More commonly known as just Giugliano, this city and commune is part of the greater Metropolitan area of Naples and has a population of 123,000. Due to this large population, Giugliano is actually the most populous non-capital city in Italy. Located to the west of Naples, Giugliano is just 30 minutes from the historic centre and has great transport links. Tradition has it that this city was settled by colonists from Cuma and populated by Neapolitans when the Cuma Empire was destroyed in the 13th century. From then onwards, it has benefitted from extremely close links with Naples and serves as a centre of agriculture for the region.
For the budding tourist, Giugliano is a potential alternative to stopping in Naples and can offer a cheaper retreat from the big city. This fantastic commune benefits from a range of historic sites and gorgeous natural parks such as the Parco Villa Comunale. Moreover, Giugliano is just 40 minutes from the eastern coast of Italy and many different stretches of golden beach can be reached with ease. Don’t forget the fantastic attractions of Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii which lie just on the other side of Naples itself!
Let’s explore the best things to do in Giugliano in Campania:
1. Chiesa dell Annunziata
Located in the Piazza dell Annunziata, the Chiesa dell Annunziata is the finest piece of architecture in the city and is considered one of the icons of Giugliano.
This strange religious structure is not like anything else you will see – the front façade is split into three separate sections with a bell tower place in-between two aisles.
The bell tower is made of stone and orange brick and features a large clockface and an open dual bell at its pinnacle.
Alternatively, the two facades feature white panelling and some beautiful stained glass windows.
Documents date the church back to the 16th century and its architectural style is considered to be Baroque.
Inside the church, there is an immense main altar complete with stunning coloured frescos and blue marble pillars.
Much of the interior was designed by the renowned artists Massimo Stanzione.
2. Visit the Island of Ischia
Ischia is an immensely popular island and tourist destination that sits off of the coast of Naples.
This island has been inhabited since the Roman Empire and has served as an important place of strategic defence.
Ischia can be reached by ferry from Naples and the average trip takes approximately 50 minutes.
This gorgeous island has numerous points of interest including the dramatic Aragonese Castle, the Gardens of La Mortella, the Villa La Colombaia and the Church of the Soccorso.
Furthermore, the island has numerous world class beaches that are facilitated by some quality hotels, restaurants and bars.
Whilst based in Giugliano, Ischia is an ideal place to explore and you could even consider stopping over here for a night or two.
3. Church of Santa Sofia
This church is one of the most impressive structures in Giugliano and features a large green and yellow domed basilica and a pink façade.
Located on the main Corso Campano, this church is one of the main catholic places of worship in the city.
The structure features a Baroque style and was constructed in the 17th century.
Its façade is simple yet impressive, and the main basilica stands out against the surrounding structures.
Inside the church, the interior has a plethora of white and cream stucco plaster work that makes the church light and airy.
4. Take a day trip to Naples
As Giugliano is a commune within the greater metropolitan area of Naples; it is an ideal base to visit this stunning and ancient city.
The centre of Naples is just 30 minutes from Giugliano and there are regular buses that run between the two.
Furthermore there is an underground Metro system with a station in the centre of Giugliano.
Naples has a fantastic array of tourist attractions such as the domineering Castel Nuovo, the Naples Archaeological Museum, and the Royal Palace and Museums.
Furthermore, Naples is well known for its plethora of shopping areas and fun nightlife.
5. Mount Vesuvius
Towering over the surrounding countryside, Mount Vesuvius is a legendary volcano that was responsible for the destruction and burial of both Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD. This immense monolithic volcano has an elevation of 1281m and is entitled as a somma-stratovolcano.
Whilst driving practically anywhere in Naples and the surrounding region you cannot fail to miss this huge natural wonder.
It is possible to hike to the top of Vesuvius or alternatively there are many tours providers that offer guided jeep excursions or 4×4 quad bike rides.
Standing on the top of the caldera of the volcano is a truly impressive thing to witness – on a clear day you can see for miles.
6. Lido di Licola
Giugliano benefits from a close proximity to the coast.
Only 30 minutes to the west of this city is the charming coastal village of Lido di Licola.
This delightful small town has a stretch of beautiful beach and is part of a network of sands that run from the southern tip of Monte di Procida, right up to Pineta Grande in the north.
This Lido has a much more laid back atmosphere and is not as crowded as the beaches closer to Naples and the Amalfi coast.
Come here to escape from the crowds and to enjoy some relaxation on the beach, or a paddle in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Pompeii is the legendary city that was buried under tonnes of ash during the 79 AD eruption of the magnificent Mount Vesuvius.
Due to the volumes of ash that fell on Pompeii, it has been preserved in fantastic condition and much of the city survives.
