological site is becoming even bigger year after year thanks to private funding.
Despite around Pompeii, unfortunately, you can visit the historic area and the main Cathedral, in Herculaneum the city is ready to welcome tourists with many other activities. The city of Ercolano, built up the ashes of the Roman city is below Vesuvius. You can hike the dangerous Volcano and face direct the mouth of it. There is also an interactive museum dedicated to the eruption that covered Herculaneum. You can visit the MAV, the Archeological Virtual Museum.
Visit the MAV in winter in Naples 2020
As we said before the best place to visit near Naples in winter is the ruins of Herculaneum, more than Pompeii. This historic site was covered by the ashes of the eruption of Vesuvius, the Volcano that is overviewing the entire roman city.
The MAV, the Archeological Virtual Museum is an entire area dedicated to the Vesuvius, the history and the eruptions through the ages. The installations of this museum are using Virtual Reality to explain how was evolving the area surrounding the Vesuvius. It is a trip that will take you in the Roman era, with reconstructions of the most beautiful Roman villas of the time.
5. A short trip to the Island of Capri
Even if is winter, the natural and wild beauty of Capri will leave breathless. The small island in the bay of Naples is the perfect chance to relax away from the crowded city. The trip from Naples to Capri by ferry is short as one hour. From the city centre of Naples, you can take a ride on a fast ferry to the Island from Molo Beverello. The prices are really cheap and go from a little 22 euro return.
READ ALSO | Most beautiful cities in Italy to visit
Things to do in Naples Italy in winter
6. Drive down the cliffs of Amalfi Coast
The Streep of the land that goes from Naples to the southern part of Italy is well known for the high cliffs and the blue seas. Visiting Naples in winter take the chance to drive down the cliffs of Amalfi Coast, reaching the fabulous little towns of Positano, Amalfi, Furore or Vietri Sul Mare.
The villages of the Amalfi Coast is something unbelievable unique. This long stretch of the shoreline, looking at the bay of Naples is stunning, and include some hidden gems. The fjord of Furore, the high cliffs of Atrani, the narrow beaches of Vietri Sul Mare are just some of our suggestion to visit in the Amalfi Coast in winter.
7. Day trip to Rome from Naples
If you are planning a little time in Italy on holiday we will suggest you think about a day trip to Rome from Naples. In one hour with the fastest train, you can go from Southern city to the Capital of Italy. Check the prices for the tickets, booking it in advance on the website of the local Train company Italo, you can get a bargain for just 10 euro each way.
Rome is the biggest city in Italy and the most popular one. Everyday host many tourists, discovering the ancient ruins of the city and the hidden gems of the narrow streets of Rome, Italy.
Take the chance to live one day in touch with the essence of Italian ancestry and Europe origins. We have done a full guide on how to visit Rome in 2 days if you want to spend more time in the city. Check also all our suggestions about the best photo spots of Rome.
8. Visit the volcanic area of Pozzuoli Solfatara
Vesuvius is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the World, but the underground of Naples is in activity from ages. There is another area of Naples where you can experience the geothermal power of the hearth. The Phlegraean Fields, or as called by locals the Campi Flegrei is a volcanic area. In those particular fields, you can experience the fumes rising from the underground and the hot water coming up.
Pozzuoli is a city close to Naples where you can go for this amazing experience. The Solfatara of Pozzuoli attract many tourists every year, and you can really walkthrough. The area is well known since the Roman area, indicated as the house of God of Fire. This is also where you can go for thermal natural baths in Naples.
9. Enjoy the view from Castel Sant’Elmo
For sure visiting a city you want to know some of the best views, where to admire the cityscape. The best viewpoint of Naples for us is from Castel Sant’Elmo. This is one of the highest spots in Naples, from here the view is just insane.
At night the square in front of the Castle is full of young locals hanging out and chilling with a nice view. When the sun goes down and the lights of the city are turned on, the view from Castel Sant’Elmo become magical. This is one of the most romantic spots in Naples, bear in mind the scene. A takeaway pizza, beer in the hand and the view of Naples below you.
10. Fireworks at New Year’s Eve
The last day of the year is the time for the party. In Naples the party time period is starting from Christmas, with school holidays, until the six of January. But it is right in the middle that the colours and the tradition will take you in the festivity mood.
The New Year’s Eve is insane in Naples, we have been celebrating it in London for so many years, and still thinking always about the mood that is in Naples on that day. Sometimes it seems too much, but it is in the Neapolitan style to go over the top.
