An Easy Rome to Naples Day Trip by Train

Fancy a Naples day trip from Rome?

Thanks to frequent high-speed trains, visiting Naples from Rome is easier than you might think. And whilst you won’t cover all the city has to offer in a day, you can soak up its rich historical and cultural heritage and eat the best pizza in the world.

Hit the ground running with my guide to a Rome to Naples day trip by train. It includes safety tips, how to get there and the best things to do.

statues of lion in front of colonnaded building in piazza

Day Trip from Rome to Naples by Train at a Glance

  • Distance from Rome to Naples: 140 miles
  • Fastest journey time: From 70 minutes

Is Naples Safe?

Naples has developed a reputation as one of Italy’s edgier cities. When I visited in 1990, I was greeted by addicts shooting up in plain sight in the railway station. True story.

Naples is Italy on steroids, a chaotic and noisy, city, far removed from the Renaissance elegance of Florence or Siena. Its energy won’t suit every traveller.

But despite the scare stories, Naples is not inherently unsafe for tourists.

Organised crime is a recognised problem but this is unlikely to impact tourists. Quite frankly, the Camorra have bigger fish to fry.

Petty crime poses the main risk to visitors.

Avoid falling victim to bag snatchers and nimble-fingered pick-pockets by storing your valuables at your accommodation in Rome and using an anti-theft backpack (I use the ones made by PacSafe). Be extra vigilant in crowded areas and on public transport.

triumphal arch with peak of vesuvius in background

How to Get from Rome to Naples by Train

exterior of red italo train in italy

Both Trenitalia and Italo operate high-speed train services to Naples. I have written a comparison of Italo and Trenitalia if you want to find out more about them.

Frequent direct trains leave Roma Termini station bound for Central Naples station (Napoli Centrale). The journey time is typically 1 hour 10 minutes.

Book in advance for the cheapest tickets. You can check train times and book tickets for Trenitalia here and Italo here.

Trenitalia also operates Intercity and regional trains between Rome and Naples. As the journey time is longer (2 – 3 hours), I don’t recommend these trains.

Getting to Roma Termini train station

Roma Termini is the city’s main transport hub. Metro lines A and B intersect at the station, which is also served by many city buses.

Getting from Napoli Centrale train station

Naples Central Station is on Piazza Garibaldi, on the eastern edge of the historic centre (Centro Storico), within walking distance of many of the city’s main sights. If you want to rest your legs, ride on line 1 of the city’s metro system.

Also known as the Art Line, this is a tourist attraction in its own right.  A single ticket is valid for 90 minutes. Day tickets offering unlimited journeys are also available.

boats in a marina in naples italy

What to See

Naples Historic Centre

The UNESCO-listed Centro Storico is a warren of old churches, small shops, cafes and bars. It is roughly bounded by the waterfront on the south, Via Toledo and the Spanish Quarter to its western edge and Via Floria on the northern edge. For tourists, Via Duomo marks its eastern side.

person walking down narrow street with row of scooters

Lined with grocery barrows and one-of-a-kind shops, and inhabited by arch-Neapolitan characters, Spaccanapoli lies at the heart of old Naples. Don’t miss Via San Gregorio Armeno, known across Italy for its artisan shops selling handcrafted pastori, or nativity-scene figurines.

Naples Cathedral

Via Duomo, 147

The 13th-century Duomo di Napoli is a glorious confection of golden Byzantine mosaics and frescoes. It houses the skull of San Gennaro, the city’s patron saint, and an ampoule of his blood.

It is said that the saint’s blood liquefies twice a year. If the miracle of liquefaction doesn’t occur, misfortune will strike Naples.

National Archaeological Museum of Naples

Piazza Museo, 19

Naples National Archaeological Museum (MANN) is one of the world’s greatest museums. Spread across four floors, it has an extensive collection of Greek and Roman antiquities and artefacts from Ancient Egypt. It is home to one of the world’s most important Greco-Roman exhibitions, the Farnese Collection, a collection of classic sculptures and objects from the villas of ancient Rome.

Galleria Borbonica

Vico del Grottone, 4

Tunnels, caves, and catacombs lace their way under the city, and I recommend going underground at least once during your day in Naples.

Galleria Borbonica (Bourbon Gallery or Bourbon Tunnel) housed immense water tanks in the 1600s, served as an escape for the Bourbon royal family, an air-raid shelter during World War II and an impound lot. I loved its Vespa graveyard, a section of the tunnel populated with confiscated souped-up scooters that exceeded the 50km/hour speed limit.

rusted old vespa scotter

Santa Lucia district

boats in port of naples with Vesuvius in background

For unforgettable views of a smouldering Mount Vesuvius, walk along the Lungomare waterfront in the Santa Lucia district of Naples. Santa Lucia’s fishermen were booted out following an enormous landfill project and this attractive area is now home to restaurants and some of Naples’ finest hotels.

Castel dell’Ovo

old castle by sea

Naples’ oldest and most picturesque castle is on Borgo Marinaro island at the end of the Lungomare. The Normans built Castel dell’Ovo in the 12th Century and it is now used for events and temporary art exhibitions. You can walk its fortified walls for free.

Piazza del Plebiscito

neoclassical building with curving portico in front of ochre coloured old buildings in naples italy

Built from volcanic rock from Vesuvius in the first half of the 19th Century, Piazza del Plebiscito is named after the 1860 plebiscite that brought Naples into the unified Kingdom of Italy. Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace), one of four royal residences around Naples used by the Bourbon Kings, occupies its southern edge. Cradling the piazza with its curving colonnades, Basilica San Francesco di Paola faces the Royal Palace.

Galleria Umberto I 

a few people walking in grand indoor gallery

Decorated with elegant murals and sculptures, the Galleria Umberto is part of the UNESCO listing of the Historic Centre of Naples as a World Heritage Site. This light-filled shopping arcade is crowned with a domed glass and steel roof and was built at the end of the 19th Century as part of a project to rebuild and renovate the city.

Castel Nuovo 

Via Vittorio Emanuele III

entrance to nuovo castle in naples with 2 turreted towers

Built by Charles of Anjou in 1279, this massive military castle with eccentric round towers looms over the harbour. Castel Nuovo’s main entrance is an intricately carved 15th-century white marble triumphal arch. Inside are frescoes by Giotto in the Cappella Palatina and an art collection by Neapolitan painters from the 17th to early 20th Centuries.

Eating Pizza in Naples

There is one thing that you must do in Naples; eat pizza! This is where the story of one of the world’s most popular fast foods began.

In 1889 King Umberto I and Queen Margherita took a break from their relentless diet of French Haute Cuisine. From the selection presented to the royal couple, the queen preferred the pizza topped with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil (coincidentally, the colours of the Italian flag).

And so, Pizza Margherita was born.

a pizza with tomato and cheese topping

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is reputed to make the best pizza in Naples and is where Julia Roberts munched on a slice in the hit movie Eat, Pray, Love. It is on Via Cesare Sersale, close to Naples Cathedral. Expect to queue.


Where To Next?

And that’s a wrap! A day trip to Naples really is that simple.

If you are looking for other day trips from Rome, take a look at a few more of my suggestions:

But I’ll leave the last word to the journalist Lilian Whiting, author of one of my favourite Naples quotes:

Rome is stately and impressive; Florence is all beauty and enchantment; Genoa is picturesque; Venice is a dream city; but Naples is simply — fascinating.