Although most visitors to Italy – especially those touring the country for the first time – concentrate their travels in the northern part of the country, if your itinerary brings you to the Italian capital city of Rome (and you’re staying long enough) then a side-trip to Naples isn’t out of the question. Naples makes an ideal home-base for a visit to Pompeii, and since Naples is where pizza was invented that makes another great reason to head south from Rome.
You can choose from a few different transportation methods for this trip, but the easiest is to take the train from Rome to Naples. You might be hopping from Naples on to the Amalfi Coast and relish the thought of winding down the coastline behind the wheel of something red and Italian, but even if that’s the case taking the train from Rome to Naples is still a good idea. Driving through either of these big and congested cities can be a challenge – an “exercise in frustration” is putting it mildly – and you can just as easily rent a car at, for instance, the Naples airport after your visit to Naples, thereby avoiding the city driving.
The Rome to Naples trains run regularly throughout the day, leaving Roma Termini Station from as early as 05:00 and as late as 22:00 – there are as many as five departures per hour for Napoli Centrale station during the busiest times of the day. Depending on the train you get on, it can be a relatively quick trip. The fastest trains make the journey in about an hour and 15 minutes. The next-fastest trains take around two hours, and the slowest trains can take almost three hours. It’s a direct trip in any case, so you don’t have to worry about changing trains midway.
As is the case with other journeys, the faster trains come with the more expensive ticket prices. First class tickets on the fastest trains cost a little less than €60, and second class tickets on that same train are €44. On these trains you’ll also need to purchase a reservation in addition to your ticket, so although you can’t do much better in terms of convenience and speed, people on a stricter budget may want to either book a slower (cheaper) train or get an Italy Rail Pass (the latter is especially recommended if you’ll be taking several high-speed trains in Italy during your trip).
The slower trains from Rome to Naples cost around €27 for a first class ticket and €20 for a second class ticket, and many of them don’t require reservations on top of the tickets (although without reservations, you risk standing if all the seats are full).
>> More information on how to get from Rome to Naples
photo by Erik Pitti