The whole city celebrates the new year in style, the fireworks are visible everywhere. Every family makes their own little firework scenario. Over that the local authorities organize a big party on the seaside, with fireworks, dance floor and DJ sets. In Piazza Plebiscito the main square of the city, you can see the traditional concert of New Year, but in many other parts of the city, there are activities to do all night of New Year’s Eve.
11 Eat the best pizza in the world
Naples is the birthplace of Pizza and Neapolitan are proud of it. Visiting Naples even for a few days is meaning pizza every time. Pizza in Naples is so cheap and sold at every corner of the streets. Eating a pizza in Naples is the best things to do in Italy, and for sure you have never eaten a better one.
We have written a long list of the best pizzerias in Naples chosen by us. Coming from Naples, we have been in almost every good pizza place in Naples, and so we know which is the best. The standards in Naples are really high compared to other pizzerias around the world, so expect just the best.
If you want to go more in-depth there are many pizza tours that you can book during your stay in Naples in winter. Check this list to see which suit better for you! ADV
If you want to learn how to make the best pizza in the world, with a pizza masterclass in Naples, we wrote a full post where you can understand which is the best. This is the list of Pizza Cooking Classes we suggest to you! ADV
12. See the Vesuvius with the snow
If you are lucky you can see one of the most spectacular scenarios in the world. The mount Vesuvius, one of the most active dangerous volcanoes in the world, with a “hat” of snow. Rarely is snowing in Naples, but when it is happening the amazing landscape became surreal. You can even hike the Vesuvius, or take a bus until 1000 metres. If you love the snow, it will be one of the unique experiences to do in Naples in winter.
13. Exclusive galleries at Capodimonte Museum
Capodimonte museum is one of the hidden gems of Naples. This name will remember you the Capodimonte porcelain, created by the Capodimonte porcelain manufactory. Today the complex of Capodimonte hosts many galleries every year. Some of the best artists and masterpieces in the world are showing off in the exhibition rooms of Capodimonte. Neapolitan painters, Caravaggio, Tintoretto and many others are the best artists in the museum now.
14. Naples Underground visit
The underground of Naples is full of hidden gems, recently with the excavations for the construction of the modern underground, pieces of the rich ancient history of Naples and its conquerors have been discovered. In the next few years, the Metro system of Naples will be turned more like a museum and attraction with extraordinary pieces coming from different ages.
Take the chance to explore the underneath of Naples in a guided tour. The entrance ticket is affordable, for just 10 euro you can have a great experience in Naples. This tour is ideal for family with kids as well. You will learn the development of the city from a greek seaport to the modern era.
15. Romantic Valentine’s day in Naples
The most romantic time of the year in Naples goes over and beyond. On Valentine’s day, the city is becoming all red, heart and promise of eternal love. Naples is a romantic city, you can surprise your other half with a romantic escape in Italy on Valentines’ day in Naples.
From the old school narrow streets of Naples, such as the Quartieri Spagnoli, the Spanish old Borough of Naples, to the classy Via Chiaia and San Pasquale a Chiaia, everything is red and dedicate to the love. For many Naples is more romantic than any other city in Italy, more even than Venice and Verona.
It seems that the seaside will sprinkle love from everywhere. For full immersion in a Cupido style and red heart, stroll around Via Toledo and Via Roma the shopping streets of Naples. Even if in Naples in winter will be cold, the love will warm up your heart and your lovely another half.
16. Drink a limoncello in Sorrento
Just an hour away from Naples by train there is Sorrento. The small city on the coast is the perfect summer escape. In winter Sorrento became less crowded, so the perfect time to spend a relaxing weekend in Italy. What is better to go to a perfect restaurant, eating under the typical lemon tree of Sorrento, sipping a classic local limoncello.
What is the limoncello?
The limoncello is a typical liquor from Sorrento. It is made mainly from lemon and spirit, from that take the name limon-cello. There are many other variations made with other fruits. The taste of this liquor is strong but quite nice with a good aftertaste. If you are not a fan of lemon, you can ask for a meloncello, with a base of cantaloupe, nocillo, a taste of nuts or liquorice.
Weather in Naples in winter
This is the most interesting part of this article about Naples in winter. The southern Italian city is one of the best places to visit in the wintertime. Thanks to the high temperatures compared to the rest of the continent, Naples is in our list of Best winter sun destinations in Europe.