You can walk through this immense metropolis and see some fantastic structures, paintings and temples.
Notable structures include the House of the Faun, the Temple of Venus and the two amphitheatres.
Furthermore, you can also see some plaster casts that show the actual bodies of some of the victims that were suffocated to death during the eruption.
This ancient site is one of the premier attractions in the region and is an absolute must when staying in Giugliano.
8. Try a delicious pizza at the Pizzeria capri marano
There is nowhere else in the world that makes Pizza that’s tastes as good as it does in Italy! A fresh stone oven baked pizza bursting with flavour is something magnificent to behold.
Pizza at the Pizzeria capri marano lives up to this reputation.
This delightful pizza place is located in the southern part of Giugliano in the commune of Calvizzano.
Here you can enjoy a fantastic variety of pizzas including seafood or traditional margarita.
The portions are generous, and the flavours are truly divine – each pizza is cooked to perfection and the dough is not too thick.
9. Free Time Acquapark
Located to the north of Giugliano is the amazing Acquapark Free Time – this is a great location for a family outing and provides an immense amount of fun for people of all ages.
Within the grounds of this wonderful park you will find a dedicated swimming pool for those who want to practice their stroke, but also a series of fun pools for those who want to just have some fun.
Moreover, there is also some amazing water slides and rapids to enjoy.
The park also has an ample amount of sun loungers and parasols, plus dedicated changing rooms and a couple of restaurants and snack bars.
10. Lido Miramere
Further up the coast from Licola is the Lido Miramere – this coastal area lies next to Lago Patria and is another fantastic coastal location.
The beach here is split by the inlet that joins to the large Patria Lake and both sides offer golden sands and a series of beach bars and establishments that rent out lidos and sun loungers.
The Miramere establishment itself provides snacks, drinks and light bites and can be accessed through the Castelvolutrno nature reserve.
If you spend time here, consider walking through the charming town of Lago di Patria to and check out the Via Arco Felice Vecchio where most of the bars and restaurants are.
11. Matese Regional Park
Although this chain of mountains lies just under 2 hours from Giugliano, it represents and interesting attraction, especially for those who love the outdoors and nature.
As part of the Apennine mountain range, the Matese Regional Park features some truly breath-taking scenery and alpine landscapes.
Several small villages can be found in this region such as the charming San Gregorio Matese, and there is also the huge Lago del Matese that lies in a valley in-between the mountains.
Throughout this region you can find a series of hiking trails, mountain paths and hidden areas to explore.
Furthermore some of the driving routes present some epic scenery.
12. Enjoy some seafood at the local Cantina Antica restaurant
Whilst Pizza is one of the main Italian dishes, the nation also knows how to create some amazing seafood dishes.
The Cantina Antica restaurant is a local establishment that offers reasonably priced food and a great atmosphere.
Located on the Via San Giovanni a Campo, this restaurant is within walking distance of the main town centre.
Both the starter and main menu features a variety of seafood dishes including the divine muscle soup – if you try one dish then this should be it! Furthermore you can try some delicacies such as octopus, squid and shrimp.
The quality is brilliant and the service is second to none.
13. Parco Villa Comunale
To the west of the town centre you can find the quaint Parco Villa Comunale.
This park is approximately a 20 minutes’ walk from the Chiesa dell Annunziata and is a great place to relax in the sun.
Within the grounds of this park is the Piazzetta Madonna della pace, two small paddling pools that are often filled with water for children to play in, and a series of trails and wooded areas.
Furthermore there is a large children’s playground and several lawns that are perfect for ball games or sunbathing.
14. Explore the Agnano Crater
In the western regions of the greater metropolitan area of Naples is the volcanic crater of Agnano.
This crater was inhabited during the ancient Greek and Roman periods and was known for its plethora of hot springs.
Only 30 minutes from Giugliano, this is a hugely popular camping and hiking destination and the scenery and landscapes are truly beautiful.
Much of the crater is covered with forest and you can find many paths running through.
Lake Agnano lies to the southern edge of the crater and is an amazing spot of natural beauty to explore.
Remains of ancient Roman structures can also be found in close proximity to the lake and give a great glimpse at this region’s historic past.
15. Visit the town of Caserta
Caserta is large city that sits in the northern region of Naples and is the capital of the Campania region of Italy.
You can reach this city from Giugliano in just 30 minutes and it is a great place to visit with some beautiful attractions.
The most notable site is undoubtedly the impressive Palace of Caserta – This monumental structure was a residence for the Kings of Naples and features a stunning Baroque front façade.
Furthermore, the palace has some extensive grounds and exquisitely landscaped gardens to explore.
Aside from the palace, Caserta also has an ancient Roman Amphitheatre and the gorgeous Matera Cathedral.