15 Non-Touristy Places to Visit as a Solo Traveller in Naples, Italy

Looking for some non-touristy places to visit on your solo travel to Naples in Italy? Look no further. I am here to help you look beyond the terrific Mount Vesuvius, historic Pompeii and Herculaneum, the Royal Palace, the breezy Port, and the traditional eatery L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele of Naples. The third-largest city in Italy, Naples is a place of unexpected discoveries. So, without further ado, let me walk you through 15 non-touristy places (in no particular order) I have come across on my solo travel to Naples

1. The Bourbon Tunnel: an unfinished escape route

Whether you are a history buff or a daring adventurer, don’t miss this unfinished tunnel hidden 100 feet beneath Naples’ streets. It is one of the best offbeat places in Naples to explore. The tunnel was built to be a secret passageway for the safety of the royals in 1853. 

But it remained unfinished, and after WWII, the tunnel became a wartime dumping ground. Later, it was even used as a shelter to protect Neapolitans from an air raid. Gas masks, hair brushes, bed and toilet blocks, and other items used by people who sought refuge in the tunnel can still be seen today.

I am not going to lie. As I took a tour of this tunnel, I could feel a certain uneasiness. The war relics, artefacts, dark corridors, fascist statues, and cars make the tunnel feel otherworldly. There’s no way to escape the eerie feeling once you’re in there. If you think I am exaggerating, visit it yourself and discover. I am sure Bourbon Tunnel will keep you on your toes.

Note: The tour of Tunnel Borbonico, or Bourbon Tunnel, takes place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

2. The mysterious cursed island: Gaiola

Do you love mysteries as I do? If yes, Isola La Gaiola must be on your list of non-touristy places to visit in Naples, Italy. The island is formed of two gigantic rocks right off the southern part of the coast of Posillipo. Aside from the curse stories that surround this island, what is unique is the thin stone arch. The ease with which it connects the two rocks is a mysterious sight.

Although this secluded island is Government’s property, you can drive up to the coastline to see this strangely beautiful sight. And if you want to get closer to the island, which is now a part of the Gaiola Underwater Park, you can opt for scuba diving, snorkelling, or a boat ride.  

3. Visit the Fontanelle Cemetery

If cult spooky movies are your jam, bookmark this place right away! It’s an unusual, non-touristy, and one-of-a-kind experience you surely would not want to miss in Naples. A visit to Fontanelle Cemetery will take you back to the 1500s. Thousands are remainings of Napoli’s residents, many of whom are from the massive plague outbreak. 

I kid you not. It is being said the obsession with this “cult of the dead” grew so much the Cardinal of Naples had to close the cemetery in 1969. After several years the site has reopened on a reservation basis after restoration. You don’t have to pay an entry fee to enter the premises of this cemetery, but my advice is to book a guided tour of the place in advance.

4. Discover the secret cabinets of the Archaeological Museum of Naples

A portion of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples is labelled as a secret room or secret cabinet, which now functions as a separate gallery for people. The entire cabinet is dedicated to the erotic art of Romans found in Pompeii and Herculaneum. You’ll be astonished to walk through the gallery consisting of 250 art structures. Once upon a time, these structures were considered so offensive that it was censored and closed with a wall. 

5. Chiesa del Purgatorio ad Arco

I was tired of visiting Naples’ classic churches until I came across the Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco in central Naples. This church is notable for its intimate baroque art and morbid iconography. You’ll also see how this less-touristy church still practices the Neapolitan cult of the dead.

If you want to experience something exceptional, this place is highly recommended. The church remains open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. However, the tour of this place starts at 10:30 only.

6. Get on a psychedelic trip at Toledo Metro Station

Toledo metro station is a visual treat on the Via Toledo in the Spanish quarter of the city. The exemplary art of this station makes it the most beautiful transit of Naples. So be ready to go on a psychedelic trip and observe the colours of the walls as you descend the escalator.

