Welcome to Naples, the capital city of the Campania region of Italy. The city was first founded by the ancient Greeks and was used as a Centre of Commerce, thanks to its location on the Bay of Naples. Today lots of people travel from around the world to see the monuments and castles left behind from the time under the rule of the Greeks and the Romans. The Neapolitan Opera is another popular attraction, as well as the different day trips to nearby beaches and charming towns. Did you know that Naples is situated right next to Mount Vesuvius, the very volcano that covered Pompeii in ash centuries ago?
Sometimes you have the perfect plan for a vacation, and just when you arrive you notice that the weather calls for rain. This doesn't mean that your trip is ruined since there are lots of great indoor activities to do in Naples when it rains. And if the skies turn grey and catch you unaware, remember you can keep your bags safe and dry in a suitcase locker in Naples.
Explore One of the Many Museums
When you are on vacation in a new place and don't know what to do, one of the first things that usually pops into your head is museums. They are always a great choice when it comes to learning about different topics, either about the city or not, and the best part is that most of them are indoors and will keep you out of the rain!
Naples has lots of them to choose from and you can really take your pick. Some of our top recommendations include the Museo Archeologico Nazionale which has the most beautiful and diverse collection of artifacts in all of Italy. The Museo di Capodimonte is one of the city's top art galleries, and the Villa Pignatelli can introduce you to some other fabulous masterpieces like ancient furniture, ceramics and porcelain. If you are interested in more modern works, then the Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli or the Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina are the places for you.
Experience Naples Soterranea
While you are walking through the streets of Naples you may not know that there is an entire system of underground tunnels and attractions right below your feet. The Naples Sotteranea, or Underground Naples, is one of the best options for sightseeing while the weather isn't cooperating. There is quite a lot to see so you can choose what interests you the most, or spend all day underneath the city exploring it all.
Most people like to admire the ancient aqueducts or even visit old World War II bunkers. You can learn a lot about the history of Naples here, or just have fun on tours telling ghost stories that will get you spooked! Consider stopping by the San Gaetano Area where you can see what remains from an old market dating back to the time of the Romans.
Adventure Through the Metro Stations
If you are interested in a more modern underground network of tunnels, head to the nearest metro station. Some of the stations along certain metro lines have been transformed into massive art installations and the whole subway system is like an art gallery. Come see what talented works have been installed all while staying warm and dry!
Some of the most popular stations include the Universita Station which was designed by Karim Rashid and is about the new languages and ways of communicating in the digital age. Lots of people enjoy admiring the Museo Station which has all sorts of amazing monuments related to the museums and legends of the city. The Toledo Station is one of the prettiest, with thousands of small lights that illuminate the mosaics on the walls, and is dedicated to the history of Naples.
Discover the Magical Castel dell'Ovo
Naples is known for its castles, and one of the most unique is the Castel dell'Ovo. According to local legend, a magical egg was caged and placed inside the castle when it was constructed, and it protects the fortress. If anything were to happen to the egg, the castle and the city of Naples would be in danger.
Other than having a super cool story, this castle is also the oldest in all of Naples as it dates back to the 12th century. You can definitely have a marvelous afternoon exploring the building, and it is a good idea to go on one of the guided tours to learn more about it.
Go on a Food Tour
One thing that you will soon realize about Naples is that the food is fantastic. The city is home to some incredible dishes and a rainy day in Naples is the perfect opportunity to try some of the yummy Italian cuisines. Did you know that Naples, Italy is where the first ever pizza was made? In fact, the very first pizzeria in the world is still in business here today!
Take advantage of your free time to stop by several restaurants or local markets and try some tasty dishes. From pizza to pasta, there are some delicious foods to try, and while you are at it you should see if there are any places to do wine tasting nearby as well. If you want to take it a step further you can even sign up for your own cooking class to learn about making these traditional dishes yourself.
Walk Through the Catacombs di San Gennaro
The Catacombs of San Gennaro are technically part of the underground network in Naples but are worth a visit on their own because you don't want to be rushed while exploring them. If you follow the guided tour, make sure that you pay attention because the guides will tell you the fascinating history of the catacombs.
If you have never been in catacombs before then you are in for a treat. They are surprisingly atmospheric and exploring them should be comfortable and more interesting than frightening. They are an important part of the city and an activity that we recommend whether rain or shine.
Sightsee at the Cattedrale di Pozzuoli
Just because the clouds are out and the weather is gloomy doesn't mean that you should miss out on sightseeing around the city. You might not want to stop and admire the churches or palaces from the outdoors, but many of them boast an even more impressive interior anyway.
