About The City Sightseeing Naples Tour:
The City Sightseeing Naples tour is a flexible hop-on hop-off bus service that lets you explore the sights of Napoli at your own pace for 24 hours. There's 2 routes to discover (A & B) and tickets are valid from the moment they are first used. The buses run all year round with seasonal variations on certain lines (see left column).
'Hop-on Hop-off' means that you're free to leave and rejoin the buses at any stop. If a particular museum or monument grabs your attention simply step off at the closest hop-off point and explore up-close.
While aboard the buses you can choose to sit on the open-top upper deck or on the sheltered lower deck. Regardless of where you're seated you'll be treated to interesting commentary on the history and culture of Naples via a multi-lingual audio guide.
- All Year Round, Daily | Except Dec 25 and Jan 1.
- Digital Audio: English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.
Tour Times / Frequency:
- See Timetable Download.
- Various, see Map Download.
- Line A: 1 Hour.
- Line B: 1 Hour 12 Minutes.
- Free On-Board Wi-Fi.
- Audio Guide (Headphones Included).
- Walking Tour App (Download On Bus).
- Printed Tour Map & Leaflet.
- Wheelchair Accessible Buses.
Both routes on the City Sightseeing Naples tour have their initial departure points at the base of Piazza Municipio. You can set out from this location, or travel towards it from any other stop throughout the city. Whatever you choose to do this area and its immediate surroundings harbour some of Naples' most iconic attractions.
Within view of the square, close to the coastline, you'll see Castel Nuovo. Built in 1279 this medieval structure serves as the current site of the Museo Civico. Priceless Neopolitan art works from the 15th-19th centuries are housed within, and the building's elegant towers make for a great city vantage point.
By taking a short walk west of Castel Nuovo you'll quickly reach the Teatro di San Carlo. This famous opera house, founded in 1737, is the oldest of its kind in Europe. Its opera season runs from late January to May, while the ballet season operates from April to early June. Whether you plan on seeing a show or not, a short guided tour of this stunning building is well worth the couple of Euros it costs.
Further west still is the Piazza del Plebiscito and Palazzo Reale (Royal Place). The former is one of Naples' largest and most eye-catching public squares, with its two bronze equestrian statues and the characteristic semi-circular curve of the end bordering the church of San Francesco di Paola. At the opposite end of the square sits the Royal Place. This landmark retains its opulent 17-19th century treasures and displays them to an inquiring public. Pay a visit and see its collection of tapestries, paintings, frescoes, chandeliers and furniture.
Red 'A Line' Route:
Presuming you started at the Piazza Municipio and took some time to explore the aforementioned on foot, you're next step should be to venture further on the buses.
If the history of Naples is one of your interests then your first stop on Line A should definitely be the National Archaeological Museum (Stop 4). Located along the north-western remnants of the city's original Greek wall this renowned institution contains artefacts from every stage of Napoli's development. The humble tools of everyday life are as much a part of the collection as the beautiful marble sculptures, mosaics and paintings. These derive from as far back as the city's founding by Ancient Greek settlers (a time when it was known as Neapolis), with a sizeable portion coming from the Roman period, and various others from Renaissance times. The Museum also houses a large collection of Roman artefacts from the surrounding towns of Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum. Its final highlight is the Egyptian collection, the largest of its kind in Italy outside of the 'Museo Egizio' in Turin.
Though the Archaeological Museum contains a number of priceless artistic artefacts its focus is ultimately anthropological. By contrast, the Capodimonte Museum at stop 6 centres around the finest pieces of Neapolitan decorative art. Every masterpiece collected or commissioned by Naples' former ruling dynasties is contained within the neo-classical walls of the Reggia di Capodimonte. Major works can be ascribed to famous names such as Caravaggio (The Flagellation), El Greco (Giulio Clovio) and Sandro Botticelli (Madonna and Child and Two Angels).
Just west of the Capodimonte you'll find the entrance to the Catacombs of San Gennaro. This austere underground network of tombs lies beneath the Church of Madre del Buon Consiglio. The exact year of their construction is unknown, but it is though to have been around the 3rd century CE. After the interment of the Bishop Agrippinus of Naples the catacombs apparently became an important Christian burial site, seeing further expansion throughout subsequent centuries. It's the scale of the catacombs that makes them such a popular visitor attraction. The long, vaulted corridors and prominent alcoves make you feel like you're descending into a proverbial land of the dead. Marvel at the wide, eerie archways, illuminated frescos and the subterranean 'basilica maior'.
From a paleo-Christian necropolis to Renaissance religious heritage, the Church of Santa Maria di Costantinopoli at stop 8 is one of Naples' most recognisable places of worship. The building is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and has a beautiful stucco interior designed by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro. Legend has it that an image of the Virgin placed on a wall of the church prevented further outbreaks of the plague in Naples.
A final Line A highlight we'd recommend checking out is Naples Cathedral. Hop-off at stop 10 and see the city's most iconic example of Gothic architecture. Though the structure is dedicated to the Virgin Mary it was built in honour of Naples' patron, Saint Januarius. Twice a year an event takes place whereby a vial of Januarius' blood is brought out and placed on display. During the biannual unveiling (first Saturday in May & 19 September) the dried blood appears to liquefy by miraculous means. Divine intervention? Or a simple chemical reaction? You visit and be the judge.
| 12 Stops:
- 1) Largo Castello (Depart).
- 2) Piazza del Gesù.
- 3) Piazza Dante.
- 4) National Archaeological Museum.
- 5) Sanità.
- 6) Capodimonte Museum.
- 7) Catacombs of San Gennaro.
- 8) Bellini (Via Costantinopoli).
- 9) Madre (Via Foria).
- 10) Porta Capuana (Via Muzii).
- 11) Piazza Bovio/Università.
- 1) Largo Castello (Return).
Blue 'B Line' Route:
Line B is most definitely City Sightseeing Naples' scenic route. Depart from a relevant point in the city centre and take a journey to the natural haven of Capo Posillipo. You can choose to head out immediately, or spend some time at Villa Communale by getting off at stop 2. This place was opened in 1781 as a royal park, and today people can admire its beautiful 19th century bandstand, botanical delights and the popular Stazione Zoologica. Halfway along Villa Communale you'll also encounter Villa Pignatelli, a striking neo-classical residence sporting an array of Doric columns.
Line B's literal high point comes at stop 7, Parco Virgiliano. Preached atop the Hill of Posillipo this panoramic overlook provides unrivalled views across the Bay of Naples. To the west you'll be able to see the volcanic islet of Nisida and to the east you'll be able to make out the unmistakable slopes of Mount Vesuvius.
On the way back to central Naples' make your final stop at Castel dell'Ovo (stop 11). 'Egg Castle' as it would be known in English is a seaside fortress and the oldest of its kind in the city. The nucleus of what would become the current fortification was constructed by Roman patrician Lucius Licinius Lucullus in the 1st century BC.
| 12 Stops:
- 1) Largo Castello (Depart).
- 2) Piazza Vittoria.
- 3) Villa Pignatelli (Viale Dohrm).
- 4) Mergellina (Piazza del Leone).
- 5) Capo Posillipo.
- 6) Posillipo.
- 7) Parco Virgiliano.
- 8) Via Petrarca.
- 9) Mergellina (in front of the American Consulate).
- 10) Piazza Vittoria (Via Arcoleo).
- 11) Chiatamone.
- 12) Via Acton/Porto.
- 1) Largo Castello (Return).