Roman ruins, perfect pizzas, an exploding volcano – could anywhere be more Italian than Naples? Take a short break to Naples from Glasgow Airport and experience la dolce vita – the good life – in Southern Italy.
The looming cone of Mount Vesuvius adds a certain menace to the Naples skyline, not least when you consider what happened at Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79AD. An entire way of life was preserved under falling ash in these doomed cities, from the goods on sale in Roman shops to the secrets of the bordello. Combine a trip to Pompeii and Herculaneum with a trek up the slopes of Vesuvius for breathtaking views along the Campanian coastline from the crater rim.
The perfect pizza
Neapolitans have no time for new-fangled thin-crust pizzas from Rome. Naples was where the pizza was invented, as local farmers topped traditional flatbread with rich tomato sauce. Today, Naples pizzerias must adhere to the codes of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana – ovens should be wood-fired, dough must be hand-kneaded and the base must be pulled and never rolled. Sample Naples pizza at the very first pizzeria in Italy – Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba (Via Port'Alba 18) first up the wood oven in 1830.
Gateway to the south
The Bay of Naples has been a playground for the rich and famous since Roman times. Today, even ordinary mortals can enjoy the stunning islands scattered north and south of Naples. Marinas full of gleaming yachts are only half the picture on Capri – this idyllic isle boasts Roman ruins, towering sea cliffs and a surreal grotto lit from beneath by reflected Mediterranean sunshine. For more stunning coastline with less bling, explore Ischia and Procida at the north end of the Bay of Naples.