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Naples in three days

Day One: Pompeii and Vesuvius

Visiting Naples isn't just about the city center; the bay of Naples has a huge amount to offer and something to suit just about any tourist. Here�s a good suggestion for how you could spend three days in and around Naples.

Day One: Pompeii and Vesuvius
Doing Pompeii and Vesuvius in one day is not for the feint hearted, but follow our plan and it's definitely do-able. Rise early, grab yourself a quick cappuccino and cornetto from the bar outside the hostel and make your way into the port to catch the bus to Pompeii. Try and get the bus around 8 or 9 to make the most out of your day; after all, you do have a volcano to scale and an ancient buried city to explore Pompeii isn't great food-wise, so in order to avoid over-priced and low-caliber grub, take some snacks with you.

From the Pompeii Scavi stop (be careful: the bus keeps on going, we don't want you ending up deep in mafia country) head into the Vesuviana Mobilita office, directly in front of you when you get off the bus. Here they sell the tickets for the bus that takes you within spitting distance of the summit of the volcano (yes, it is still active but you should be safe enough, it hasn�t erupted now since 1944). It's just a short walk further until you can peer into the crater itself, although don�t forget to take a good look around you; this is one of the best views of Naples and the bay possible. Make sure you take it all in but don't get too comfortable, you still have the ancient city of Pompeii, buried by Vesuvius� famous explosion in AD 79, waiting for you at the bottom.

Get the same bus down as you got up, and this will drop you right at the entrance of the ancient city. Pay your entrance (it's half price for EU citizens under 25 and teachers so make sure you take some ID) and I�d recommend getting the audio-guide, which takes you on a guided tour of the whole site. In total the audio-guide takes 5 hours, but you can always skip around the tracks to suit your own schedule. I attempted to do Pompeii without a guide apart from the free little booklet they provide but regretted it, you end up walking around like a lost sheep, getting bored and going home early.

Buses aren't so frequent on the way back, so get on the Circumvesuviana train from where you got off the bus. This train takes you all the way backs to the central station in Naples and jump on the R2 bus back to the hostel. An all-day ticket (the Unico Campania Fascia 3 Giornaliero)to and from Pompeii, including all buses in Naples itself, will set you back Euro 4,60.

I know it sounds all sounds a bit daunting but don't worry, you'll get all your energy back in the evening on you return to Naples, with a delicious meal at Hosteria Toledo. This cute little restaurant is set in the Quartieri Spagnoli, just off the main drag Via Toledo. Here you can sample the array of Naples finest traditional dishes made in-house including homemade pastas, fish and meat. It's also reasonably priced; a two course meal with wine here will cost you around Euro 15.

If you still have any energy left, why not have a drink in the lively Piazza Bellini. The bars here are relaxed but get very busy with people sitting outside during the summer months. Some are cheaper than others so shop around if you're on a budget. Take in the atmosphere but make sure you don't over-do it, tomorrow's another big day!

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