Torre del Greco is a commune within the greater Metropolitan area of Naples on the western coast of mainland Italy. This commune is famous for its harvesting and production of coral and the waters surrounding Torre del Greco have always had an abundance of this natural invertebrate. Throughout the town centre you can find a myriad of stores selling fabulous coral jewellery and it is a prized commodity in this region of Italy.
This commune was originally colonised by ancient Greek settlers and was part of Magna Graecia – in ancient times Torre del Greco would have been connected to the historical city of Herculaneum. During the Roman era, the magnificent Villa Sora was built here and Torre del Greco would have served as an important retreat for various imperial families. Throughout the town and the surrounding region you can find other Roman remains such as baths and villa complexes.
In terms of tourism, Torre del Greco benefits from its close proximity to the famous sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Mount Vesuvius, and it is also within easy reach of the popular city of Naples. This commune also has a host of its own sites and historical buildings such as the Basilica di Santa Croce and the interesting Museum of Coral.
Let’s have a look at the the best things to see and do in and around Torre del Greco:
1. The Museum of Coral
As mentioned in the introduction, Coral is a prized commodity in Torre del Greco and this commune is famed for its production of fantastic Coral jewellery.
The museum is located in the heart of the town centre on the Corso Avezzana and is within a short walking distance of the Piazza Santa Croce.
Within this museum you can find an absolutely beautiful display of Coral Jewellery spanning back several hundred years.
Examples of the items displayed include a 19th century medallion depicting Cupid’s Forge and a Mongolian helmet from the 19th century adorned with Coral decoration.
Not only does the museum provide pieces created in Torre del Greco, it also showcases a range of Coral items crafted around the world from various cultures.
2. Basilica di Santa Croce
The Basilica of Santa Croce is the main religious building within the centre of Torre del Greco and has stood in immaculate condition since the 16th century.
This basilica is located on the Piazza of the same name in the centre of Torre del Greco and has a neoclassical design.
The front facade is white-washed and has three imposing black doors and a sweeping curved portico.
On the inside of the church, there is some simply stunning decoration such as the great altar complete with its gold trimmings and depiction of Jesus on the cross, or the Chapel of the Holy Cross that contains some colourful statues of the Virgin Mary.
This church is definitely worth a visit even if you are not religious as the architecture and interior are stunning.
3. Piazza Santa Croce
Located in the centre of Torre de Greco you can find the main Piazza Santa Croce.
This is one of the most important squares in the commune and located on this Piazza is the aforementioned Basilica di Santa Croce.
The Piazza Santa Croce is always busy and it is one of the main thoroughfares within the town centre.
Many locals often gather here, particularly of the older generation to have a chat and catch up on the latest gossip.
In the centre of the Piazza there is some seating and a plethora of beautiful trees and greenery, and in the surrounding streets you can also find a range of shops and cafes.
4. Take a walk around the harbour
Torre del Greco has a beautiful harbour that has both commercial and public shipping and boating operations.
Although the port is only small, it is still a fantastic place to walk.
The harbour is enclosed and creates an artificial bay from a large sweeping arm where a plethora of boats are moored.
At the front of the port there is a range of shipping yards and buildings and it is interesting to see the daily activities of a coastal port.
In the eastern part of the port near Vico Portosalvo you can also find a range of cafes bars and restaurants that provide the perfect setting to watch the harbour in action.
5. Take a trip to the top of Mount Vesuvius
Torre del Greco sits at the base of Mount Vesuvius and this small commune is dominated by this magnificent natural volcano.
Mount Vesuvius is known for its devastating eruption that covered both Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD. This volcano stands at an elevation of 1281 metres and is one of the tallest in the country.
It is possible to take guided tours to Mount Vesuvius and to hike or drive to the top of its smoking crater.
Some allow you to hike to the top although this should only be undertaken if you like a challenge and are fit.
Other tour providers offer ATV quad bike rides or jeep excursions – whichever method you choose, the views from the top of Vesuvius are unrivalled.
6. Take a trip to the ruins of Pompeii
Pompeii is another fascinating historical site that is only a short train or bus journey from Torre del Greco.
You can reach the ruins of the city of Pompeii in less than 20 minutes along the busy A3 route.
Pompeii was devastated and its inhabitants wiped out during the fatal eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The city however was preserved due to the thick layer of ash that covered the structures.
Today you can visit the ruins and see some of the marvellous structures such as the amphitheatre, the temple of Jupiter and the house of the faun.
Furthermore you can see the still colourful frescos that were painted nearly 2000 years ago and still remain to this day.
7. Take a trip to Herculaneum
Herculaneum is often overlooked as people prefer to visit Pompeii however it as argued that this site is actually better preserved and is of more significance than its sister city.
Herculaneum was another city that was destroyed during the immense eruption of Mount Vesuvius however this site was not covered in ash but instead a mud like substance that helped preserve some of the wooden structures and fixtures.
