Naples is Italy’s 3rd largest city and although it’s often overlooked as a tourist destination it has a huge amount to offer visitors. From fantastic, year-round weather to a marvelous culinary tradition, Naples is just a stone’s throw from some of the country’s most famous attractions, including the ruins of Pompeii, the dreamy Capri coastline and the spectacular mount of Vesuvius. Naples is known locally as Napoli.
During the winter time, Naples has a magical atmosphere and hosts numerous celebrations such as Epiphany and, of course, Christmas itself. Temperatures are very moderate and the tourist crowds are nowhere near as oppressive as they can be during the summer months.
How Cold Does It Get In Naples, Italy?
Naples is located in Southern Italy and so it rarely gets very cold even in the depths of winter, at least compared to Northern Italy and most of Europe. The average temperatures during winter in Naples hover between about 5 and 15 Degrees Celsius.
There are occasions when temperatures can dip below 0 Degrees Celsius at night, particularly in January and February, although even then, daytime temperatures tend to range between 5 to 13 Degrees Celsius.
Does It Snow In Naples, Italy?
According to the weather records stretching back over 70 years, snow has never settled for long in Naples. There are occasional tiny snowfalls where you may see a few flakes in the air but it’s never really cold enough for the snow to build up and accumulate.
However, during the winter in Naples, you can often see the peak of Mount Vesuvius capped with snow! This makes a great photograph across the Bay of Naples and gives the peak a mysterious aura.
What’s The Best Time To Visit Naples?
Naples is a great destination throughout the year but the ideal time to visit is probably during the winter months. At this time of year, the temperatures are still pleasantly warm, there are far fewer tourists and the hotel rates are a lot cheaper than during the summer months.
The Best Things To Do In Naples During Winter.
The following are some of the best things to do in Naples Italy during winter:
Explore Via San Gregorio Armeno.
As the Christmas season begins to take hold in Naples much of the festive atmosphere is focused around Via San Gregorio Armeno. This delightful avenue in central Naples is packed full of artisan shops selling handcrafted ornaments, nativity scenes and other unique gifts and souvenirs. In former years, the area was dedicated to the Roman temple for the Goddess Ceres but by the 18th Century, it had already become famous for its artisans who designed and manufactured nativity scenes and other seasonal items.
But don’t expect to have the Via San Gregorio Armeno to yourself because locals and tourists alike throng the streets each year in winter! Not only can you buy traditional figurines and ornaments but you can also buy the hugely popular nativity scenes of celebrities, top football players and even political personalities.
Visiting Via San Gregorio Armeno is wonderful for families with children but it’s also fun for couples and solo travelers who want to experience this long-standing Neapolitan tradition in full swing.
8-Hour Day Tour Of Capri, Anacapri and The Blue Grotto.
This wonderful full-day tour will take you to Capri, Anacapri and the magnificent Blue Grotto. The tour includes a round-trip ferry ride from Naples to Capri during which you can soak in the spectacular sea views on route. After getting off the ferry you’ll be met by a minibus and taken to the beautiful towns of Capria and Anacapri, stopping at the Monte Solaro along the way. From Monte Solaro, the highest point on the island, you can take some great photos across the Bay of Naples. The tour is completed by a boat trip to the Blue Grotto, an incredible cave in the ocean.
Join A Private Tour Of Naples.
If you want to discover some of the city’s top highlights and hidden gems, then this private 3-hour walking tour is just right for you. The tour is led by an experienced local guide and will take you through the sprawling city center past all the best attractions, including the Galleria Umberto, Quartieri Spagnoli and the Duomo di San Gennaro, as well as plenty of other remarkable sites.
Along the way, you’ll also get to enjoy a free food and wine-tasting session to give you an insight into some of the city’s culinary heritage.
Epiphany Day Celebrations In Piazza Mercato.
Even though the whole of Italy has a strong Christian heritage, Naples and much of Southern Italy take the celebrations even more seriously than most! Epiphany in Naples is a huge event and the celebrations begin in earnest on the 5th of January each year in the Piazza Mercato.
