in the middle
Under the brooding dome of Mount Vesuvius, Naples hums with the purr of petrol engines and Vespa scooters. Its maze-like heart conceals a city rich in history and culture – a town gilded with Neo-Gothic palaces and Liberty Napoletano mansions, tagged by UNESCO and cut through by the bustling Spaccanapoli. Nearby, the ruins of totemic sites like Pompeii and Herculaneum continue to wow, while the inexplicable beauties of the Amalfi Coast, Capri and mountainous Campania lurk on the peripheries. Search dealchecker for the top packages on cheap hotels in Naples and you could soon be munching pizza pies on the edge of the Mediterranean here.
The area around Spaccanapoli and the historic centre is perfect for travellers who really want to be in the heat of the action, between the frenetic markets and narrow alleys of downtown Naples. Here, you'll find a wealth of budget hostels hiding on the top-floor tenements, along with regal 5-star hotels primed for the sightseer.
For something a little quieter, the districts of Chiaia and Vomero could be the perfect choice. These are packed with gentrified villas dating to the 20th century, or old Renaissance palazzos and pretty pine-studded parks, all just a short walk away from the hectic Quartieri Spagnoli.
Meanwhile, for those who want real relaxation on the Med, and good access to Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento are worth considering. Hotels can get pricy down here, but searching dealchecker nice and early could mean bagging some great accommodations with views of the gulf and cliff-fringed Capri.
There's one golden rule for getting the top deals on Naples hotels: Avoid the summer. This is when huge crowds of visitors flock to the Riviera towns from all over Italy and Europe, filling up the accommodations and forcing up rates (on everything from beds to flights to museum entry).
Thankfully, this part of Italy is known to stay warm much later than the north. That means it's possible to enjoy a sun-filled holiday in the months of May, September and October, when you're also likely to pay much less for the top hotels.
If you're determined to come in the high season, then be sure to consider renting a car in Naples and widening your accommodation search to include the cheaper hotel choices that pepper the Amalfi Coast, or – most notably – the seaside stretches of Caserta to the north.