One of the most important gulfs in southern Italy, the Bay of Naples (Golfo di Napoli) is home to the vibrant city of Naples, the resort town of Sorrento, and the lovely islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida. Mount Vesuvius looms over the coastline, a dramatic reminder that ruins of the ancient Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum are also located here.
South of Naples and north of the Sorrentine Peninsula, “the Bay of Naples” refers to both this gulf in the Mediterranean Sea and its coastline area. The bay has been attracting Europe’s writers and artists since the 18th century, drawn by the stunning views and Roman ruins. By far the best way to explore is by sea, so consider joining a private boat trip or small-group cruise from Naples or Sorrento to bay highlights like the Island of Capri, beloved by Roman emperors like Tiberius and known for its famous Blue Grotto, and Sorrento, the main town on the Sorrentine Peninsula with its bustling Piazza Tasso and Corso Italia. By land, you can opt for a sightseeing tour of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum (Ercolano), touring these archaeological UNESCO World Heritage Sites with a local guide; a sightseeing tour of Naples and its world-class archaeological museum; or a driving tour along the coastline to the nearby Amalfi Coast.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Boat trips are fun for adults and kids, so the Bay of Naples is perfect for a family-friendly tour.
- The Bay of Naples has some of the most breathtaking scenery in Italy, so be sure to bring your camera.
- Wear a hat and sunblock for both land and sea tours; if taking a boat tour, bring your swimsuit, as many private trips include stops for swimming.
- Many boats are not accessible to wheelchairs, so check before booking a boat tour.
How to Get There
The Bay of Naples is located along the coast of Italy’s southern Campania region, which can be reached by air or train from Rome or Naples.
When to Get There
The waters in the Bay of Naples can be choppy from November to April, and boat trips and cruises are frequently cancelled. It’s wiser to book a boat tour during the summer months, when the weather is mild.
The Amalfi Coast
Italy’s famous Amalfi Coast is located just to the south of the Bay of Naples, and popular driving tours from Naples and Sorrento on the Bay of Naples including highlights like Amalfi and its famous Duomo, the colorful houses of Positano, and Ravello’s famous scenic terraces over the Mediterranean Sea.