Pick up your hire car at Naples airport and get ready for an extravaganza of Italian archaeological and natural beauty.
"Rugged, romantic, chaotic, dirty, loud and brilliant - this is the Italy of the Italians! There's nothing manicured about Naples and that's why we're so great."
Naples does indeed escape the heavy tourist tide that crashes into some of Italy's other cities, but there's still plenty to see for the visitor, such as the exquisite art and architecture.
There's something larger than life about southern Italy that makes the north seem dainty as a doll's house. Naples could be a city of giants. Just being here makes you feel alive.
It's not unusual for first time visitors to feel intimidated by the vocal locals. The Neapolitan attitude seems to be 'why say it when you can shout it?' But it won't take long before the people's warmth has you feeling like one of the family.
Neapolitan summers are hot and muggy. If sweating is not on your to-do list, save your visit until spring or autumn.
Scoff sfogliatelle, a rich pastry made of layers of pork fat-enhanced pastry, with a creamy orange and ricotta filling. Sounds awful, tastes amazing.
Rome is sometimes credited with producing smouldering sex goddess Sophia Loren, but the legendary lady herself says her birthplace was the Naples suburb of Pozzuoli.
The pizza was invented in Naples, a fact the locals take very seriously. The margherita is the original flavour and still considered the best.
"See Naples and die." - German writer Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, in reference to being overwhelmed by the city's beauty, not it's crime rate
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Accidentally discovered in 1599 and now the best place on earth to see 1st century Romans trapped in volcanic lava.
The only parking near the two main entrances is at hotels, restaurants and shops. This isn't too much of a problem, but they will charge you. (But you'll probably get a refund if you eat or buy something.)
Can't get enough of volcano visiting? Then blow your top for this wildlife preservation site boasting an earth shattering 40 ancient lava-spurters.
There's free car parking for visitors inside the gates to the side. Just be careful with the closing time, indicated as a tricky 'one hour before sunset'.
A whopping great park with its own aquarium and scientific institution. But best of all it's a perfect place to sink an espresso and crowd-watch the local beauties.
You can leave your hire car at one of the suburban Metro stations (Colli Aminei for instance) or try your luck on the nearby streets. Try the few spaces between Castel Nuovo and Piazza del Municipio, for example.
According to legend the poet and sometime wizard Virgil hid an egg inside one of the rooms of this castle. If the egg breaks the entire city of Naples will fall with it. Be careful where you step, then.
The largest and most reliable car park in Naples is near the train station, on Via Brin, from where you can stroll to the Egg Castle. The first four hours cost €1.30 euro each, then it's 30 cents for any additional hour.
Packed full of artefacts that drive home the absolute awesomeness of the Roman Empire. Cosied up next to items from Pompeii and Herculaneum are some of the finest surviving examples of Renaissance artwork and classical Greek sculpture.
There's plenty of street parking nearby, but make sure you're in a space marked with blue lines and that you display a prepaid scratch card available from tobacconists. Don't be fooled by unlicensed parking attendants: no blue lines equals illegal parking!
Golden beaches, rugged terrain and coastlines to keep you swooning long after your tan has faded. Go with a lover or find a lover there. Either way, prepare to lose your heart.
It's just over an hour to the Amalfi Coast. Head south west on the E45. Positano is a good place to start your exploring.
It's the most famous classical town you've never heard of and the great hidden secret of the South. Get your fill of Roman ruins without being bothered by other tourists.
Head north-east on the A16/E842. It should take about an hour and 20 minutes to get there from Naples.
There are lots of pretty seaside towns on the Bay of Naples but few with this density of great seafood joints. Wear elasticated trousers and chow down, amico.
Head east out of Naples on the E45 and follow the coast. It will take about 40 minutes to get there.
The volcano that created tourism. It's eruption in 79 AD froze Pompeii and Herculaneum in time. These day's it's less lava, more pretty views.
Head out of east on the A3/E45, then turn into the national park at Trecase. It should take around 50 minutes.
" You'll need to take care when driving in Naples, but I have to say that it isn't as difficult as you think. The one thing you'll probably find unusual is the number of scooters zooming past. But if you want a real thrill, drive your hire car along the 20-mile coastal route from Sorrento to Amalfi, with picture-perfect villages and scenic views of steep cliffs plunging into the blue sea. But it's probably best to do it on a weekday to avoid traffic jams - you won't be the only one who wants to take the trip! "