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Exploring Italy

Naples is full of Italian history and culture to explore, not to mention it’s culinary delights, but one of the best parts of living here is its close proximity to the rest of Italy! Could you imagine a better jumping off point to see the rest of this vibrant country?

Marble buildings line waterways as gondolas glide through this iconic Italian city. Engineers love Venice — a completely man-made environment rising from the sea, with no visible means of support. Romantics revel in its atmosphere of elegant decay, seeing the peeling plaster and seaweed-covered stairs as a metaphor for beauty in decline. First-time visitors are often stirred deeply, awaking from their ordinary lives to a fantasy world unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. Built on a hundred islands with wealth from trade with the East, its exotic-looking palaces are laced together by sun-speckled canals. The car-free streets suddenly make walkers feel big, important, and liberated. By day, Venice is a city of museums and churches, packed with great art. At night, when the hordes of day-trippers have gone, another Venice appears for you to discover.

Rick Steves’ – Venice
Lonely Planet – Venice Travel
Official City of Venice Tourist and Travel Information

While many tourists come to Italy for the past, Milan is today’s Italy. The nation’s fashion, industrial, banking, TV, publishing, and convention capital, Milan is a hardworking, fashion-conscious, time-is-money city of 1.3 million, but also offers tourists plenty to see. As if to make up for its rough, noisy big-city-ness, the people of Milan are works of art. Window displays are gorgeous, cigarettes are chic, and even the cheese comes gift-wrapped. Yet thankfully, Milan is no more expensive for tourists than other Italian cities.

Rick Steves’ – Milan
Lonely Planet – Milan

Florence, the home of the Renaissance and birthplace of our modern world, has the best Renaissance art in Europe. In a single day, you could look Michelangelo’s David in the eyes, fall under the seductive sway of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, and climb the modern world’s first dome, which still dominates the skyline. Of course, Florentine art goes beyond paintings and statues. Enjoy the food, fashion, and street markets. Sure, Florence is touristy, but where else can you stroll the same pedestrian streets walked by Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Botticelli while savoring the world’s best gelato?

Rick Steves’ – Florence
Lonely Planet – Florence

Capri was made famous as the vacation hideaway of Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius. In the 19th century, it was the haunt of Romantic Age aristocrats on their Grand Tour of Europe. Later it was briefly a refuge for Europe’s artsy gay community. These days, the island is a world-class tourist trap, packed with gawky, nametag-wearing visitors searching for the rich and famous and finding only their prices. But outside the overcrowded months of July and August, Capri can provide a relaxing and scenic break from the cultural gauntlet of Italy.

Rick Steves’ – Capri
Lonely Planet – Capri

Rome and the Vatican
Rome is magnificent and brutal at the same time. It’s a showcase of Western civilization, with astonishingly ancient sights and a modern vibrancy. Rome is a magnificent tangled urban forest. This city of beautiful chaos is Italy’s political capital, the capital of Catholicism, and the center of its ancient empire, littered with evocative remains. As you peel through its fascinating and jumbled layers, you’ll find Rome’s buildings, cats, laundry, traffic, and 2.7 million people endlessly entertaining. Visit St. Peter’s, the greatest church on earth, learn something about eternity by touring the huge Vatican Museums, do the “Caesar Shuffle” through ancient Rome’s Forum and Colosseum, savor the Borghese Gallery, and take an early evening stroll with Rome’s beautiful people.

Rick Steves’ – Rome
Lonely Planet – Rome

Floating midway between Africa and Europe, Sicily really is a world unto itself. On the mainland, modern life may be encroaching on quintessentially Italian customs and attitudes, but here they still thrive. For tourists, the island can be a challenge: Its historic and artistic big shots just don’t ring a bell, folkloric traditions seem to play out only for tour groups, and its cities are generally rundown and chaotic. But if you want exotic, intensely Italian thrills, the “football” to Italy’s “boot” is a surefire kick.

Rick Steves’ – Sicily
Lonely Planet – Sicily

Amalfi Coast
With its stunning scenery, hill- and harbor-hugging towns, and historic ruins, Amalfi is Italy’s coast with the most. The trip from Sorrento to Salerno along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast is one of the world’s great bus rides — it’ll leave your mouth open and your camera’s memory card full. Cantilevered garages, hotels, and villas cling to the vertical terrain, and beautiful sandy coves tease from far below and out of reach. Over the centuries, the spectacular scenery and climate have been a siren call for the rich and famous, luring Roman emperor Tiberius, Richard Wagner, Sophia Loren, Gore Vidal, and others to the Amalfi Coast’s special brand of la dolce vita.