The winter months from November to February are not particularly cold in Naples, but it rains a lot. Although the city doesn’t experience snow quite often when it is happening to make the scenario even more surreal.
December in Naples is usually for the first part of the month raining and the second part sunny. Across Christmas time you will enjoy sunny and bright days. The temperatures will go around 15 degrees, and deeper at night, especially in January when you can experience temperatures below 0 at night.
Naples Italy winter temperature is generally the best in Europe.
Naples in December
December in Naples is an enigma, seems like that the first part of the month is dedicated to the cold and rain and the second part, going across Christmas and New Year’s Eve with sunny and warm days. Take an umbrella with you if visiting Naples in December. Don’t forget to get a waterproof jacket as well. In Naples in December will be cold, with temperatures not below the 8 degrees, but with a high chance of really cold days or with the sea breeze.
Naples in January
This is the coldest month of the year in southern Italy, the temperature drops a lot with a high chance of snow on the Vesuvius. In Naples is not easy to snow, but when it does its meaning that is really cold.
Visiting Naples in January, don’t forget to bring with you a whole scarf, warm hat and gloves. Generally, January is not the ideal month to visit Capri or the other island of the Bay of Naples, because of the adverse sea conditions. So, if this is your though I hope you are still on time to change the plans.
Naples in February
Same as January, Naples in February is really cold. If you want to visit the Island again make a plan B, just in case the ferry will be cancelled for adverse sea conditions.
In February in Naples, you will see all the power of the sea violently hitting the rocks on the seaside of Naples.
Naples weather in February is very similar to January, the average temperatures are between 9°C and 14°C. It is not raining a month, instead, you will find many days that will change the weather on the same day, passing by pouring rain to amazing sunshine.
Things to do at Christmas in Naples
We have dedicated an entire post on how to spend Christmas in Naples. This is a hidden gem period to visit Naples Italy. During Christmas time Naples revive another period of sold out, with many tourists coming into the city to visit the traditional sacred scene, the Christmas songs, lights and food. Check for an amazing tour of Naples.
To absolutely pin on your list of things to do at Christmas in Naples Italy, there is a walk in the street of Nativity scene makers. You can get to the artists’ studios, where masterpieces are exposed and the artists are making in front of you. San Gregorio Armeno is in the centre of Naples, in the unique historic part of the city called SpaccaNapoli.
Other things to do at Christmas in Naples are to visit the Cristo Velato, the St. Chiara Monastery, eat the “Cuoppo” fried seafood and many other things that you find in our dedicated post.
How to spend New Year’s Eve in Naples Italy
We have already explained how to experience the night of New Year’s Eve in Naples. But if you want a full activity plan, the local council has got you covered. If you are ready for a full night celebrating the new year in the streets of Naples, there are many events you can go to.
The biggest concert is in Piazza Plebiscito, with a music show and good wishes for the year that is coming. The firework show is at Castel dell’ Ovo from 1.30 am. Other music stages at Piazza Vittoria, Via Partenope and Borgo Marinari.
If you are planning to spend the New Year’s Eve in Naples Italy, is better if you book in advance a table in a restaurant. Those will be likely full head of time. There are many restaurants that have a fixed menu for the night, so ask in advance.
It is a tradition in Naples to celebrate the New Year’s Eve in the streets with friends and all the main square full of people, for brunch and aperitif.
What to wear in Naples Italy in winter
If you are looking at your wardrobe and checking what is best for your next trip to Naples, be ready to wear layers. Don’t forget a couple of sweaters and jackets, depending on how many days you are spending in Naples.
While snow is hard to find in Naples, is always good to carry also a scarf and gloves, the temperatures at night drops a lot. We also suggest that you pack a waterproof jacket, better if it is a medium-weight one. Comfy and waterproof shoes are highly suggested, the streets of Naples are not the best, and becoming worse in bad weather conditions.
What to pack for winter in Naples
What to pack for winter in Naples is another subject that can change depending on the period that you are visiting Napoli.
Out of layers of clothing, rainproof jackets and shoes, gloves, hats and scarves are a good option for you. Also place an umbrella in your bag, ready for any situation.
If you want to feel comfortable around the streets of the city, think that Italy is the capital of fashion. Jeans and sweater are good for tourists, but if you are planning to have a nice dinner or participate in events, dress to impress. Include in your luggage always a change of clothes that you can adapt to any occasion.