The celebrations take place in front of the Santa Maria del Carmine church, one of the city’s most beautiful buildings, and although it’s a religious event you don’t have to be a Christian to attend. The square is filled with market stalls selling food, sweets, toys, gifts and Epiphany stockings. The market stays open late into the night on the 5th of January as people relax and enjoy this special time together.
Discover Neapolitan Street Food.
Naples has a unique culinary history which you can sample for yourself by joining a local guide for a tour of the finest street food in the city. During the tour, you’ll be shown around the city’s oldest market and have the opportunity to sample food from a legendary fish shop before heading to a beautiful delicatessen. Along the way you’ll be able to taste fried squid, cuttlefish, prawns, cold cuts, cheeses, pork, arancini, crocche, sweets, espresso and much more besides!
The Best Day Trips From Naples In Winter.
The following are some of the best day trips that you can take from Naples during winter:
Full-Day Tour Of Sorrento, Amalfi Coast And Pompeii.
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most stunning parts of Southern Italy and is just a short way from Naples. The 50 km stretch of coastline is made up of rugged cliffs, white sandy beaches and traditional fishing villages. If you’d like to see the Amalfi Coast for yourself you can hire a car and follow your instincts, stopping off for lunch in a local restaurant in one of the many small towns and villages.
Alternatively, you can join a guided tour that departs from central Naples. Not only does this take the hassle out of the experience but your guide will be pointing out the significant features of the landscape while telling you stories about the history of the area as you travel in the comfort of an air-conditioned minibus. During the tour, you’ll see Sorrento, a broad stretch of the Amalfi coastline and Pompeii, all in a single day! Your English-speaking guide will ensure that the trip goes smoothly and will explain all about the Roman history of the ruined city of Pompeii.
Visit The Historic Ruins Of Herculaneum.
Located just 11 km to the South East of Naples, the ancient city of Herculaneum was also destroyed in the same eruption of Vesuvius that devastated Pompeii. However, fortunately for posterity’s sake, the city of Herculaneum is far better preserved and gives visitors a much clearer picture of what life was like in the 1st Century AD, when the city was destroyed.
Herculaneum was only discovered by accident in 1709 when locals were digging a well but the excavations that followed uncovered this incredibly important archeological site. While you’re visiting the ancient city you can see the impressive Hall of the Augustales, the Samnite House, the men’s public baths and the House of the Wooden Partition.
The easiest way to get to Herculaneum is to rent a car and drive. The 11 km drive only takes about 15 minutes and allows you to take in the amazing coastal views en route. Alternatively, if you don’t want to drive yourself, you could join a guided tour or take one of the frequent trains from Napoli Porta Nolana station to the Ercolano Scavi station, which is just a few minutes’ walk from the ruins of Herculaneum.
Take A Day Trip To The Beautiful Island Of Procida.
Although very few visitors to Naples have ever heard of Procida, this astounding little island in the Bay of Naples offers you one of the best day trips from Naples in the whole region! To get to the island you can jump on a ferry to travel across the bay and once you arrive you can explore the local shops, restaurants, churches and historic city center.
One of the highlights of Procida is the magnificent church of Santa Maria Della Pietà but the Palazzo d’Avalos and the Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo are also unmissable. When it’s time for lunch you can drop into any one of the island’s local restaurants to savor the incredible seafood that Procida is so well known for.
To get to Procida you simply need to catch a ferry from the Port of Naples. The ferry ride will take about 1 hour and will drop you off at the Grande Marina in Procida, right in the heart of the town.
Naples Is A Fantastic Winter Destination.
Naples is a truly delightful city that is a popular holiday spot for local Italians but is too often missed out on the itineraries of tourists to the country. There’s a unique culinary heritage to discover and a wide range of attractions such as Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast to explore. So, if you’ve never visited Naples before, why book a trip this winter?