It is fascinating how different station levels are presented in a certain theme in connection to the city. Besides praising the artistic sight, you can also go on a shopping spree at this station (I can sense your excitement already!).

7. Slow down at Libreria Colonnese

A 3-minute walk from Cappella Sansevero, Libreria Colonnese is the perfect place for bookworms. The old charm of the store, vintage covers, postcards, a diverse range of books, unique tarot decks, and whatnot! I can guarantee you’ll fall for this place simply by the look of it. Do you want to bet? (I know I am going to win). 

In this place, everything slows down, so have ample time in your hand to explore the place and find some literary gems. And, if you’re eager to learn about the roots of Naples, do not hesitate to talk with the shop owner. The shop remains open from 10 am – 2 pm and 3:30 pm – 7:30 pm. 

8. Tranquil Giardino di Babuk

More or less, every place in Naples has a historical connotation, and Giardino di Babuk does too. Not much is known about this garden as it is kept away from tourists’ radar. One can only enter the premises through a prior appointment. The garden is near the Rione Sanita’s centre and is the safest place to hang out in Naples.

On the tour of the place, visitors are also shown a glimpse of the underground statues and conservatory. Check the timings beforehand and make an appointment.

9. Busto di Pulcinella

Despite being a popular tourist destination in Naples, many visitors pass it. The Busto di Pulcinella is a good luck charm for Naples. They believe that if you rub the statue’s nose, it will bring you good luck or the opportunity to return to Naples. And looking at the nose of the statue, you can tell how much the nose has been rubbed already!

10. A place of culture: Procida Island

This off-the-beaten-path island, 14 miles off the coast of Naples, is less well-known among visitors and is frequently overshadowed by its neighbouring islands. Even though the island does not have any specific attractions, what drew my attention was its traditional culture and way of life. 

The island promotes slow travel—walk along its untouched beaches, chat with locals, eat traditional puff pastry, and enjoy life at their pace.

You can get to the island via ferry or hydrofoils. It will cost you between 10 and 20 euros.

11. Admire the architectural wonder: The Spanish Palace

Palazzo Dello Spagnolo, or the Spanish Palace, is known for its spectacular baroque architecture. And, without a doubt, the exquisite staircase steals the show. Even though you’re not allowed to go up the stairs, you’ll find this non-touristy place worth your time.

12. Head to Tandem 

Bored of eating pizzas? I hope not. After all, you can’t travel to pizza land and be bored! It’s a sin. But just in case you want to savour and dig into something else, head to Tandem and order their beef Ragu straightaway. It is one of the Neapolitan delicacies, and this restaurant prepares it most authentically. But keep in mind to make a booking as the place keeps busy almost all the time (not exaggerating)!

13. Shop at Via Dei Presepi

Presepio Street is famous for its traditional Christian nativity. The entire street exhibits local handmade artworks. You can shop whatever you like all year round, from tiny objects to life-size ones, unique caricatures, and symbols of local culture.

14. The hospital of the dolls

Ospedale delle Bambole, or the Doll Hospital, is enough to trigger curious minds. Right from the moment I learnt about this weird place, I knew I had to explore it on my solo travel to Naples. Contrary to my thought, it wasn’t any horror place, despite all the eerie images of dolls on Instagram! This hospital in San Gregorio Armeno treats and repairs dolls for ages. Exploring this hospital is one of the oddly fun things to do in Naples, Italy. Check out their website for how to book a tour and further details.

15. Castle of Baia

Away from the rustic streets and chaotic city centre, 15 miles away from Naples, this Aragonese Castle of Baia is a place of serenity. Once a military fortress is now an archaeological museum. It displays several rescued items from the field of Volcanic Campi Flegrei.

non touristy places in naples

That brings us to the end of this blog post. Make it a point to visit these hidden gems for a unique experience in Italy’s oldest part. If you want to know what else to visit in Italy, check out my blog post on 25 Must-Visit Landmarks as a Solo Female Traveller in Italy. Until next time, safe travels in Italy!


An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.

Leave a Reply