If you have in your plans to visit some churches in Naples, remember that is suggested to have your shoulders covered for a woman and a dress under the knee.
Is it safe to visit Naples in winter?
Yes, Naples is safe!This is another big question that we have been asked a million times. Naples is safe, and this is not just said from locals, but from tourists from everywhere. Often associated with Tv Series regarding shady dealings and mafia, Napoli today is a hidden gem of Italy that is going through the tourism boom.
It is well known that recently has seen an increase in Air Bnb apartments, thanks to the city attractions that attract tourists from all over the world. Naples is a multicultural city, open to the future and friendly. It is a young city compared to others in Italy, but the best of the southern capital is that all the food shops are open even at night. Neapolitan people love their city and feel identity in their culture. In winter Naples is safe as well as other times of the year.
Holidays Christmas period in Italy
In Naples the party time period is starting from Christmas, with school holidays, until the six of January. Yes, it is true is a long period of time and is unbelievable. Naples, but the whole Italy love to celebrate the traditional holy festivities for a long period of time. You will find many shops close for the whole period.
Frequently Asked Questions About Naples In Winter
What is Naples famous for?
The Southern Italian City is popular for the cuisine, the long Neapolitan traditional dishes. This is over just the pizza, but embrace other great plates and ingredients coming from the conquerors landed in this stretch of Coast during the ages. Naples is also famous thanks to popular stars like Sofia Loren, or for the football team SSC Napoli.
How many days do travellers need in Naples?
Planning a holiday time in Naples is always a good idea. we suggest you book at least 3 days in the city, this is the minimum necessary to get in the soul of Naples. If you can dedicate to this trip more days, you can plan day trips to Sorrento, Pompeii or the Islands of the Bay of Naples.
What food is Naples famous for?
Naples is one of the best foodie cities in Italy. As we have said before the long tradition makes it the Mecca for food lovers. Some of the delicious dishes over than just the pizza are: The fried pizza, the frittatina and crocchè, that here is called “panzerotto”. If you are in a restaurant in Naples and love the Seafood, go for a “risotto alla pescatora”, “a linguina con vongole”, a “spigola all’acqua pazza”, or “pepata di cozze”. Other than seafood a traditional dishes are also pasta e patate and pasta e Fagioli. Those last two are really famous in a restaurant in the Spanish Borough, “Da Nennella”. Read our ultimate guide of what to eat in Naples Italy.
Is Naples good for families?
Yes. Naples is a great holiday destination for families. The city is safe and opening the door to massive tourism. There are Cruise ships arriving every day in the harbour of Naples. The climate of the city is the ideal to enjoy activities outdoor. If you want your babies to learn from history, you can take a tour of the Royal Palace of Caserta.
What is the best area to stay in Naples in Winters?
Naples is a huge metropolitan area. In the city centre, the best area to stay in Naples in winters is around the historic centre, the Centro Storico, or you find your Air Bnb in the Quartieri Spagnoli. The very posh is where to stay in Naples is Vomero or Via Chiaia. Recently has seen an increase of tourists accommodations in Piazza Dante, Piazza Bellini and up the hill of Piazza Plebiscito.
Does Naples metro go to the airport?
No. The metropolitan trains are a relatively new circuit in Naples, despite project that wants the metro extension to the Airport of Naples, today it is still a future plan. The Airport of Naples is really in the middle of the city, different than other European cities. From the Airport, you can take public transport, the “Alibus”, a bus that will take you from the Airport to the main train station “Piazza Garibaldi”.
The ride on the alibus will cost you 5 euro one-way. Arrived at the train station in Naples you can take a high-speed train to Rome, arriving in the capital of Italy in less than an hour.
When should I go to Naples?
Naples is ideal at any time of the year. Recently the city is experiencing a boom in tourism. Thanks to the many attractions and the relatively low costs, Naples is one of the best cities to visit in Italy now. For the best overview of the city, the ideal is to visit Naples in spring. Anyway, Summer in Naples amazing, with some of the best beaches in Italy, will leave you breathtaking.
The locals are friendly
Neapolitan is usually friendly, aware that they have to gain again credibility at the eyes of the World and be more welcoming of Tourists. Naples in the last ten years has changed a lot, from being the last safe place in Italy, to one of the best popular touristic places in Italy where spend holidays. The locals are the most friendly in Italy, you will feel welcome since step in Naples. Naples is generous and out of the racial adverse scheme that lately Italy is living in. Experience Naples Italy in winter for amazing holiday time.