One of them would be the Cattedrale di Pozzuoli which is quite a unique attraction. It is actually part of a Catholic church and also a Roman temple, so you can learn about the different cultures in Naples all at once. Its location in the heart of the Historic Centre makes it the perfect stop on your sightseeing tour.
Catch a Performance at the Teatro di San Carlo
in 1621 the Teatro di San Carlo was built to replace the old and smaller Teatro San Bartolomeo. The building was constructed by two very talented architects named Giovanni Antonio Medrano and Angelo Carasale, but unfortunately, much of their hard work was destroyed during a fire in 1816. The theater was eventually redesigned and built by Antonio Niccolini in 1845, and in 1854 some minor adjustments to the interior took place.
Today the Teatro di San Carlo is a beautiful piece of architecture both inside and out. Come bask in the glory of the red and gold interior and be impressed by the incredible detail and effort that was put into every corner. It is also Europe's oldest working theatre and shows are still put on regularly, so why don't you catch a performance to stay out of the rain?
Visit the Reggia di Caserta
One of the city's top monuments is the gorgeous Reggia di Caserta, also called the Caserta Royal Palace. This building dates back to the 18th century and is situated on a beautiful plot of land with lush gardens and greenery. We would recommend taking a stroll through the gardens, but that might be an activity better suited to a sunny day.
Don't worry, because the castle itself has more than enough to keep you occupied. There are hundreds of years of history within the palace's walls as well as an incredible 1,200 rooms! You can follow a tour guide who can take you through the castle and show you all of the most impressive areas, from the entrance hall to the grand library.
Explore the Chiostro di Santa Chiara
The incredible Chiostro di Santa Chiara is a monastery, church and museum all in one place. The sites each date back to the 13th century so there is a lot of history to be told about the culture, religion and architecture of Naples from centuries ago. The grounds are a good place to take a walk, so if the clouds clear up we suggest that you take a stroll around outside.
If you need to stay indoors out of the rain, don't worry because there is more than enough to see inside. Take a trip around the museum to see what the exhibits can teach you. There is also much to see at the church so you can stay out of the rain but still have a great day in Naples.
Discover the Galleria Borbonica
The Galleria Borbonica is another highlight of the underground part of Naples, meaning that you will be safe from the wet weather. The entire Bourbon Tunnel passageway is filled with history and a magical atmosphere.
In the past, the passageway was constructed to connect the Naples military barracks to the Royal Palace. Now the tunnel is lined with abandoned motorbikes and cars which can be pretty cool to see.
Visit the Spooky Cimitero Delle Fontanelle
This attraction is a bit eerie but incredibly interesting at the same time. It is a cemetery located inside a cave, but it is no normal cemetery. It is an ossuary so expect to see lots of bones, especially skulls, lining the archway.
Since the ossuary is located in a cave you will be out of the rain. It is quite an impressive sight to see, as long as you don't mind being around bones and skulls, and is definitely something that you will want to do while in Naples.
Stop by the Naples Duomo
The Naples Duomo dates back to 1313 and is another must-see during your vacation to Italy. The cathedral follows a Gothic style so expect grandness and detailing. Quite a few of the artworks in the cathedral are even older than the actual building.
There are several things to do in the cathedral itself so you won't have a problem spending a couple of hours here and away from the rain. You can just admire the architecture and artwork along the walls, or tour the on-site museum to learn all about the Treasure of San Gennaro jewelry which is also from the 13th century.
Get Some Retail Therapy at the Galleria Umberto
Another go-to activity for any rainy day is shopping! If you want to find deals and browse through the stores in an indoor mall, the Galleria Umberto is where you should go. The building dates back to the 19th century and some people say that it is one of the most beautiful shopping arcades in the whole nation.
The ceiling is domed and made of glass so you can watch the rain poor down as you stay warm and comfortable inside the mall. There are all sorts of stores selling exclusive brands, places to shop for souvenirs and coffee shops that you can dine at.
Travel Tips for Bad Weather in Naples
Although you won't be able to attend any of the city's outdoor events or spend hours by the beach, there are more than enough indoor activities that are fun for the entire family. Find your favorite painting or sculpture at an art gallery, try every dish on the menu of a local restaurant, grab tickets to a live show or sightsee away from the rain with the underground tunnels of Naples available at all times. Even if the skies are gray and gloomy, Naples will still be one of the top destinations in Italy.
Looking for even more things to do in Naples on a rainy day? Check out these other guides: