The Bay of Naples – Italy

It’s Throwback Thursday guys! Today I’m taking you back to 2013, when I visited one of the most beautiful regions in Italy: the ‘Bay of Naples’! In the area it doesn’t really matter where you are at the bay, everywhere you can catch a glimpse of the Vesuvius and enjoy the breathtaking views it brings with it. Here are my tips for a 10 days vacay at the Bay of Naples.


As we wanted to explore the area and spent a few days of q-time at the pool, I searched for a hotel right in the middle of the towns we wanted to visit. I came across Residence Le Terrazze, a family run hotel located in the green hills of Sorrento. From its terraces and pool you have one of the most mesmerizing views upon Mount Vesuvius. And although the view is hard to beat, it is the friendliness of the family and their employees I still remember like it was yesterday! Never have I met such heartwarming people while travelling! My photo’s date back to 2013, and as the entire hotel has been renovated in the meantime, they don’t really do the beautiful hotel justice, so make sure to check out their website if you are looking for some recent shots of this wonderful hotel! I would return here immediately!

The hotel does not have a restaurant of their own, but works together with local restaurants such as Lo Stuzzichino, who pick you up and drive you back to the hotel so you can enjoy as much vino as you like. We loved this restaurant so much, we had dinner there three times! The food was great and the family that runs the restaurant, make you feel like you are part of their family.

As I said before, we originally picked the hotel for it’s convenient location towards Sorrento, Amalfi, Ravello, Pompei and Mount Vesuvio. There’s a bus stop in front of the hotel and as we wanted to travel by public transportation that came in very handy (driving the car is quite a form of art back there with all the winding roads)!


Sorrento and me…. Love at first sight. Although it might be a bit touristy in some places, you can’t help being charmed by the town. The best way to get to known the city is just by walking the backstreets (here I go again :p). Inside Sorrento’s Centro Storico you will find one hidden gem after the other. My personal favorite being the San Francesco Cloisters, but also the Cathedral is worth a visit. From the Villa Communale you have one of the prettiest views upon the Vesuvius.

If you like to watch boats, make sure to make a quick stop at the Marina Grande and Marina Piccola as well.

For lovely terraces and shops head to Piazzo Tasso, the city’s main square. Inside the city center you will find plenty of Limoncello stores, this because of the fact that traditionally the yummy digestive was made with lemons from the Sorrento region. So this might be a good idea if you need to buy gifts for the home front.

Amalfi & Ravello

When you travel the Amalfi Coast by SITA bus from Sorrento, the first town on the line is Positano, followed by Amalfi. In Amalfi you have to change for Ravello. As Ravello was THE town I wanted to visited, we decided to spent some time in Amalfi and Ravello. Although I have heard that Positano is equally as gorgeous, there wasn’t time to properly visit all three towns.

The heart of Amalfi is Piazza del Duomo, with is striped Norman-Arab style cathedral. Although the town itself is adorable (backstreets, fountains, colorful houses and little shops) besides from the cathedral there are not many cultural landmarks. But it’s just a nice town to walk around in and enjoy a latte or gelato in one of the many terraces.

Ravello is a different story! This because of the fact that throughout history Ravello was a larger and more richer town, which is clearly visible in its magnificent gardens and palaces.

There are two very popular gardens that tourists like to visit. One is Villa Ruffolo, built in the 13th century for the wealthy Rufolo dynasty and home to several popes as well as king Robert of Anjou. The panoramic views from the garden were the most beautiful ones I have ever seen.

The other palace, Villa Cimbrone, is nowadays a five star luxury hotel. The good thing is that even non-hotel guests can visit the gardens. We wanted to have lunch there, but after a look at the menu, we saw that it wasn’t in our price range. I think it’s quite an amazing experience to eat there tough!

The Duomo is also worth visiting. It was built in the 11th century and is the oldest of the entire coastal area.

Mount Vesuvio & Pompei

One of the most memorable field trips I remember from our trip to the Bay of Naples is the climb of Mount Vesuvius with Busvia del Vesuvio. This bus company takes you with an ordinary bus to the edge of the mountain, where you have to change into an specially equipped vehicle for the rest of the journey. The last part to the crater you have to walk (about 20 minutes). The climb up is quite steep, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes. Silly me did not take that in account, so there I was climbing a volcano in sandals, not exactly my finest hour! Once you are there, the view upon the bay is said to be spectacular, but unfortunately for us is it was very misty, so except for a look inside of the crater we did not see much, which was a real pity.

For history buffs like myself a holiday to the Bay of Naples is not complete whiteout a visit to the excavations of Pompeii. In 79AD this ancient Roman city got destroyed and buried under ash and pumice during an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Pompeii offers a look at Roman houses, temples, baths, gardens, and public areas like the amphitheater. You can easily spend an entire day here, but we decided not to do that and to combine the trip with the Mount Vesuvio excursion. You can also combine Pompeii with Herculaneum, another city that was destroyed by the Vesuvius. Both archeologic sites are quite different though! Herculaneum was the richer of the two cities, so there are more expansive houses, prettier mosaics and a lot of marble in the remains to be seen.


‘Vedi Napoli e poi muori’. According to the famous saying, you have to see Napoli at least once before you die, so we decided to end our wonderful holiday with two days there. And I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone! Arriving there I kind of felt that I went from paradise to hell… I was kind of used to the crazy busy Italian citylife, but that was nothing compared to Napoli! So much traffic even in spots you don’t expect it to be. I guess it’s better to visit Naples first, and then to go explore it’s heavenly bay. Once we rapped our heads around that, we were able to enjoy the culture the city had to offer.

The old historic heart of the city, Spaccanapoli, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and is filled with beautiful little churches, squares, cloisters and other monuments, so walking around its labyrinth of little streets is a good way to get to know the city.

Make sure to add the following highlights to you Napoli to-do list:

  • Castel Nuovo, a medieval castle built in 1279, inside the port of Napoli.
  • Piazza del Plebiscito, one of the highlights of the city and Napoli’s most beautiful square. On the one side of the square you will see the Palazzo Reale and on the other side the Church of San Franceso di Paola.
  • Fontana del Gigante, a lovely fountain made by Michelangelo and Bernini in the 17th century.
  • Castell dell’Ovo, the city’s oldest castle. It’s often used as a venue for concerts and exhibitions. Around it you will find some cozy little restaurants.
  • Duomo di San Gennaro: like every other Italian city, Napoli has its very own Duomo. It’s for sure one of the impressive buildings in the city. The cathedral was built upon the remains of and old church dating back to 570.
  • Archeological Museum: as you know by now I am not the ‘Museum kind of Gal’ but if there is one museum in the city, that you should visit it’s this one! The museum mainly focuses on the Roman Empire days, so a lot of the artefacts that are presented there were found in Pompeii and Herculaneum. 
  • Galleria Umberto I, for a unique shopping experience.

Oh and when in Napoli… you have to eat PIZZA! Everywhere around the city you can find cheap and very yummy pizzeria’s, but the best pizza you can eat at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele. Remember Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love? Well, yes this is the spot!

To end on a not so positive note: be aware of pickpockets! We were lucky not to experience that, but it happens so fast and quite more often than you think in Napoli. So mind your belongings.

Practical information Bay of Naples

  • From Naples Capodichino Airport you can take the Curreri bus to Sorrento station.
  • Currency Euro (€)
  • Other possible excursions may be to the islands of Capri & Ischia, but unfortunately the day we wanted to do that the boats did not go because of a strike.

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