We decided to spend a day exploring the region; we took a train in the morning: from Florence to La Spezia, and then another train to the first city in the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore (check here my Google Maps).
Our idea was to do the complete hike from Riomaggiore to Monteresso, however, due to the bad weather on the previous days, 70% of the path was closed! Bummer!
Sadly enough, you only get this kind of information when you are already there.
But that doesn’t mean we did nothing, we did a lot and I’m about to show you what!
What we did then
Our first stop, so we decided to buy the Cinque Terre Card, which gave us access to the trail and unlimited train travels between the 5 cities and La Spezia.
As the trail was closed here, after exploring a bit of the village we got the train to our next stop, Manarola.
I remember I was super excited when we arrived and took me some time to believe where actually I was.
I simply love history and just imagining that I would be walking through so many historical sites, I just couldn’t believe it was really happening.
In this post, I’ll share with you everything I managed to do during these three days. Or you can go straight to the point and get here my Google Maps with all the places and restaurants conveniently marked for you. 😉
As a general piece of advice: Rome is full of history, as you probably already know, so to make your experience even better, how about studying their history beforehand or use Rick Steve‘s app for that, which I totally recommend.
I’m telling you that, because I think you’d be missing out a lot if you don’t know at least a bit of their history, or simply don’t have any idea what the places used to represent. 😉
Another important note about Rome: WALK!
This is a city to explore, taking the time to wander around (sometimes without destination), just enjoying the city!
Day 1 – Ancient Rome
Colosseum Buy your tickets online as lines are SUPER LONG there! (yes, even if you’re planning to go early in the morning)
Also, download Rick Steve‘s app and use his Colosseum audio tour, which was awesome and totally free.
And below a complete description of everything you can do:
Places to go
It’s a nice example of a medieval castle, built in 1279.
Entrance is paid, costing €6 per adult. 🙂
Well worth the price if you’re interested in this kind of medieval architecture.
Galleria Umberto I
This is such a beautiful building. Take some time to explore the shops, restaurants, and admire its splendid interior.
Royal Palace of Naples
This is another beautiful building to visit.
It also has a museum with ticketed entrance, but most of the external area, including the beautiful gardens, can be explored free of charge!
Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola & Piazza del Plebiscito
These two are right in front of the Royal Palace of Naples, making them a very good area to look around and admire the surrounds.
It’s a very popular street, full of shops and restaurants, ready for you to explore!
I simply loved this castle.
It is the oldest standing fortification in Naples and works today as a place for events and free visitation.
Views from up there are amazing!
Make sure to check it out!
Take some time to walk along Naples Harbour and you will be blessed with amazing views, such as in the photo below.
Not to mention the constant and inviting delicious smells from the restaurants along the way.
When I started planning this day trip to Naples (finding things to do and places to eat) something that I constantly found by reading people’s recommendations was to be aware of the areas you’re planning to visit.
It’s not that the city is totally unsafe. Not like that.
The areas I recommended above are absolutely safe and worth the visit.
However, my original personal itinerary also included things to do around the central station (Stazione di Napoli Centrale) … but yeah, when I got there, I unfortunately had to give up.
Not even the presence of the army on the streets made me safe enough to explore the area. 🙁
But overall, don’t worry too much, 1 day in Naples is more than enough to see the best things and enjoy a delicious pizza!
Make sure to follow my itinerary above and you can’t go wrong. 🙂
A couple of reasons helped me to decide picking Caffè Gambrinus for a quick stop:
Their absolutely beautiful and charming in-store decoration, (with a classy and vintage look)
To try an authentic Naples cappuccino,
And to finally have a Sfogliatelle (traditional Neapolitan pastry) – a flaky pastry stuffed with a delicious ricotta cream.
We both decided to have a cup of coffee there and get the sfogliatelle for take away.
Here is the complete order:
Hubby: caffe del nonno – espresso blended with vanilla ice cream.
Mine: Italian cappuccino – double espresso and steamed milk foam.
To share: sfogliatelle riccia and sfogliatelle frolla.
You may not know but there are two main types of sfogliatelle:
Sfogliatelle frolla (rounded) and Sfogliatelle riccia (curly).
Of course, I decided to try them both. But here is the difference between them:
Sfogliatelle riccia (the curly one): the crust is some sort of puff pastry (using lard instead of butter), crunchy and flaky.
The filling is not super sweet, made of a mixture of semolina, ricotta, eggs, sugar, candied citrus and cinnamon.
You must eat it still warm, preferrably fresh out the oven.
Sfogliatelle frolla (the rounded one): uses pasta frolla (shortbread crust) instead of the flaky sfoglia crust.
The filling is pretty much the same; a mixture of semolina, ricotta, eggs, sugar, candied citrus and cinnamon.
Everything was very good.
I personally liked the sfogliatelle frolla better, its pastry is more my type of thing.
No words for its filling though, definitely something from heaven.
I had it again as a pie filling on one of my train trips, simply delicious!
The place architecture is beautiful, coffee and pastry equally good. However, they get packed due to its central location!
There is always a waiting line for seating and waiters tend to get a bit distracted.
So in case you are short in time just place your order directly at the counter.
Interesting enough, they charge €0.50 to use their toilets, even if you ordered something.
Unusual, but kinda understandable due to the number of tourists in the surroundings.
I was also told that there is no bad pizza in Naples, every place you go you will leave with a happy smile on your face.
Well, I didn’t exactly intend to put it to a test as I had only a single chance to have pizza there, that’s why we picked Brandi Pizzeria.
This place is one of the oldest pizzerias in Italy, and legend says it was where the very first Margherita pizza was ever made, a gift for Queen Margherita that was visiting the city.
Of course, while in Naples we couldn’t miss this one!
Nothing inventive here, we were super traditional with our choices:
To share: Vesuvio salad – smoked buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, olives, and mixed leaves.
Hubby: Capricciosa pizza – tomato, cheese, mushrooms, peas, and cooked ham.
Mine: Margherita pizza. (of course, right? 😜)
As you can immediately see, the Neapolitanian pizza has a different crust from the Romanian one.
The base is thin but the borders are fluffy and doughy, more like a bread texture.
It also has a generous amount of tomato sauce.
How did I find the pizza?
Well, personally, it was THE BEST PIZZA IV’E EVER HAD! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Everything was super delicious: tomato sauce, that buttery fresh mozzarella, the uber fluffy dough. YUM, YUM, YUM!
Just a side note about this pizza, different from the Romanian one, eating the whole thing is a very hard task.
The fluffy dough takes a lot of space in your stomach, so manage what you eat in order to finish your plate! 🙂
I also got excited and tried a shot of Limoncello, a traditional Italian liquor.
Super strong but it leaves a pleasant lemon flavour in your mouth. Recommended!
The place is small and located in a very busy area, so try to book in advance or arrive a bit earlier during peak hours.
Service was good and pizzas were on our tables very quickly. Definitely, a must go while in Naples.