Rick Steves’ – Amalfi Coast
Lonely Planet – Amalfi Coast

Pompeii and Herculaneum
Stopped in their tracks by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, Pompeii and Herculaneum offer the best look anywhere at what life in Rome must have been like around 2,000 years ago. These two cities of well-preserved ruins are yours to explore. Of the two sites, Pompeii is grander, while Herculaneum is smaller, more intimate, and more intact; both are easily reached from Naples on the Circumvesuviana commuter train. Meanwhile, still-active Vesuvius rises up on the horizon, smoldering ominously.

Rick Steves’ – Pompeii and Herculaneum
Lonely Planet – Pompeii
Lonely Planet – Herculaneum

Cinque Terre
Along a beautifully isolated six-mile stretch of the most attractive corner of the Italian Riviera lie the Cinque Terre — five (cinque) small, traffic-free towns gently and steadily carving a good life out of difficult terrain. Each village fills a ravine with a lazy hive of human activity. Calloused locals and sunburned travelers enjoy the area’s unique mix of Italian culture and nature. Enjoy the villages, pebbly beaches, swimming, hiking, or boat rides. While the Cinque Terre is now discovered and can be quite crowded, the tourists who visit appear to be some of the most happy and relaxed to be found anywhere.

Rick Steves’ – Cinque Terre
Lonely Planet – Cinque Terre

With its manicured fields, rustic farms, cypress-lined driveways, and towns clinging to nearly every hill, Tuscany is our romantic image of village Italy. Venture beyond the fringes of Florence and you’ll find a series of sun- and wine-soaked villages, each with its own appeal. Stretching from the Umbrian border to the Ligurian Sea, the landscape changes from pastoral (Crete Senesi) to rocky (Chianti) to mountainous (the Montagnola) to flat and brushed with sea breezes (Pisa).

Rick Steves’ – Tuscany
Lonely Planet – Tuscany

For more ideas about traveling in Italy, visit:
Italy Explained – Day Trips from Naples
Italylogue – 20 Things Everyone Should Do in Italy

Travel Assistance

Support Site Tickets & Travel

Tickets & Travel is part of Navy Community Recreation. In Naples, the offices are located at Support Site and Capodichino. Services include one day tours, extended tours, hotel reservations, discount attraction tickets, cruise, airline, and train bookings and more.

Support Site Tickets & Travel
Bldg. 2091
US Naval Support Site, Gricignano d’Aversa 09618

Phone: 081-811-7909
DSN: 629-7909
On Base: 314-629-7909

Mon-Fri: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sat: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sat & US Holidays: Closed

Website: Navy MWR Naples Tickets and Travel

Food and Wine Tours

A food tour is essentially a guided walking tour that lasts a few hours and centers around tasting local foods of the place. The guide pre-plans stops (usually around 4-5) giving visitors tastes of each food or drink. A food tour might start in the market or at a cheese shop. You may then continue to a couple specialty food shops or restaurants for tastes of local specialties. Then, the tour may wrap up with a gelato or sweets in a bakery. Many food tours in Italy also include wine pairings. This is a popular way to experience Italian culture and the amazing cuisine the country has to offer.

Italy Beyond the Obvious – Food Tours in Italy
Culinary Tours of Italy – USA Today
Trip Advisor Food and Drink Tours – Italy

Government Lodging

The following seven locations are available for accommodations in Italy:

Navy Lodge Naples
Naval Support Activity
PSC 808, Box 38
FPO, AE 09618-0038
Reservations: 1-800-628-9466

Navy Lodge Sigonella
Naval Air Station
PSC 824, Box 07
FPO, AE 09623-0001
Reservations: 1-800-628-9466
DSN: 314-624-4082

Air Force Inn – Italy
Aviano AB, Italy
Mountain View Lodge
Flightline Zappala Area
Bldg #1484
(Unit 6122 Box #45)
APO AE 09604-2245
Reservations: 888-235-6343
DSN: 632-4040 Ext. 4504

Army Lodging
Casa Toscana
Camp Darby
56108 Tirrenna-Pisa Italy
Reservations: 011-39-050-47580

Army Lodging
Ederle Inn
Caserma Ederle
36100 Vicenza, Italy
Reservations: 011-39-0444-71-8034

Navy Gateway Inns & Suites – Sigonella
Sigonella NAS
PSC 812 Box 2170
FPO AE 09627-2170
SS 417 Catania-Gela
Reservations: 1-877-NAVYBED (628-9233)

Navy Gateway Inns & Suites – Naples
Naples NSA
PSC 817 Box 7
FPO AE 09622-1000
Reservations: 1-877-NAVYBED (628-9233)

DoD Lodging Italy

Government Lodging can also be found in the following countries: Belgium, England, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey. For more information, visit: DoD Lodging Europe

Helpful Links

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