Okay, honesty rules here. That is why we are going to tell you the good, the bad and the ugly about the Italian city of Naples. We have traveled many times to Italy over the years and have visited nearly every desirable region in the country at least once (some regions multiple times). To be honest, we had high expectations for Naples and are open-minded to different destinations that we visit. We go into our travels with an attitude that we will find many things that we like about the destination. Typically when we leave a destination we have a desire to someday return. There are very few places we have traveled to that we walk away feeling like we never need to return. Naples is one of them. So, having given that introduction, we will share with you what we would do if we had a day in Naples, Italy with kids.
First, Let’s clear up some common questions about Naples.
*For some other posts on different Italian destinations, click here!
Common Questions about Visiting Naples with Kids
Is Naples good for families?
This is a tough question to answer. Naples is a huge cruise ship port and therefore many families dock in Naples and want to explore the region. Naples IS a good jumping-off point for exploring the region. Many day trips to the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, and other places are within easy reach of Naples. In that way, it is good for families but we would not suggest spending precious time in Naples itself when there are so many wonderful places to visit in close proximity.
What is Naples known for?
Naples is known for its food! Pizza, pizza and more pizza. They even have a specialty that is fried pizza and it is so good. They have great food and it is really inexpensive. That aspect of Naples was a welcome relief from many areas in Europe that are so expensive.
Is Naples safe?
Naples (or Napoli in Italian) is dirty, stinky, and crazy. By crazy we mean that the traffic is a problem, noise is a problem, trash is a problem and when we were walking around Naples (even in the day), we were extra nervous about our safety. We would not be walking around at night in the city. Venice, Rome, and Florence are also dirty and stinky and crazy (it’s kind of the Italian way), but somehow they still ooze charm. Naples is all of those things…minus the charm.
Best food in Naples, Italy?
As we mentioned above, Naples is THE place for pizza. If you have only one day in Naples, you must try the food. Also, the way to judge a great restaurant in Naples is by the lines of people waiting to get in. If there are ravenous Italians out front waiting in line, then you know you have chosen a good spot. Below are our favorite places to eat in Naples.
The Best Places to Eat in Naples with Kids
Antica Pizza Fritta de Zia Esterina Sorbillo – Some of the best food in Naples, this little place is a take out pizza only! They served the best-fried pizza! Basically, the best thing we’ve ever eaten. The line was wrapped around the building but moved fast. We’re pretty sure we were the only ones in line that weren’t speaking Italian…that’s always a good sign. The pizza was fresh and delicious and only 3.5 Euros. A must visit you guys!
Pizzeria Di Matteo – This restaurant is low key, lively and extremely family-friendly. It is loud and casual, you won’t need to worry about your children annoying other diners. We will say that the area is a little sketchy so the earlier you visit in the evening, the better in my opinion. Also, arriving early will help with beating the locals who line up hoping to get a table here. In this case, arrive with the tourists who come early for dinner. The pizza is fabulous and is so cheap at around 5 Euros per pizza (give or take). Hands down some of the best pizza in Naples, if not anywhere in Italy.
Cafe Gambrinus – Located on Piazza Plebiscito and the Royal Palace this establishment is a historical landmark in Naples and has been since 1860. The feel is upscale and even a little fancy by Naples standards but is a good place to stop in and try the coffee (we don’t drink coffee but were told by our guide) which is reportedly the best in the city. They also serve up typical (and beautiful we might add) Neopolitan pastries and some of the freshest and highest quality Italian ice cream in the city. It’s worth a stop!
Casa Infante– There are a few of them throughout the city. The gelato is excellent. Fresh ingredients and creamy deliciousness!! Flavors change daily but the pistachio is top-notch. And in one day in Naples, we promise you will want to visit more than once:)
What are the Best Kids Activities in Naples?
Because of the things we have mentioned above, we didn’t spend a whole lot of time in the city of Naples itself. We did our best to get out and explore the surrounding areas. However, we will mention that Naples is a fun place to act like a local. One of Beckham’s favorite things we did in the city itself was when we went and got him a proper Italian haircut by a proper Italian barber. He LOVED it! So if staying in the city is your thing, do your best to experience local life. To make the best of both worlds we suggest if you are in Naples to enjoy some of the yummy food and local life BUT then get out and experience some of the awesome sites and destinations nearby.
We LOVED our day trips from Naples! Click to read our favorite day trips from Naples here. It includes how best to visit Pompeii from Naples and Procida, one of our most favorite little Italian islands that is so off the beaten path that you will feel like you stepped back into time.
Have you ever been to a destination that didn’t meet your expectations? How did you still make the best of it? We would love to know your thoughts!
Shani, Sav, and Kam
Check out our Pompeii coloring page NOW. It will go perfectly with your travels!