8 Best Day Trips from Naples: Caserta, Herculaneum, Salerno, & More

April 3, 2024

Naples is a fascinating city in itself, but it’s also an excellent starting point to visit some of Italy’s most ancient historical sites and archeological treasures. While most use Rome or Florence as a base camp for day trips, these amazing day trips from Naples prove that no traveler to Italy should skip over la bella Napoli – or the towns around it.



Perhaps the epitome of a Naples day-trip, Pompeii is a town completely frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Once a booming trade town, today Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best possible way to see what life in ancient Rome was like. The sections of the city open to the public are extensive, so go to explore Italy’s history and see into an era you can only imagine. Be prepared to walk a lot, and bring water as there is little shade.

How to get from Naples to Pompeii

Take the bus from Piazza Esedra in Naples or the Circumvesuviana train to the Pompeii Scavi stop. The ruins can easily be reached by foot from the station and won’t be hard to find – this is, after all, the most popular day trip from Naples so even in low season you won’t be the only one making the journey.

Interested in a guided tour? Check out our Pompeii Tours, which are led by the best local archaeological tour guides.


Wall Mosaic of Neptune and Amphitrite at Herculaneum.

Like Pompeii, Herculaneum was also destroyed in the 79 AD eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. The site is much smaller than Pompeii, but, unlike the more famous sister city, it was mainly buried in pyroclastic flows, meaning that wood from house frames, roofs, beds and other objects has also been preserved. A town whose story is intimately connected with the Greek hero Hercules, Herculaneum is worth a visit to see the opulent houses and lavish lifestyle of a wealthy neighborhood in ancient Rome. We recommend this day trip from Naples to visitors who have already visited Pompeii.

How to get from Naples to Herculaneum

Take the the Circumvesuviana train to the Erculano Scavi (Scavi means excavations). It is about a ten-minute walk along the street in front of the station to the excavations.


One of the best views of Italy and a great photo op of Naples

Get this view of the Gulf of Naples… if you dare.

The cause of all the problems along the Bay of Naples in 79 AD, Vesuvio, mainland Europe’s only active volcano, has been “sleeping” since 1944. Just five miles from Pompeii, complete your trip with a visit to the famous volcano – just be prepared for a hike! A 4,000 foot summit, you can get nearly to the top by car, bus or taxi. From there, it’s an approximately 30-minute hike to the top for a view across the beautiful Bay of Naples.

How to get from Naples to Herculaneum

To reach Vesuvius, take the the Circumvesuviana train to the Ercolano station.

Related reading: Discover all about Mount Vesuvius in our guide!


Ancient ruins in Italy

The Temple of Hera II, one of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples in Italy.

While Campania, the region of Naples, is chock-full of Roman ruins, Paestum stands out since it boasts the best-preserved Greek ruin on the peninsula and the best-preserved Doric temples in the world. Another benefit? Paestum is farther off the beaten path than Pompeii, meaning you might even find yourself wandering alone among the Greek ruins – stones even older than the Colosseum! We’ve written an entire post about why we love Paestum. Check it out to see why you’ll love it too!

How to get from Naples to Paestum

From Naples, take the train until Stazione di Paestum. The site is a 15 minute walk going straight on from the station. You can also access Paestum by bus on the napoli-salerno-paestum-agropoli-vallo della lucania line.


UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Southern Italy - Palace of Caserta

The Palace of Caserta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Located just north of Naples, Caserta is most known for its 18th Century Bourbon Royal Palace, with gardens said to be comparable to those of Versailles. The Royal Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and located directly in front of the train station, making Caserta a perfect day-trip from Naples.

How to get from Naples to Herculaneum

Take a Rome-bound train directly to the Caserta railway station, a hub for regional traffic. Bonus, the train also stops at Capua, another popular town in Campania. There’s also a CTP bus from Naples’ Piazza Garibaldi to Caserta. 


Salerno, the best alternative to Sorrento on the Amalfi coast

Salerno, in the southern Italian region of Campania.

After long days exploring Campania’s archeology, many travelers want to head down the coast to the beautiful Almafi Coast. While many travelers often use Sorrento as their gateway to the Almafi Coast, we argue that you should choose Salerno instead. Salerno has big, beautiful beaches, lower prices and fewer tourists.

How to get from Naples to Salerno

Salerno is a major station for trains heading to the south of Italy. There are frequent trains from Naples to Salerno, or you can go by bus from Corso Garibaldi in Naples. 

Amalfi Coast

Positano views Amalfi Coast

Positano is one of our favorite towns on the Amalfi Coast.

Though Salerno is technically a part of the Amalfi Coast, the entire coastline is really worth seeing. Choose to see the stretch. Rent a car and stop along the way at Amalfi, Minori, Maiori, Vietri sul Mare, Ravello and Positano. Or, if you’d prefer to see the sights unencumbered, take a bus from Sorrento to Salerno and back. There’s plenty to explore along the coast; from beautiful beaches to dreamy castles, check out our top picks for must-see Amalfi attractions.

How to get from Naples to the Amalfi Coast

We’ve written an entire article about it: How to get to the Amalfi Coast.


Pantheon - Portico

Zip up to Rome from the high speed train.

Though most make their way to Naples from Rome, sometimes even just for a day trip, why not try the other way around? Start your Italy tour farther south in Naples, before making your way to Rome. Though Rome definitely requires more than just a day to visit, you can still cover a lot of ground. Discover our top tips for planning a trip to Rome!

How to get from Naples to Rome

Trains run roughly every thirty minutes to Rome from Naples.


Discover Italy’s unofficial culinary capital as you taste your way through the pastry shops, wine bars, and pizzerias of Naples on our Ultimate Naples Food Tour! Join us for 10 food tastings, two glasses of wine, a coffee and a limoncello throughout four vibrant neighborhoods in Naples.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the Eternal City on a day trip to the sunny south to Pompeii. Enjoy a private transfer to the city and then get exploring the ancient streets along with our expert guide. From there, it’s off to a picturesque vineyard on the slopes of the volcano for a stroll among the vines, with a three-course farm-to-table lunch and tasting of four wines. Finish up the day with a digestivo at a panoramic terrace before boarding the private van and heading back to Rome.

It’s a day trip you’ll want to repeat again and again. Don’t miss it!

by Gina Mussio

View more by Gina ›

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