Streetwise in Naples
An early Baedeker guidebook to southern Italy wrote of Naples that 'the traveller is often tempted to doubt whether such a thing as honesty is known'. You wouldn't get away with such a comment in these politically correct days, but it is nevertheless perhaps still advisable to venture into Naples with a watchful eye. There is little risk of any real physical harm befalling the unwary traveller, but tourists are often the victims of pickpockets and 'scippatori', who snatch bags as they roar past on scooters and motor bikes.
First of all, Piazza...
First of all, Piazza Garibaldi. This is the main train station and if you want to go to Pompeii, Herculaneum, Amalfi Coast, etc, you will go through here. If you arrive in Naples by train, you may wonder what sort of a city it is at first. This area was really dirty and there were loads of dodgy characters hanging about. I have heard that the hotels here...um...rent by the hour. Be very diligent and keep alert when in this area.
Next possible trouble spot is the bus. Italian buses are very crowded. Just when you think it isn't possible to fit any more people on, the driver stops and collects a dozen more. Since everyone is packed in, it would be very easy to lose your wallet and not notice it. The buses are very handy (not to mention quite cheap) so do use them - just be very careful.
Crossing the road: This is very easy, if a little intimidating at first. If you are standing at a crosswalk, the cars will not stop automatically for you. You have to step off the curb and stare at the drivers as you cross. They won't stop for you - most of the time they don't even slow down - but they will not hit you. The dents in the front of the cars are from hitting other cars, not people.:o)
Not really a warning or a...
Not really a warning or a danger, but we found it difficult to find a good map and navigate the narrow streets of the historic centre. I am sure this is because there are so many small streets that a detailed map would be impossible. It is fun getting lost, though.:o)
Naples reportedly has a...
Naples reportedly has a lot of pickpockets and cashiers who will intentionally cheat you when they make change. In three trips to Naples, I never experienced either difficulty, but I've heard the problem is chronic.
Ants seem to be particularly...
Ants seem to be particularly prevalent in this area. Don't put the remains of fruit or other food subsatnces in your waste bin. Otherwise you may end up with a line of ants invading.