fun things to do with kids in naples  italy   Travel for Kids
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Naples (Napoli)


National Archaeological Museum of Naples


Before exploring the ruins of Pompeii or Herculaneum, visit the Naples Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale) first. Here kids will see tons of good stuff, ancient Roman mosaics, paintings and sculpture, removed from the ruins and preserved here in the museum.


This is a big museum, so here's our "must see" suggestions:

Naples Archaeological Museum Photo Album
naples archeological museum italy photo album

Mosaics – Alexander mosaic with a rip-roaring battle as Alexander the Great trounces Darius and the Persian army, "Beware the dog" (cave canem), death's head skull from a Pompeii dining room, lion and leopard, panther, Medusa head mosaics.


Paintings – Fabulous portraits of ancient Roman women and men, Pompeii colosseum, rabbit and figs (room LXXVII), wriggly snakes (they're guardian deities) from the Temple of Isis, panther and flying horses from the Villa Ariadne.


Villa of Papyri – Glorious Athena Promachos sculpture, bronze statues of four Dancers, Faun, and Hermes.


Sculpture – Imperial portraits - look on the faces of Vespasian, Marcus Aurelius, Hadrian, Tiberius, Augustus etc., reliefs from the Hadrianeum, lion and river gods next to the stairs.


Tip: Some galleries close mid-day, so when you buy tickets, ask which rooms will close.


Villa Communale and Aquarium – The Villa Communale is an old city park along the bay, with lots of shady trees and fountains. In the center of the park is the Aquarium (Aquario). The Aquarium is old fashioned in that 19th century style, but it does have tanks with local marine life from the Bay of Naples. The park extends for nearly a mile along the water, so enjoy the pedestrian promenade on the Via Caracciolo.

    From the Villa Communale, head down the via Partenope towards the imposing Castel dell'Ovo. Castel dell'Ovo (Castle of the Egg) sits out on a little island surrounded by a marina. Wander around the marina and kids can watch the boats go by on the bay.
  The Catacombs of San Gennaro – Naples is famous for the festival of San Gennaro (St. Januarius) where the blood of the saint miraculously liquefies. San Gennaro was originally buried in these catacombs, which are usually light and airy. The walls decorated with frescoes of the saint. (The entrance to the catacombs is to the left of the church of the Madre del Buon Consiglio.)

Capodimonte Observatory – This astronomical observatory is the oldest in Italy. The Observatory has an historical museum with a collection of astronomical instruments – old brass and wooden telescopes, clocks, and an exquisite 16th century gilt-covered celestial globe. From the observatory there is a wonderful view of Naples and the bay.

Near by are the lovely Capodimonte Gardens (Parco di Capodimonte).


Fun food


Try the local specialty zeppole, puffy fried balls covered with powdered sugar (also with custard or other toppings), and sfogliatelle, flaky layers of pastry with ricotta in the center.

family tours naples pompeii italy

The National Archaeological Museum in Naples is where all the frescoes, mosaics and statues from Pompeii are stashed, and you'll also want to visit the ruins of Pompeii. This is the perfect day trip – a private family tour with a knowledgeable guide to both Pompeii and the museum.

Full Day Pompeii Tour for Kids
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