At Herculaneum you can see over 300 preserved skeletons plus a range of buildings including the House of Aristides, the House of Argus, and the Villa of the Papyri.
Most of these buildings contain beautiful decoration and some even contain finely produced mosaics.
If you visit Pompeii, you must give attention to Herculaneum too!
8. Take a trip to Naples
As Torre del Greco is a commune within the greater metropolitan area of Naples, it makes sense that you should take a day trip to see this magnificent and bustling city.
Naples has one of the largest greater metro populations in Italy, and it is also one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean.
Aside from its huge port, Naples also has a variety of interesting historical sites such as the domineering Castle Nuovo, the gorgeous and imperial Piazza del Plebiscito and the Castel dell’Ovo.
Furthermore, Naples is known for its fantastic array of shopping opportunities and its thriving nightlife scene.
9. Sample some authentic Pizza at La Pizzaccia
Italy is famed for its Pizza and La Pizzaccia restaurant is one of the finest places to visit in Torre del Greco to sample an authentic slice or three.
This establishment is located on the main SS18 route that runs through the town centre.
What makes this restaurant stand out is a combination of an upbeat atmosphere, a superb range of authentic Italian dishes and pizzas, a wide choice of quality wines and beers, and also the charm and warm welcome from the owner.
Furthermore the prices are reasonable and the service is quick – there is no better place in Torre del Greco to enjoy authentic Italian food!
10. Try some seafood at the portside restaurant La Voce del Mare
Due to Torre del Greco’s coastal location, the commune has a range of restaurants that offer fresh seafood dishes.
La Voce del Mare is a high quality establishment located on Via Spiaggia del Fronte near the harbour – some tables actually look out to the port and the sea.
This restaurant is a favourite of the locals and always has a fantastic atmosphere.
At La Voce del Mar you can enjoy a range of seafood dishes such as muscles, oysters and shrimp.
Furthermore they also provide a variety of traditional Italian pasta dishes and Pizzas, all of which are reasonably priced.
If you want a quality meal with a great view, this is the restaurant to choose!
11. Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie
Although this church has a fairly simple exterior with plain white and yellow washed walls, the interior is simply divine and contains a plethora of gorgeous decoration and frescos.
This church is located in close proximity to the Piazza del Santa Croce and you can walk to it within 10 minutes.
Inside the church the ceiling is adorned with a variety of beautiful frescos depicting various religious scenes and characters.
Additionally, the main altar has a plethora of rich decoration and is covered with gold ornaments and several marble statues.
This understated church is definitely worth a visit when walking through Torre del Greco.
12. Relax with a coffee at the Caffe De Nicola
This café benefits from being located In the charming and central Piazza del Croce, therefore it is a fantastic place to relax at the start or end of your walking tour of the commune.
Caffe De Nicola has a fantastic design and looks modern and inviting – the staff are friendly and the service is quick.
You can enjoy a range of different coffees and juices plus a gorgeous and tasty selection of cakes, pastries and small desserts.
This is undoubtedly a great place to enjoy a leisurely breakfast or to simply take a break from the heat and watch the world go by.
13. Take a trip to the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is possibly the best known stretch of coast in the whole of Italy and maybe the Mediterranean.
This protected natural area contains some absolutely stunning towns that hug the mountains and cliffs and provide picture perfect scenery.
From Torre del Greco you can catch the train that travels to Sorrento and from here you can explore the region.
Consider visiting Positano, Praiano, Amalfi itself and the Island of Capri.
Furthermore, done forget to visit the town of Ravello that provides possibly one of the best views across the Mediterranean and of the surrounding coastal region.
14. Valle dell’Avventura
In the eastern region of Torre Del Greco you can find the fantastic Valle dell’Avventura or Valley of Adventure – this is an outdoor activity park and is a great place to take the family.
The entry prices are reasonable and the range of activities you can engage in are numerous.
The park contains a myriad of obstacles, climbing frames, tree houses and activities based in and around the forest.
You can try your hand at climbing, walking across swing bridges or even flying down zip lines – all activities are supervised and the relative safety equipment is provided.
If you love the outdoors and a challenge, the Valley of Adventure is an absolute must during your stay in Torre del Greco!
15. Valle dell Orso Aqua Park
Located next to the Valley of Adventure, the Valle dell’Orso is a brilliant waterpark that is great fun for children and adults alike.
This waterpark is only a short distance from the centre of Torre del Greco and is another fantastic place to bring the family – you could consider visiting both the waterpark and the outdoor park and making a whole day of adventure.
The waterpark has a large main pool and several smaller pools.
Furthermore it has a myriad of different water slides and rapids.
There is also a kids pool and plenty of sun loungers and space to relax.
Finally, there is also dedicated changing rooms and a café where you can purchase snacks and drinks.