Naples’ Funicolare Centrale cable railway has been transporting passengers from the city’s historic center to Piazza Vanvitelli, in the heart of the elegant hilltop Vomero neighborhood, since 1928. This 4,167-foot (1,270-meter0 funicular is one of the longest and busiest in the world, carrying over 10 million passengers a year.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by Naples’ teeming historic center, so for a fun break, hop on the city’s Funicolare Centrale and retreat uphill to the more staid hilltop neighborhood of Vomero. The funicular line stops near Piazza Vanvitelli, home to shops, restaurants, and views stretching over the city rooftops to the waters of the Mediterranean.
You can catch the funicular after a guided walking or Segway tour of Naples that includes famous sights like Piazza del Gesù, the Duomo, the Church of Santa Chiara, and Via San Gregorio Armeno. One of Naples’ most characteristic features is its cuisine, and many tours combine sightseeing with pizza and pastry breaks.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Walking tours of Naples’ historic center are mostly outdoors; wear sunscreen and a hat in summer.
- The Funicolare Centrale makes four stops: Piazza Fuga in Vomero; Petraio; Corso Vittorio Emanuele; and Augusteo in the historic center.
- A ride up the funicular is particularly fun for kids.
- Photography buffs should bring a camera to capture the views from the hilltop.
- The Funicolare Centrale is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Augusteo station is located in the historic center of Naples, an easy walk from both the city’s port and main train station. The Piazza Fuga station is located on the hilltop above central Naples in the Vomero neighborhood, just a few minutes’ walk from the main Piazza Vanvitelli.
When to Get There
The Funicolare Centrale is one of the main commuter routes in Naples’ public transportation system, and it can get very crowded during the morning and afternoon commute. Ride the funicular at off-peak times to enjoy the views without the crowds.
Naples’ Four Funicular Railways
Naples has four funiculars in the city center. Chiaia was the first, built in 1889, then Montesanto, followed by the Centrale, and Mergellina. The most famous funicular in southern Italy is the Mount Vesuvius funicular, which was first built in 1880 on an active volcano; after being damaged by various eruptions, it finally destroyed by the 1944 eruption. The famous Neapolitan song Funiculi Funicula pays tribute to it.